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Sensors and Intuitives: How to Bridge the Communication Gap

Sensors and Intuitives: How to Bridge the Communication Gap

    Have you ever given an explanation that your listener wasn’t able to understand? Sometimes, it’s because of an intellectual gap, but that’s not always the case.

    Quite often, the miscommunication is caused by the difference in how we absorb information. Understanding that difference will help you communicate better with the people around you: your spouse, your family, your friends, your colleagues, and your customers.

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    In Psychological Types, one of psychologist Carl Jung‘s most famous works, he differentiated between the two ways by which we take in information: sensation and intuition. He called these the “perceiving functions.” Following the MBTI interpretation of Jung’s work, each personality type has the tendency to use one of these more than the other. You’re either a sensor or an intuitive in one of MBTI’s 16 personality types.

    In a nutshell, here’s the difference between the two functions:

    Sensation

    Sensation, according to Jung, is conscious perception. It’s perceiving things one by one, as they are, or at least what the person has sensed about them. The information that a sensor gets is quite simple and specific:

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    • This road is winding.
    • I got dizzy driving along a winding road before.
    • It’s cold inside the car.
    • There’s a big house at the corner of the street.
    • I spent my holidays last year there.
    • There’s a woman sitting beside me.
    • I met her a month ago.

    Simple, isn’t it? The process of sensation stops at exactly what is sensed; as a function, it doesn’t attribute any meaning to what the mind has received as sensation.

    Intuition

    Intuition, on the other hand, is unconscious perception. It’s perceiving a number of things at one time in terms of what they’re related to, how they came about, and what they could be. Intuition uses data gathered through the senses to generate ideas, see possibilities, make frameworks, and grasp meaning.

    Intuitives “see through” things (and people)—they tend to think that reality is a lot more than what it seems to be. An intuitive’s mind is filled with predictions and associations:

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    • This road will make me dizzy.
    • I’ve always had more fun spending vacationing at my parents than with my friends. Why is that?
    • I’m probably a sentimental person.
    • This girl I’m dating doesn’t seem as sentimental as I am.
    • Will she like spending the holidays with my folks?
    • I should check out ladies who like romcom in the dating site I’m at.

    Intuition forms a complex web of data out of the individual sense data that it receives. As such, the thoughts of an intuitive are inherently non-linear, and often difficult to express.

    How do we communicate to each type?

    Sensors thrive on clarity.

    If you’d like them to understand what you’re saying, be as specific and concrete as possible. Lay things down step by step, in a linear fashion, and using observable reality as your tool. If you can give them things to see, hear, smell, touch and taste to get the message across, do it. Do not explain; demonstrate. Be generous with your examples.

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    The difficulty lies in explaining abstract things to sensors. I once told my mom and my sister, both sensors, about a revolutionary business model I had in mind. After talking about my vision, how the model would work, and how it would help people, I got blank stares. Then they asked me to make a PowerPoint presentation about it. Since I didn’t need them to understand it anyway, I told them I’ll just build the business and they’ll see what I mean. But if I really needed them to, I’d make that PowerPoint, fill it with photos, and give as many examples as I could.

    On the other hand, intuitives associate ideas with one another.

    They love analogies, similes, charts, matrices and outlines. The intuitives I know enjoy mind map presentations more than sequential slide presentations. Present your points from varying points of view, not just one. Debate with them, make them think, encourage them to envision possibilities.

    The difficulty with intuitives is that if your point doesn’t reach the level of a framework, you’ll be forgotten. Intuitives have weak memory for individual data because they hardly even absorb them. If the intuitive doesn’t associate it, he most likely won’t remember it. My mom saw this in me when I was a child: I retained a lot of what I learned in school, but when she asked me what kinds of food my best friend would bring for lunch, I was totally blank.

    Do you think you’re sensor or an intuitive? How about your boss? Your colleagues? Your customers? Have you ever had difficulty communicating with the opposite type? Has this difference ever gotten you into trouble?

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    Last Updated on February 18, 2019

    Why It’s Never Too Late To Redefine Yourself

    Why It’s Never Too Late To Redefine Yourself

    The ability to reinvent and redefine yourself is a bold, daring and purposeful choice. It doesn’t just happen. You have to make a conscious, intentional choice and then follow through.

    If the thought of forging a new path, changing habits, thought patterns and your inner circle of friends scares you – you’re not alone. Change can be a very scary thing. It takes courage, fortitude and a bit of faith to decide to shed your old self and don a new persona. However, it is one of the most critical processes one must repeatedly endure in the pursuit of destiny. Change unlocks new levels of potential.

    The Need for Change

    Everyday when we wake up, we make a decision. We decide to follow our routine or we decide to go off script and shake things up a bit. For those who are creatures of habit, routine is comfortable, easy and produces very little stress. The problem with this is, after a while you stop growing.

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    We all reinvent ourselves at some point in our lives. It is absolutely necessary to achieve certain levels of success.

    Reflect back on who you were as a teenager and then who you were at 25. Those are two very different people. Most of us are completely different. Your thought patterns changed, your appearance, job, level of education and even your friends– changed. We like to refer to this as “growing up” or maturing and consider it to be one of life’s natural progressions. However the changes you made were purposeful and deliberate.

    This process must be a lifelong and continuous cycle. You are never too old to refresh yourself.

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    Happy_old_man

      Signs It’s Time to Redefine

      “Just as established products and brands need updating to stay alive and vibrant, you periodically need to refresh or reinvent yourself.”– Mireille Guiliano

      So how do you know when it’s time for a system upgrade? There are signs along the way that alert you that it is time for an overhaul. The first sign is the feeling of being stuck. If you feel like you are in a rut, you’re bored with life or you need some newness and excitement, a self reinvention may be in order. Re-evaluate your life vision and your goals. Is that vision still valid and are your goals consistent with your vision and–are they achievable? If you are off course, it’s time for a change. If you are not moving forward and making progress, it’s time for a change.

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      In life, there’s no such thing as neutrality–you’re either moving forward or you are moving backward. Time constantly moves forward and if you are standing still, you are actually losing ground. No matter your age or stage in life– there is always room for improvement.

      “You’re never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream.” ~C. S. Lewis

      The second sign that you are due for a change is the occurrence of major life events in which change is forced upon you. Getting married, starting a new job, being promoted, ending a relationship, becoming a parenting or relocating are all prime opportunities to completely overhaul your life.

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      When these major shifts occur in your life–you have to shift with them. You can’t have a single mentality and have a successful marriage. You can’t remain selfish and irresponsible, and raise a healthy, well-adjusted child. You can’t be promoted to a supervisory position and keep the same subordinate attitude. Each level of success requires something different from you.

      Aronld in Predator

        Consider, for a moment, Arnold Schwarzenegger. People may have different opinions about his character and some of his life choices, but he is a master at reinventing himself. He achieved the ultimate success as a professional body builder by earning the title “Mr. Universe” three times. He then earned a tremendous amount of fame and fortune in the entertainment industry making action/adventure films. And in his latest role, he served two terms as the Governor of California. He succeeded as a professional body builder, a film star and a politician. Each role required massive amounts of change, commitment, strength and hard work.

        And if Arnold can do it…so can you!

        Featured photo credit: BK via flickr.com

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