Many organisations use psychometric profiling to explore the personality types of their leaders, managers and staff. A popular and well-respected tool often used is the Myers Briggs Type Indicator or MBTI. Each personality type is accorded a four-letter code, such as ENTJ, or ISFP which summarises the profile on each of four key dimensions. The fourth of these letters indicates whether you are a Judger or a Perceiver, and this code is often much misunderstood, and yet it is very useful to understand how someone makes decisions.
The Judger/Perceiver dimension is sometimes entitled “Structure” – In dealing with the outside world, do you prefer to get things decided (This is called Judging) or do you prefer to stay open to new information and options (This is called Perceiving)? Judging and Perceiving behaviours are often visible in how a person organises their time. Judgers tend to like to know what’s happening. They may have ordered and regular habits, an efficient schedule and be good at planning and organising their time. Perceivers tend to like to keep room for the unexpected. They may have a flexible schedule, with spontaneous changes, and to be good at living in the moment, or going with the flow.
Broadly, the Judger filters towards decisions, whereas the Perceiver filters towards information. A judger will choose a course of action and the reward is the decision. A perceiver will explore all the alternatives, and the reward is the process of exploring the information. Metaphorically, a judger enjoys the destination; a perceiver enjoys the journey, detours and all.
If you are trying to determine someone else’s preference, you can often spot this when they are different from you. If you are a perceiver, you may find judgers too rigid, inflexible and unwilling to be spontaneous. If you are a judger, you may find perceivers to be chaotic, unpredictable and unreliable. On the other hand, you may value the benefits that the opposite profile has for you. Perceivers value judgers for their ability to organise and deliver on promises, to remember deadlines and to make firm decisions. Judgers value perceivers for their ability to think outside the box, to explore different avenues and to see all different sides to a situation.
Remember also, that this filter describes only what you can see on the outside – a Judger may have a very free-flowing and open-ended curiosity in their inner life, whilst presenting a judging exterior, focusing on pinning down decisions. A Perceiver may be very ordered and structured inside their heads, whilst presenting a flexible and spontaneous exterior, focusing on exploring all the options.
Myers Briggs profiles are based on four dimensions: Extravert/Introvert, Sensor/Intuitor, Thinker/Feeler, Judger Perceiver For more information, visit http://www.myersbriggs.org/
About our blog
A miscellany of articles and opinions on communication, leadership and management topics.