I recently attended a Type conference in Europe organized every two years in various cities in Europe by the British Association of Psychological Type (BATP) to connect Type Practitioners to share ideas, exchange new stuffs and practices in the industry. Most of the attendants are coaches, consultants, corporate trainers, entrepreneurs, psychologists, psychoanalysts and researchers.
One workshop I attended was Time Management for NFP types, referring to people with preferences for Intuition, Feeling and Perceiving (ENFPs and INFPs).
(Thanks to Carol Parkes, a Jungian Type expert, who provided the following insights.)
Leadership vs. Management
Leadership is doing the right things while Management is doing things right. Most time management techniques are geared toward specific tasks and goals which can be challenging for NFPs. Instead, focus more on the direction, the right things to do and then work yourself toward that direction.
American author and speaker John Maxwell says “Be stubborn about the vision but flexible with your plan.” Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder, echoes “We are stubborn on vision. We are flexible on details.”
Balance Value vs. Exploring
Exploring possibilities and seeking novelty are two common tendencies for Extraverted Intuition, the mental function which plays the dominant role for ENFPs and supporting for INFPs. These types are primed to seek new experiences, learn new things and energized by lots of possibilities.
However, too much of exploration and living in the future mean these types might spend their life, wasting time and squandering mental and physical energy to seek new experiences without ever coming to closure and making decision on what to do with the load of inputs.
To gain balance, pay attention to the Introverted Feeling, find and decide on what are truly important and try to live life in that direction.
Idealism vs. Action
NF or Intuition-Feeling corresponds to the Idealist temperament, define by David Keirsey. The core of this temperament is to seek meaning, authenticity and purpose: “What they hope for and imagine might be possible for people, and they want to act in good conscience, always trying to reach their goals without compromising their personal code of ethics.”
Below is a brief summary of Keirsey’s four temperaments.
(Preference for Intuition and Feeling)
Passionately concerned with personal growth and development. Idealists strive to discover who they are and how they can become their best possible self — always this quest for self-knowledge and self-improvement drives their imagination. And they want to help others make the journey.
(Preference for Sensing and Judging)
The cornerstone of society, for they are the temperament given to serving and preserving our most important social institutions. Guardians have natural talent in managing goods and services–from supervision to maintenance and supply — and they use all their skills to keep things running smoothly.
(Preference for Intuition and Thinking)
The problem solving temperament, particularly if the problem has to do with the many complex systems that make up the world around us. Whatever systems fire their curiosity, Rationals will analyze them to understand how they work, so they can figure out how to make them work better.
(Preference for Sensing and Perceiving)
Natural ability to excel in any of the arts, not only the fine arts such as painting and sculpting, or the performing arts such as music, theater, and dance, but also the athletic, military, political, mechanical, and industrial arts, as well as the “art of the deal” in business.
The Idealism trap can paralyze NFPs who fail to take action because the situations don’t live up to their ideal, perfect vision.
Be a good Nike sport and “Just Do It”.
Manage the “P” Burst
Judgers and Perceivers usually don’t work the same way. “Judgers” probably know what they have to do, will likely have a plan, set goals and establish mini milestones along the way to reaching these goals. They tend to work consistently or make visible progress.
“Perceivers” often work in bursts of energy, bubbly excited in the beginning, overwhelming panic near the end and alarmingly quiet in between. They might not care knowing exactly what they have to do. They likely consider many different kinds of possibilities. They might have a plan or they might not. When they do, you still open to information and other options. Because of this, while they do deliver results, they might miss a few deadlines here and there and sometimes don’t seem to make the kind of progress which Judgers do.
For these types, it’s highly recommended to to make proper preparation, gather information and resource beforehand to be ready to work when those energy bursts hit them.
Use Time Your Way
Embrace your natural Perceiving preference and not bend over backward to become a Judger who has a natural relationship to time and schedule. Have fun with it and do it your way.
Keep on Checking for Congruence
Harmonize your thoughts and behaviors. Manage your time to be effective is important, but it’s more important to align what you think you should do.
Agree? Disagree. Share your thoughts.
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