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    Oct 31, 2016    |   Aidan Millar

Type Biases: Do You See what I See?

frog-48237_1280 (2)When groups of people are working together, the most effective teams utilize the skills associated with each type preference and they understand the value in constructive use of differences.
Unfortunately, our own type preferences can become biases that prevent us from accepting, embracing and utilizing the strengths of other peoples’ natural styles. At times – even amongst individuals familiar with type – it is hard to understand that what feels so natural and right for ourselves is not the way that others see the world and do things. This inability to relate or understand differences can sometimes equate to stereotypes or projections we place on others. Are you guilty of type biasing?

Some of the common biases we’ve heard include:

E-I Biases
Extraverts may think that Introverts withhold information on purpose, and tend to be uninterested or disengaged with what’s being communicated; meanwhile, Introverts
are thinking about the information internally. In most cases, their silence means they are engaged and listening intently.

Introverts may see Extraverts as superficial individuals who never stop talking about meaningless ideas; in actuality, Extraverts are only trying to work out ideas through conversation and interaction, at which point their refined and very meaningful plan will surface as a result.

S-N Biasesmeeting-1184892_1280-2
Sensors can view Intuitives as unrealistic people who take too broad of an approach to tasks and tend to exude “pie in the sky” ideals; realistically, Intuitives are focusing on the big picture, future possibilities and opportunities to improve.

Intuitives often see Sensors as picky and negative, and due to their realistic approach, that they are purposely putting up roadblocks; meanwhile, Sensors may simply be lacking appropriate information and are asking about practical matters related to implementation.

T-F Biases
Thinkers can believe that Feelers take things to personally and slow down the decision-making process; in fact, Feelers are only taking pause to consider the needs of others and how consensus and unity can be preserved – and justifyingly so.

Feelers may see Thinkers as critical and uncaring or callous; however, the intention of Thinkers is simply to analyze a situation objectively to arrive at a decision that maximizes the deliverable.

J-P Biases
Judgers can see Perceivers as lazy or as project saboteurs due to their ‘pressure prompted’ approach; in actuality, Perceivers are simply trying to gather more information before coming to a conclusion and do their best work when they are enabled to embrace this process.

Perceivers can see Judgers as rigid and restrictive; Judgers are really trying to keep work on track, and maintain comfort and engagement when there is a methodical approach.

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In order to overcome these type biases, be aware of your projections. By acknowledging that your preferences heavily influence how you interpret the behaviour of others, you will keep your own assumptions at bay. Additionally, try to remind yourself of the contributions that come from this alternative approach that may otherwise be overlooked. In this way, you will be granting your counterparts the benefit of the doubt, be more prepared to embrace their perspective, and make constructive use of your differences!

Finally, to inoculate yourself against biasing from others, try to voice your intentions more often. Be aware that the the impression you give often does equate to reality for other people and we want to avoid any negative misconception around our actions. By remembering to voice why we do what we do – or why we need what we need – we not only advocate for our approach in a positive way, but we may prevent the possibility of others negatively interpreting our behaviours.