Part 8: Spontaneous Preference

Part 8: Spontaneous Preference

MBTI’s word Perceptive in describing part of Lifestyle Preference is also a good word choice but, again, clients seemed to relate more readily to Spontaneous or Unstructured when trying to get a handle on this lifestyle preference. I kept the letter P by using the P in sPontaneous . So in this study sPontaneous/Unstructured (Perceptive).

Follow Your Impulse

The sPontaneous group has been gifted with a play ethic. “Work, it must be fun”, is their motto, qualified by ‘I’ll do it later!’

Because they dislike being told what to do themselves, they prefer not to be in charge. ‘Independent’ and ‘stubborn’ describe most of them to some degree. The sPontaneous crowd does not like to be boxed in. Planning their day or following a prescribed schedule does not appeal to them.

“I like to do things when I first think of it, rather than plan ahead,” one sPontaneous individual said to the group. “It ruins half the fun if you have to wait for something to happen,” another member continued.”

“What you plan to do Friday may not materialize, so you avoid disappointment by not planning. Also, appointments made way ahead may conflict with an opportunity to go the beach,” someone else expounded.

Unstructured (P) people are process-oriented-rather than completion or closure-oriented. As long as they are challenged by what they are doing, they will continue. That explains why they prefer short-term, exciting projects.

If jobs or responsibilities do not provide much stimulation, they will begin reluctantly and possibly not finish what they started. But their discipline and commitment far outshine Structured ( J) peoples’ if they are sufficiently challenged.

“We do not work from lists,” one sPontaneous group member reminded the others. “We hate lists, lose lists and wish our parents had understood that. We prefer to let little jobs pile up into one huge challenge. We’ll do a better job cleaning if we are working on a disaster area. Please don’t tell us when to begin, just when the job has to be finished,” was the consensus.

sPontaneous people excel in emergencies or crises. They think clearly and do their best work when they are under time pressure. In fact, they become structured in a crisis. That is why they are likely to let things slide until the last minute and then ‘steam it out’—and even get an A on the project.

Since life normally consists of more routine than crisis, unless sPontaneous people have trouble-shooting professions, their best potential will go untapped. In their spare time, they may follow emergency vehicles or be involved in a sport or recreation that provides some risk factor like rock climbing.

When one Structured group faulted a sPontaneous group for chronic tardiness, the latter countered with “We’re not habitually late because of lack of respect for others, but because we hate to wait for things to begin. Most meetings, for example, are pretty boring to us. We’d rather be outside. The first part of meetings is usually spent getting ready to begin, anyway.”

A sPontaneous senior engineering student said, “If I get up early, I get to school late, but if I sleep until the last minute, I get everything done, essential things, that is, and still make it to class on time. Extra time encourages me to piddle away the time reading the paper and playing with the cat.”

Since the business world is organized and considers respect for the clock and dependability critical criteria for good workmanship, many sPontaneous people lose good jobs due to their poor punctuality and absenteeism. “We do not have the rigid sense of time that Structured people seem to possess,” one group member responded.

“When someone says, ‘Meet me at ten,’ that doesn’t mean exactly at ten to us, but somewhere around there. We do agree, though, that improving our punctuality and dependability should be one of our chief goals.