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MBTI Part 3: Thinkers, Feelers, Judgers, and Perceivers

In our first post in this MBTI series, we talked about working together as a team, and made the point that we aren’t all the same, which means (a) we can’t treat everyone the same, and (b) teamwork is hard! However, doing work on your team will almost certainly result in a better-working team!

We also introduced the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, or MBTI, as a tool that may help you and your yearbook team better understand yourselves and each other, as well as where friction or challenges may arise.

Our second post talked about the first two letter pairs, E/I, extraversion and introversion, and N/S, intuition and sensing. We will cover the remaining two pairs here.

Are you a Thinker or a Feeler?

How do you make decisions? What do you take into account, what do you devalue, and what matters most in deciding?

Everyone uses Thinking for some decisions and Feeling for others. But they differ in the degree to which they lead with logic versus tastes and feelings; this is why we describe T and F as preferences. In fact, a person may make a decision using his or her preference, then test that decision by trying to use the other preference to see what might not have been taken into account.

Important note: Don't confuse Feeling with emotion; everyone has emotions about the decisions they make. And don’t confuse Thinking with intelligence; just because you’re a T doesn’t make you smarter than an F.

"Don't confuse Feeling with emotion; everyone has emotions about the decisions they make."



Step back and apply impersonal analysis and problem-solve

Apply personal values and consider the effect of an action on others

They value logic, justice and fairness- one objective standard for all

People- and situation-focused, attuned to subjective context, emphasizing empathy/harmony

Truth over tact

It’s as important to be tactful as it is to be truthful

Often motivated by desire for

achievement and accomplishment

​Often motivated by a desire to be appreciated

How Thinking Types Work (on average)

Where they struggle

Appreciate straightforward language and just-the-facts communication.

​May feel frustrated by the “people” part of situations; may be seen as blunt or rude

​Like work that requires order, critiquing, or finding inconsistencies

Positions that are not task-oriented may prove challenging

Try to avoid distractions, like feelings and other nonessentials, and keep the main thing the main thing

Jobs where rewards/promotions/

successes are not quantifiable may prove challenging

Ask questions about processes, decisions, priorities, etc.

When their question-asking is seen as ‘trouble-making’ or disrespectful

Use logical analysis to problem-solve

Sometimes (especially if they are also P’s), they may struggle to feel they have enough ‘facts’ to make a decision

How Feeling Types Work (on average)

Where they struggle

Day-to-day exposure to people and the human side of things is very important

​Ambivalence; can see both sides of an issue and struggle to decide. May sometimes have trouble enforcing rules or questioning others

Positive feedback either from clients or supervisors is a motivating factor

May feel unappreciated in settings that do not provide positive reinforcement or feedback

A successful workplace is measured in large part by people’s positive interactions

Competitive workplaces may feel disconcerting to people who seek harmony

What each Type can give to the team


● Will take a hard look at the pros and cons of situations, even when they have a

personal stake

● Able to analyze and solve problems with logic and reason

● Want to discover the “truth” and naturally notice logical inconsistencies

● Can improve ‘efficiency’ in the team.


● Know what is important to and for people, and adhere to that in the face of


● Have an ability to build relationships and be persuasive

● Want to uncover the greatest “good” in a situation and notice when people may

be harmed or left out

● Can improve ‘hospitality’ in the team

Again, this has nothing to do with intelligence or emotionality. A Feeler might be stoic, reserved, tough-minded and highly intelligent, but when they need to make an important decision, it will ultimately be based on values, conscience, and how the results of each option would make them feel. A Thinker might be sweet, caring and open with their emotions, but their decisions will center on which option is the most pragmatically useful for themselves and for others.


J or P: Are You Judging or Perceiving?

How do you view the world and your place in it? Is the world out there to be organized or experienced? Do you look for road signs or an open road? Is it about the destination or the journey? All of us have some of both; which do we prefer?

Remember, these names may mean something different than they do in common language. In this case judging does not mean being judgmental, and perceiving doesn’t mean being especially perceptive or observant, like Sherlock Holmes or something!

Judging usually means that when you receive some new input, you very quickly make a decision about it; good/bad, right/wrong, important/unimportant, reasonable/unreasonable, useful/not useful, etc. Perceiving usually means that you’re open to experiencing or observing new input, without having to put a label or a judgment on it.

People who tend to focus on making decisions have a preference for Judging because they tend to like things decided. People who tend to focus on taking in information prefer Perceiving because they keep their final decisions open in order to get more information.

"How do you view the world and your place in it? ...Is it about the destination or the journey?"

Judging Types

Perceiving Types

Need structure

Need spontaneity

​Happiest after making decisions

Happiest leaving options open

Work first, play later

Enjoy life now, work later

Prefer knowing what they are getting into

Like adapting to new situations


Change their goals as new information becomes available

Like finishing projects

Like starting new projects

Take deadlines seriously

View deadlines as suggestions

How Judging Types Work (on average)

Where they struggle

Want to plan their work and then work their plan

Frustrated by ambiguity, drawn-out decision-making, continuous change

Desire to get things settled and finished

Having to focus on minor improvements instead of timely completion of a project

Prefer to reach closure by deciding quickly

May struggle with last-minute changes, surprises, or disruptions

Really appreciate structure and schedules and punctuality and efficiency

When others have a different sense of priority, importance, urgency, especially if “waiting on” a P...

​How Perceiving Types Work (on average)

​Where they struggle

Really want flexibility and spontaneity in their work

​Often not great planners. Hate deadline pressure that leads to less-than-ideal final outcomes

Focus on enjoying the process: “Happy cows make better milk…”

​Being able to say “it’s finished” and sending it out

Love open-ended projects and flexible deadlines