The thinking and feeling dichotomy is a leading cause of conflict and stress at work. Thinkers quickly critique, and Feelers quickly appreciate. Thinkers see team conflicts as a lack of clarity in roles and responsibilities, and they look for a logical remedy to fix things.
Feelers see the problem relationally and approach the discord by coming up with ways team members can get to know each other better. Once you appreciate and understand your co-workers’ style preferences, you are more likely to accommodate differences and understand that you need each other.
When feeling types are faced with difficult work-related decisions, they tend to focus on how the decision will affect the people involved. Feelers listen sympathetically to the swirl of thoughts and opinions of team members with the strong hope that harmony will be the end result.
While it is admirable and important to acknowledge the input of co-workers, the Feeler should be reminded of the adage, “You can’t please everyone all the time.” To balance their anxiety regarding people’s reactions, Feelers can shift to the Thinker side to include a more analytical decision approach zeroing in on data and facts.
Conversely, Thinkers quickly move to the rational side when making work decisions using their tough-minded logic to analyze the issues. They tend to keep people out of the equation and welcome criticism as they sort out a resolution, without taking it personally. A rational approach is highly valuable, but Thinkers should press pause before moving on a final decision and consider the human factor too.
Both Thinkers and Feelers desire positive outcomes to their decisions but initially lean toward the approach that feels most natural. Neither preference style is better than the other. Solid decisions are built from a foundation of being open to different perspectives.
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