Can you think back to a time when life seemed much more simple? When you were a kid and one of your biggest priorities was the playground?
On the playground, there always seemed to be two types of kids.
There was the type that was always organizing the kickball game. These kids would tell others where to stand or tell others what position they were playing. These kids always seemed like the ones in charge.
There were also the type of kids who stood in the outfield and picked daisies. Or if they did not want to play kickball that day, they would go over and see what the four square kids were up to. It really depended on the day and how they were feeling; there seemed to be no care about which game to play on the playground that day.
Well as we are all adults now, those preferences from when we were younger often follow us throughout our lives.
These preferences in our personality are the Judging and Feeling MBTI types. These types really have distinct energies between them and how each type lives their lives and how these types play out in the workplace.
When it comes to management, we think back to those kids who organized every part of the kickball game. Those types would be Judgers. They are the more natural managers, especially in the United States culture. This type reflects the more typical management style we see. Judgers thrive off of structure, systems, routines, checklists, and are skilled at time management.
The kids who picked daisies or changed what game they played everyday would be typed as a Perceiver. Perceivers are more spontaneous and go with the flow; they live their lives more flexibly.
A common difference between the two types is that Judgers manage their lives and Perceivers live their lives.
I, for example, am a Judger.
I can pretty much tell you everything I am doing tomorrow based off of my schedule. I really need to separate out work and play. I will not be able to relax at the end of a long workday if I did not get everything done on my checklist; it would disrupt my ability to unwind.
My partner on the other hand, is a total Perceiver. If you asked what they were doing tomorrow, they would tell you it really depends on how they feel when they wake up. Play and work can be easily intertwined for Perceivers.
As you can see, there are two totally different energies and distinct differences between the two types.
But that does not mean Perceives cannot be managers.
Perceivers as managers just have a much different style of managing. It's often classified as “out of the box”. Perceivers as managers have an atypical management style that is more flexible, easy-going and maybe even more innovative.
Perceivers also have a harder time finishing things. A lot of their energy is focused on starting a task, in which they are really easily motivated. However, deadlines and finishing the task are where P’s struggle.
Judgers are the opposite, they do not feel accomplished until the task is finished.
With all of these differences, it is really not a matter of who is a “better” manager when it comes to Judgers versus Perceivers.
However, we do live in a culture that traditionally values Judgers as managers.
Perceivers as managers may often receive a lot of grief or bias towards their management style due to the untraditional aspects of it.
Management styles may also make more of a difference when looking at success across various industries. If you think about it...J’s are more likely to thrive in business or financial worlds, compared to P’s who may get more out of a creative sphere.
Again, it is not a matter of what type is a “better” manager. It's about recognizing and valuing the differences.
So who were you on the playground...?
A little Judger who made sure the kickball game ran smoothly? Or a little Perceiver who was able to be flexible and play any game you chose?
Yours in Innovation,
Kate is an INFJ-3 on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Enneagram.