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Eliminate Confusion When Communicating Information Using Personality Type - Sensing-Intuition

Aug 7, 2008
The Sensing and Intuition scale represents the greatest potential for communication differences between people, since it really influences our worldview. And, when you remember that Sensing and Intuition are the two preferences for the cycle of behavior that has to do with Gathering INFORMATION it is easy to understand why the potential for confusion and chaos exists in communicating information when you don't understand and recognize someone's preference.

Since communication is a reflection of how we think, some of the best clues involve our language, including sentence structure and vocabulary. Sensors tend to communicate in an uncomplicated, straightforward manner, while Intuitives communicate in a more complicated round-about way.

If you hand a Sensor an apple and ask them to tell you about it, they are likely to tell you the name of the apple, i.e., McIntosh apple, and that it is round, has a brown stem and two green leaves coming out of the center, that it is cold and the skin is smooth. Sensors report as accurately as they can about what their senses are telling them about the object, what they can see, touch, smell, and hear.

If you ask the same question of an Intuitive, they may respond with a statement that apples have been around a long time, probably since the Garden of Eden, you can make pies, sauce, juice and a lot of great things from them, and they are good for you. Remember the saying that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. An Intuitive doesn't respond with specifics, but rather their associations with it.

Intuitive types are motivated by change and get enthusiastic about doing things differently and they want to share their inspirational ideas gained through their Intuition. These ideas start as abstract concepts, often not too complete with details.

Sensing types may be skeptical of theoretical concepts and want to see concrete evidence that the theory presented will work. Sensors want to hear and see specifics and factual information that is linked to reality and presented in a step-by-step format. They will ask practical questions and will want the details or the specific steps described.

Sensors usually speak and write in short sentences, containing one thought while an Intuitive writes sentences that tend to be long, rambling, and often trail off unfinished.

Intuitive types usually see a lot of questions as being overly limiting, nitpicky, challenging or demonstrating a lack of confidence. When the Intuitive type is unable to ground ideas with facts and details, the Sensing type will see the information being presented as unrealistic and impractical.

Intuitive types tend to use metaphors, analogies, and other abstract language. They use theoretical words and concepts. Sensing types prefer to speak in language that is literal and descritive. These two ways of using language are quite different and can block effective communication.

Sensors in Communication-
Anchored in reality and common sense
Practical and realistic
Observant and attend to details
Immediately apply communication

Communication Approach:
Seek facts, details and concrete examples
Like step-by-step explanations
Trust what has been tried and proven
Comfortable with familiarity and practicality

When Communicating With Sensors:
Be practical,ideas that are down-to-earth
Present Information sequentially
Show a plan and process for change
Use words that relate to sensory images

Intuitives in Communication-
Are open to possibilities
Anticipate and create change
Are future oriented, see trends
Generate ideas

Communication Approach:
Become bored with details
Like to brainstorm
See patterns and the big picture
Do not like to be hampered by limits

When Communicating With Intuitives:
Provide an overview first
Suspend reality when brainstorming
Share main points, then detail
Show future possibilities of your ideas
About the Author
Pamela Hollister, Author, INTJ, The PEOPLE Process
Understanding People is what it's all about. Personality type training products everyone can use.
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