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By Shawn Bakker

Coaching often focuses on helping people recognize their natural preferences, while also learning to operate outside them when necessary. This month we are discussing tips that can be used to help people being coached to foster overall growth or to target needed adaptations to a work environment. We will look at how people can practice Thinking, Feeling, Judging, and Perceiving.

People with a preference for Thinking can practice Feeling by:

  • Keep track of your ratio of compliments to criticism. Try to maintain an appropriate balance.
  • Find ways to be more appreciative.
  • Tell people what you value about him or her without discussing his or her accomplishments.

People with a preference for Feeling can practice Thinking by:

  • Practice giving simple, direct feedback to others.
  • Remember that to some people, business means business, and they would rather not establish friendships.
  • Ask yourself if-then and cause-effect questions.

People with a preference for Judging can practice Perceiving by:

  • Add some contingencies to your planned processes.
  • Give yourself some extra time to gather information.
  • When solving problems, think of several options beside the one you think is correct.

People with a preference for Perceiving can practice Judging by:

  • Place limits on yourself by setting a deadline for generating ideas and gather information.
  • With less-important tasks, practice completing them a day or two before the deadline.
  • Resist the temptation to attend to “just one more thing.”


If you would like to learn more about how personality type can be used in coaching, read “Introduction to Type and Coaching,” by Sandra Krebs Hirsch and Jane Kise.

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