According to the book Type Talk At Work and the over 10,000 individuals the folks at OKA have interviewed over the last couple decades, over 60% of managers in corporate America are of the Thinking-Judging preference. As you climb the corporate ladder into the C-suite, this consolidates even further to about 90%. And of course this makes sense as you want to surround yourself with those who are most like you.
The issue with this is quite obvious. A whole ton of people aren’t of the T/J persuasion and fall into the Feeling-Perceiver preference. The major conflict comes with the J vs P function and the (J) manager’s inability to be flexible to the (P) employee’s agile work mindset and methodology. As a (J) Judger, deadlines are met, tasks are checked off in a linear manner, and projects plow full steam ahead with little room to change direction. And for the corporate leader, this is a very desirable trait to have. As a (P) Perceiver, flexibility is a must. There needs to be room to adjust schedules and deadlines as things come up as they are guaranteed to do. The ability to be successful comes down to having room to fly by the seat of our collective pants.
In addition, having a preference for (F) Feeling over (T) thinking will cause strife when it comes to conflict resolution and interpersonal communication. (F)’s make considerations based on the group and who it will effect. They want to make sure there is a consensus and that the group comes away harmonious after a decision is made. The (T) wants to take an objective stance and be pragmatic. What is best for the business, despite the feelings of the group? What makes the most sense? So, the conflict is awfully apparent and is one of the harder workplace conflicts to reconcile in the short term.
My advice to those who consistently find themselves in this predicament is to consider starting your own business. Or, at the very least, finding an outlet where you can put your own schedule, talent, and creativity to the test. Most recently, I have spoken to a number of F/P types who are starting an Etsy page to sell their art or pursuing other creative avenues where their flexibility won’t be challenged, their timelines can be in flux, and not everything comes down to what is most pragmatic.
There is no better time than now to start pushing for the things you want out of life. The first step is to know yourself. Once you do that, consider if you are utilizing your strengths to their absolute max, or if you are being held back.
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