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The P/J Divide

20 replies on 2 pages. Most recent reply: Jun 23, 2012 3:44 PM by Dawn Williams

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Michael Feathers

Posts: 448
Nickname: mfeathers
Registered: Jul, 2003

Re: The P/J Divide Posted: Sep 9, 2005 9:09 PM
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There's something strange about this topic, something I want to mention. One thing that is really odd about working with people and trying to help them work better together as a team is that you learn a lot about people when you interact with them but it seems sort of taboo to talk about it.

We all have differences but once you start to talk about, say, a type of person, well, you're instantly wrong because there are always exceptions. Worse than that, it is very easy to offend people when you generalize, so as a result we just don't really have many real discussions about attitudes and motivations, or so it seems to me.

Dave Nicolette

Posts: 6
Nickname: dnicolet
Registered: Sep, 2005

Re: The P/J Divide Posted: Sep 23, 2005 12:57 PM
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Sure there are exceptions, but that doesn't invalidate the generalizations as long as you keep in mind that they are only generalizations. I come out INTJ on those tests, and I haven't experienced any problems on Agile projects because of any need to see the structure in advance, as you noted.

So there's an apparent exception; only it isn't. Consistent with J leanings, it reflects the fact that after having analyzed the benefits of Agile methods and having experienced several successful Agile projects, the structure I "see in advance" is the "structure" of discovering the solution in the process of building it. I know it works. The technical details of the ultimate solution are irrelevant; the approach works, and the approach is the solution, in a sense.

I guess you never know how the P and J attributes will manifest. Maybe not always in the obvious or expected ways.

jens bendig

Posts: 9
Nickname: jensbendig
Registered: Jul, 2006

Re: The P/J Divide Posted: Jul 31, 2006 12:03 PM
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Hello Michael,

I just want to drop you a notice that your article is related to the topic of "Thinking Strategies", what is a hobby of mine.

An important rule in creative thinking is to combine convergent and divergent strategies. Maybe following this hint could be something interesting for you.
(i.e. "de bono" is an author who wriote a lot about that...)

yours,

jens

jens bendig

Posts: 9
Nickname: jensbendig
Registered: Jul, 2006

Re: The P/J Divide Posted: Aug 3, 2006 5:42 PM
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Hello Michael Feathers,

I felt encouraged to make the Briggs-Test as well because I was shure, that I would come out of the test, not with an I at the beginning but with an E.

Surprisingly, I am INFJ. Ok, thank god I am Introverted (22%).
But what about that f... F? Maybe that´s why I like comments?
And then: The N is quite strong (63%)! that means, I am not writing code, I produce poems in C++ or what?

And - more surprising - that system of typing seems to work! The Articles about INFJ-People are reading as if the authors would know me! Fascinating.

However, an interesting topic!

Yours,

Jens

mister sir

Posts: 1
Nickname: mcgooglian
Registered: Aug, 2008

Re: The P/J Divide Posted: Aug 26, 2008 1:11 AM
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I'm an ISTP and one of the biggest problems I've had is the fact that when it comes to stuff like computers, I can just go on them and figure out exactly what to do without looking at instructions (natural trouble-shooting, hands-on approach, and internal thinking being parts of the istp). This may not seem like a problem, but what the problem is, is it makes it seem like I know a lot more about computers and other stuff like that than I actually do, so I get asked about or to do stuff I don't know a thing about which ISTP's as a general personality group, don't like.

Dawn Williams

Posts: 1
Nickname: dawilliams
Registered: Jun, 2012

Re: The P/J Divide Posted: Jun 23, 2012 3:44 PM
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Interesting debate about the dangers of personality tests. The Myers-Brig test failed me a few times too - I took it twice and got very different results each time. However, I think the theory - especially as further developed by Keirsey - is sound (Keirsey is also INTP, btw). In his book Please Understand Me II, he clarifies the distinctions and characteristics with precise and thorough explanations so that I can no longer say what I used to say - and what I hear many of you saying, that "there are always going to be exceptions."

Temperaments will always tend toward certain characteristics unless interfered with by outside influences (e.g. SJ parents punishing SP children for wasting their time on art), and even then, they remain latent.

Many of the adjectives that Myers-Briggs (who were NF rather than the more rational NT) uses to describe the preferences are overly generalized, whereas Keirsey fleshes these characteristics out with nuance and clarity. For instance, according to MB, J's tend to be on time and quick with decisions, but, in fact, the INTJ (because of the demands of the NT complex) tends to constantly lose track of the time and spend much time proofing a decision against error before actually making it. Thus, while they are still quite J - clear about their decisions, perhaps somewhat bossy - they do not exhibit MB's rather superficial distinctions.

If you really want to learn more about the personalities, you should read Keirsey's Please Understand Me II. His analysis of the personalities is much more precise than Myers Briggs, and you will be able to find yourself disambiguated within his pages.

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