By Anne Murray
Listen to an interview with Anne Murray on Inside The Speaker Studio.
Why do some people attack your ideas publicly, criticize you frequently, find it difficult to be tactful, insist on their view of what is logical, fail to give compliments, and then expect you to want to work with them? Why do others give compliments and appreciation, support your ideas in meetings, make suggestions for improvement tactfully and privately, look for the positive and then expect you to want to work with them? What about your customers? Are some of them “cold pricklies”, wanting brief and businesslike transactions, while others appear to be “warm fuzzies”, wanting personal interactions before discussing the business at hand?
Because we approach decision-making with a preference for Thinking (T) or Feeling(F) we expect others to think and behave as we do. When they don’t, we label them as too weird to live, much less work here. In the South, we say they need “fixin”. We have just the tools to fix them. If only we could hammer out of them what is different from us our lives would be simpler. When these differences are not recognized and managed, conflicts erupt, communication ceases and misunderstandings are perpetuated, resulting in decreased productivity and hurt feelings. We enter the workplace 50% F and 50% T. However, 60% of males prefer Thinking and 60% of females prefer Feeling. This preference can cause stereotypical assumptions by men of women, by women of men, by men of men and by women of women! Many women (about 40%) are “cold pricklies” and many men (about 40%) are “warm fuzzies”.
Thinkers tend to be cool, objective, impersonal, principled, analytical, critical “fix-it” people. Feelers tend to be warm, personal, involved, value based “feel-it” people. Thinkers tend to look for what is wrong, criticize it, fix it, and expect to be thanked. Feelers tend to look for what is right, find it, appreciate it, and expect to be thanked. Then they marry each other!
Feelers dislike conflict and need harmony at work. Thinkers see conflict as opportunity and invite confrontation. Thinkers fight and forget. Feelers almost never fight; when they do they never forget!
Many of us report to a boss or supervise others who prefer the opposite decision-making function. When Feeling women work with Thinking women they often call them a name that rhymes with “witch”. Thinking women frequently see feeling women as “pushovers” and lose respect for them. Feeling men feel pressure to behave in Thinking ways at work. They often feel they must masquerade each day as T’s and are in danger of losing valuable parts of themselves. Each may fail to understand the other. How, then, can we possibly honor and respect each other?
Obviously, Thinkers Feel and Feelers Think. We will, however, prefer one function over the other when we are at rest and we will extravert one and introvert the other. What people see is not necessarily what they will get!
This difference in decision-making has daily implications for us at work. By understanding both functions we can return to our places of work with new insights into why our coworkers do what they do and say what they say. In addition, we can learn to quickly “read” whether the customer/client/patient/physician prefers thinking responses or feeling responses to their questions and concerns.
Many women report to a boss or supervise others who prefer the opposite decision-making function. When feeling women work with thinking women they often call them a name that rhymes with “witch”. Thinking women frequently see feeling women as “pushovers” and lose respect for them. Each may fail to understand the other. How, then, can they possibly honor and respect each other?
Most Feelers have learned to use Thinking language to communicate Feeling-based decisions in the workplace, where the Thinking function tends to be valued over the Feeling function. Of the Fortune 500 CEO’s, 95% report that they prefer Thinking to Feeling. I don’t believe that is accurate. They report what they think they “should” report to be perceived as effective in a business setting. In relationships, the Feeling values are most rewarded. The Thinker is at a decided disadvantage in intimate relationships. Both the T and F are valuable and both functions must be utilized in making sound decisions.
Anne Murray can bring this information to your conference or meeting in the form of a workshop or keynote. Special attention will be paid to conflicts in relationships arising from this difference. Men preferring Thinking will learn why they may come across as saying “Me Tarzan, You Jane; Me Smart, You Stupid”. Men who prefer Feeling seek their soul mates and will learn why they are unintentional, yet naturally occurring Babe Magnets. Thinking women will learn what to expect in marriage to a Feeling man (generally not the best fit), while Feeling women will learn why they may be universally appealing to either Thinkers or Feelers. Thinking men will discover that they may simply have married whoever was willing to pursue them!
Handout materials include descriptions of Thinking and Feeling, what each looks like at work, how each prefers communication, how each prefers to resolve conflict, what each needs to be persuaded to embrace change and how the T/F preference impacts marriage and parenting.
Highly experiential and interactive, this seminar focuses on self-assessment and humor based descriptions of differences. We will focus on communication patterns of each, giftedness of each function, how each hurts the feelings of the other, implications for sales, and strategies for easing the tension between Thinkers and Feelers so each may work and live in harmony with the other. Contact The Speaker Studio for Anne’s availability.