Are We Ever Different! And That Is A Good Thing! Pt 4 - Understanding the Intuitive Preference in Gathering Information

Head In The Clouds

Twenty-five percent of the general population prefer the iNtuitive style of gathering information. (Since Introversion claims the letter ‘I’, the letter ‘N’ will be used to designate Intuition keeping with MBTI letter designation. The spelling will be “iNtuition” for a reminder.)

INtuitives are dreamers; more alive to the unknown world of possibility thinking, design, hunches, and ‘what might be.’ Their constant jumble of ideas seems to leave little room or time for facts, figures, and practical concerns. “We remember the facts that we think are important or supports our case, but we prefer to find solutions through possibility thinking. We love solving problems, and like to solve our own before they arrive,” is their self-description.

Because iNtuitives prefer using mental processes, they are often impatient with repetitious physical activities finding bookkeeping, grass-cutting, leaf raking, auto and home maintenance, and the like not only boring but unfulfilling.

iNtuitives are usually surprised to learn that their incessant questions are intimidating to the Sensing crowd, assuming questioners are either investigators or after their position or job. It is helpful to understand that Intuitives’ curiosity and insatiable hunger to learn new things, prompts them to probe for subtle information.

Whereas Sensing people like to produce a useful product, system, or service, iNtuitives prefer to improve the same. However, once they learn the ropes, unless there’s lots of variety and change, they often lose interest and crave new goals and challenges.

iNtuitives must have a goal or four, wanting to be involved in projects that are bigger than themselves. If nothing is left to master, their interest wanes. This explains why some people have had many unrelated jobs or earned several degrees by the time they reach retirement years. They agree they are ‘Jack of all trades and masters of none, and it’s not uncommon to hear an over-forty year old dream, “you know what I want to do when I grow up?”

iNtuitives prefer that each day be different in order to break routine, still another reason why time-clock jobs are distasteful to them. Many create mind games in order to neutralize the boredom in repetitive jobs. Today, thanks to Internet capabilities, working from home has become a reality for many iNtuitves who endeavor to eliminate time-consuming commutes as well as lessen auto expense and the inevitability of empty gas tanks and flat tires.

iNtuitives have the ability to see all around and beyond an event—many years hence. They may come across as preoccupied, flaky or distant  and are certainly known for chasing rabbit trails. Head-in the Clouds people struggle to pare down their ideas and get to decision time. “It’s true that ‘the lights are on but nobody’s home’ certainly describes us at times, an iNtuitive surmised, “but, honestly, we are busy in there. We have several inner conversations going.”

“Looking beyond the present situation of details-seeing the big picture appeals to us,” an iNtuitive explained. “We admit that we spend too much time in indecision or going in circles, where we miss a lot of what’s going on, but what’s going to happen tomorrow is much more exciting to us that what’s going on right now. We prefer to prevent problems. Appreciate us for our ideas, and we’ll be happy campers.”

Although iNtuitives are known for stirring the pot, the world is indebted to them for systems analyses, counseling, writing, research, teaching, preaching, and other careers that involve theory, behavior, and improving mental, spiritual and emotional heath. The Sensing world is richer for having a few dreaming iNtuitives on committees and teams and are not afraid to make radical changes for improvement. Remember, everyone is a blend of both the Sensing and iNtuitive preferences, leaning more one way than the other. However, for balance each must consult and use both preferences as situations demand. One goal is: Not to Think Alike But Together. Another goal is: Celebrate Differences Rather Than Criticize.

Notebook: record S for Sensing;  N for iNtuitive