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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 August 16, 2018

    10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

    10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

    The ability to take risks by stepping outside your comfort zone is the primary way by which we grow. But we are often afraid to take that first step.

    In truth, comfort zones are not really about comfort, they are about fear. Break the chains of fear to get outside. Once you do, you will learn to enjoy the process of taking risks and growing in the process.

    Here are 10 ways to help you step out of your comfort zone and get closer to success:

    1. Become aware of what’s outside of your comfort zone

    What are the things that you believe are worth doing but are afraid of doing yourself because of the potential for disappointment or failure?

    Draw a circle and write those things down outside the circle. This process will not only allow you to clearly identify your discomforts, but your comforts. Write identified comforts inside the circle.

    2. Become clear about what you are aiming to overcome

    Take the list of discomforts and go deeper. Remember, the primary emotion you are trying to overcome is fear.

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    How does this fear apply uniquely to each situation? Be very specific.

    Are you afraid of walking up to people and introducing yourself in social situations? Why? Is it because you are insecure about the sound of your voice? Are you insecure about your looks?

    Or, are you afraid of being ignored?

    3. Get comfortable with discomfort

    One way to get outside of your comfort zone is to literally expand it. Make it a goal to avoid running away from discomfort.

    Let’s stay with the theme of meeting people in social settings. If you start feeling a little panicked when talking to someone you’ve just met, try to stay with it a little longer than you normally would before retreating to comfort. If you stay long enough and practice often enough, it will start to become less uncomfortable.

    4. See failure as a teacher

    Many of us are so afraid of failure that we would rather do nothing than take a shot at our dreams.

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    Begin to treat failure as a teacher. What did you learn from the experience? How can you take that lesson to your next adventure to increase your chance of success?

    Many highly successful people failed plenty of times before they succeeded. Here’re some examples:

    10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On

    5. Take baby steps

    Don’t try to jump outside your comfort zone, you will likely become overwhelmed and jump right back in.

    Take small steps toward the fear you are trying to overcome. If you want to do public speaking, start by taking every opportunity to speak to small groups of people. You can even practice with family and friends.

    Take a look at this article on how you can start taking baby steps:

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    The Number One Secret to Life Success: Baby Steps

    6. Hang out with risk takers

    There is no substitute for this step. If you want to become better at something, you must start hanging out with the people who are doing what you want to do and start emulating them. (Here’re 8 Reasons Why Risk Takers Are More Likely To Be Successful).

    Almost inevitably, their influence will start have an effect on your behavior.

    7. Be honest with yourself when you are trying to make excuses

    Don’t say “Oh, I just don’t have the time for this right now.” Instead, be honest and say “I am afraid to do this.”

    Don’t make excuses, just be honest. You will be in a better place to confront what is truly bothering you and increase your chance of moving forward.

    8. Identify how stepping out will benefit you

    What will the ability to engage in public speaking do for your personal and professional growth? Keep these potential benefits in mind as motivations to push through fear.

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    9. Don’t take yourself too seriously

    Learn to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. Risk taking will inevitably involve failure and setbacks that will sometimes make you look foolish to others. Be happy to roll with the punches when others poke fun.

    If you aren’t convinced yet, check out these 6 Reasons Not to Take Life So Seriously.

    10. Focus on the fun

    Enjoy the process of stepping outside your safe boundaries. Enjoy the fun of discovering things about yourself that you may not have been aware of previously.

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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