Posts Tagged ‘Thinking’

When shopping on line when do you decide to purchase? If the features are fairly close to what you want do you go ahead and buy? Or, do you search and search until all the facts have been gathered before making a decision?

What about when you are on the road? At the end of the day would you like to go explore a new restaurant with one of your fellow team members or does going back to the hotel room to just “be” feel best?

In the previous blog gathering and processing information preferences were discussed. Here we will look at the two other major components that go into determining one’s temperament, orientation and energy source. As with the gathering and processing of information what is discussed below is about preference. Each of us practices all the temperament traits but, based on neural wiring, we have preferred ways of orienting and getting energy.

Orientation

Orientation refers to how we prefer to interface with the outside world. There are two approaches:

Judging, or J, which means there is a desire to come to closure on an issue. The person who buys on-line once fairly close to the desired goal is J, and;

Perceiving, or P, which means there is the desire to get more information. The person who researches on-line (even after making the purchase) is P.

Let’s avoid some common misperceptions regarding these terms. Judging is different than being judgmental. To repeat, judging is the desire for closure and is neutral. Being judgmental is making value statements, e.g., “That person is good (or bad, as the case may be).” Perceiving is the desire to gather information. It is separate from having insight or a crystal ball.

Energy

There are two possibilities for gaining energy:

Extraverts, or E’s, gain energy from being around others, socializing, and wanting to deal with exterior things. E’s can tend to make a lot of contacts without going deep, and;

Introverts, or I’s, who prefer going off by themselves to gain energy and turn inward. I’s can tend to have few contacts and go deep into relationships.

E’s are often called “solar panels” because they like excitement and going around soaking up other’s energy. I’s are often called “batteries” since going off and recharging depleted energy stores is a must.

Keep in mind; it’s where one gets energy that determines whether their temperament is E or I. In other words, you can have quiet Extraverts and energetic Introverts. A shy person can be an E and someone who is “out there” can be an I. Culturally, there is a good deal of confusion over this issue which leads to misunderstandings. You can thank Freud for a lot of this because of his big investment in trying to tear down Jung through trash-talking. But that’s fodder for another blog.

Energy, Orientation, and Teams

What value does all this have? The answer is simple. Knowing how a person gets energy and their orientation can both explain and help resolve conflict. For example, an EJ (Extraverted-Judger) may get tired of working on a task, feel he’s done enough, and want to improve his sense of well being by talking with someone and getting their attention. If the person whom they approach is IP (Introverted-Perceiver) then sparks can fly. Why? The IP could get his sense of well-being by being left alone to both stay centered and go deep on a particular task and get more information. You can see where this is going.

When we look at the combinations associated with E vs I and J vs P it becomes increasingly obvious how holding a team together can be a big challenge. But let’s not stop there. Throw in Sensing (S) vs Intuition (N) and Feeling (F) vs Thinking (T) from the previous blog and we are off to the races!

Future blogs will look at issues associated with all the combinations. As Dickens would say, “It can be the best of times and the worst of times.”

Think for the Future

by Guy Ralfe on September 29, 2009

thought-and-art-the-thinker1Have you noticed how on occasions you may have done something and it occupies your mind for days wondering what the outcome will be? It continues to consume your thought when you are at an unrelated place doing something else. Have you noticed how your body tenses in response to the thoughts of situations you are not in? All these are reactions to thoughts you are not in a position to act  to rectify or change. Often these are related to actions and situations that are in the past.

All this does is rob us of valuable limited energy and time we have to think, which in turn reduces our ability to act and take care of what really matters to us.

I was recently back in South Africa with my laptop and thought it would be a good idea to catch up on my e-information habit after 10 days of abstinence.  I was told that where we were staying had a high speed broadband internet connection and I couldn’t wait to get on (with) it. So I connected my laptop and then the world seemed to stop… everything just seemed to take forever.

It felt like someone had sold me out on a dial-up camouflaged as broadband, but the speeds were 300/800kb. My analytical mind persisted… the next thought was: “Maybe speed is just relative to what you are used to”. For those on dial-up it would have felt very fast, where as my 5/15Mb home connection made it feel ridiculously slow. I began to ask myself how do they work with this connection, this must be costing so much in productivity?

As I got more and more frustrated with the experience I started to turn off all the ancillary messengers, auto update and other background tasks running on my computer. It took a while but slowly it began to feel like the connection was representational of what I had become accustomed to in the USA. It wasn’t the connection that was the issue but how I used it that made the difference!

I like to think of our brain as being a bit like an internet connection, we are given a set amount of bandwidth that we can utilize at any given time, but we decide how we utilize this bandwidth and that is where the power of our judgment comes into play. For most of us, I speculate, we do not even think about the consequences of our thoughts, it just happens much like we breathe and our heart keeps pumping. Making the best use of our brain’s bandwidth is critical to ensure we make effective actions, which is what ultimately determines our future.

Here are some actions to help manage these bandwidth thieves:

  1. Start to notice when you are being gripped by these interrupting thoughts – particularly those beyond your control, relate to situations that have already occurred or will have little consequence on your future.
  2. Make an assessment of the impact on your future – spend a short time, no more than 15 minutes, concluding what you should have done or will do in a particular outcome. If it has no impact on your future then be at peace with your decision, close the thought and agree with yourself this is what it is. If it does have an impact on your future then it is a thought you need to act on. You need to find help if you cannot resolve it yourself.
  3. The next time the thought enters your head – you revert to your conclusion from step above. Do not reevaluate your conclusion as that is just adding fuel to the fire and ultimately utilizes more unnecessary thought.
  4. Be at peace with yourself and your decisions – it is highly unlikely others are affected the way you perceive the situation. Do not worry, worrying has never solved a situation to date only action has!

Think of your brain as a pipe through which you have to pour water, the more water through the pipe (representing active thought to produce action) the more effective you will be in your life. Do not let residue build up in the pipe that slows the flow of thoughts, especially when this residue produces no actions towards your future.

Make every thought count, keep thinking about the future!