Being open. Being decided. Finding balance.

“The essence of the (Jung’s) theory is that much seemingly random variation in behavior is actually quite orderly and consistent, being due to the basic differences in the way individuals prefer to use their perception and judgment.”

Isabel Myers penned this in the first paragraph of Chapter One of the MBTI® Manual. It’s that important. People love type. It not only feels good to be validated in our preferences, but life gets better as we learn to relate to others across those “orderly and consistent” type differences.

You’ll recall that in type language Sensing and Intuition are different kinds of perception and that Thinking and Feeling are different kinds of judgment. We experience the reality of the processes of perceiving and judging every day – this is where the rubber hits the road.  As we look inward to ourselves and outward at others in our lives, we come to appreciate the need for a healthy balance between these two kinds of activities - between letting in information and drawing conclusions about that information.  Between experiencing life and holding our experiences to some kind of standard.  Between being open and being decided.

Finding this balance is important for us both personally and professionally. It’s important in our relationships, and in our participation in groups and organizations.
Balance is the key. People need to be able to perceive and to judge. The career client needs options and a way to evaluate those options. The leader needs the ability to gather/explore information and to decide/set direction.  Teams as a whole need balance – the capacity to let data in and the capacity to draw conclusions – so they can work together happily and effectively.  In our personal relationships, we often try to find the balance between being open to our partners – who they are, their input and their worlds – while also being able to draw conclusions, make decisions and have a stance of our own.
The MBTI Step I™, Step II™ and Step III™ versions provide us with plenty of material to help us grow and make constructive use of type differences.  Indeed, there are many good resources on the CAPT website that can provide us with type information and that can help us decide how we might best develop ourselves and honor the people in our lives. In all this good work on ourselves and with others, let’s never forget  that type development is about increasing balance and sophistication in our uses of perception and judgment. It’s fundamental.  Isabel Myers said it right there in the front of the manual – right where we would read it and get it.

CAPT Catalog

Here’s to finding the balance that’s right for you!



This post also appears in the new Spring/Summer 2012 CAPT Catalog

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