Welcome back to the latest installment of our 3 Common Miscommunications series. In previous weeks we’ve covered miscommunications among Extroverts and Introverts, Sensors and Intuitives, and Thinkers and Feelers. Today we continue by examining Judging (J) vs. Perceiving (P).
For those of you who are not familiar with Myers-Briggs, Judging (J) vs. Perceiving (P) is the dichotomy that rules how we structure our lives. People who prefer Judging like organization and structure. They prefer hard deadlines, prefer to schedule their day in advance, and usually keep their workspaces neat and organized. People who prefer Perceiving favor flexibility. They have no problem pushing deadlines back, go with the flow, and prefer to leave wiggle room in their schedules. Their workspaces are typically “organized chaos”, but they are still able to get things done effectively. If you don’t know your personality type, you can take a free test here. I must point out that this is the dichotomy that causes the most conflict in personal and professional relationships. With that said, I could probably name 10 common miscommunications between people who differ on J and P. But for the sake of uniformity, I’ll list three.
Everything Has Its Proper Place
Judger: “Why didn’t you put the ______ back where you found it?”
Perceiver: “Why do you have OCD?”
Judgers believe that everything has a proper place. They organize their homes in a way that they feel increases convenience, and that allows them to keep up with items. Perceivers on the other hand do not place a priority on organization, and after using an item will either 1) leave it where they last used it, or 2) approximate where it was at, and attempt to put it back (which is usually wrong). The reason for this difference is that Judgers like to come to conclusions. They like predictability and want to be able to organize the world around them to reduce surprises. Perceivers on the other hand, are open ended and enjoy freedom. They are comfortable with uncertainty, and don’t prioritize reducing unpredictability. Therefore, they do not feel the same urge to organize their environment that Judgers experience. This issue can be resolved by just accepting their differences. Judgers are highly critical of how Perceivers manage their time and resources, and Perceivers feel that Judgers are too rigid. Neither approach is wrong, they are just suitable for different situations.
Judger: “15 minutes early is on time.”
Perceiver: “I’ll be 15 minutes late”
A second area of miscommunication is appointments. Judgers tend to plan in advance, and treat appointments as permanent and sacred. Perceivers, on the other hand, are more adaptable when it comes to appointments. If the appointment is extremely important (i.e. a job interview, work), the Perceiver will get there on time. But if it’s more of a casual appointment (i.e. coffee, social dinner, etc.), they’re more likely to be a few minutes late. Perceivers feel constrained when they are overly scheduled, and the reason is because they tend to react to events in the present moment. This throws them off schedule. Judgers on the other hand have a linear approach, and will put off events in the present moment to focus on meeting their current objective. The video below illustrates this point beautifully.
To overcome this miscommunication, the Judger should 1) tell the Perceiver a time that is actually about a half hour before when they’d like to meet, or 2) allow a 15 minute grace period. On their end, the Perceiver should work on prioritizing all appointments, and putting forth effort to honor them in a timely manner.
Judger: “We’re a week behind schedule!”
Perceiver: “Don’t worry about it, it’ll get done.”
Judgers and Perceivers have completely different work styles. Once the Judger identifies an objective, they develop a schedule for benchmarks and then proceed to follow it. They monitor their progress weekly, and make sure they stay on schedule. Perceivers, on the other hand, like to go with the flow. They tend to put off starting, and give themselves a short window for completing the objective. This miscommunication is actually one of the biggest conflicts between Judgers and Perceivers. Judgers feel that since the Perceiver is behind THEIR schedule, the Perceiver will be unable to complete the task. On the other hand, the Perceiver may start later than the Judger, but will put forth a super human effort to complete the task on time. And here’s the kicker, though the Perceiver started later, they’re work will be just as good as the Judger’s (provided they have similar knowledge, skills, and abilities). This miscommunication can be resolved by accepting each other’s work styles, and devising a strategy that caters to both approaches.
Those are a few common miscommunications I see between Judgers and Perceivers. Can you think of any else?