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Juhana Lampinen | 15.01.2013 | Show comments 0
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Are you Extrovert or Introvert?

NTAthis blog is continuation to my previous blog "Are you outside of your comfort zone?" which can be found by clicking here.

Background

Everyone is different. The older you get more difficult it becomes to change your behavior and accept behavior of others which is different to yours. The first step of the NTA (Natural Tendencies Analysis) is to understand yourself. By knowing how you tick you will be able to understand how your colleges, your husband or your wife tick. You still might not agree with them or you may still find their behavior "strange" or "not my cup of tea" but you can accept it and even smile at it as you know why they behave as they do. Once the whole team (in work or at home) understands their behavioral tendencies and the tendencies of the other team members you can start utilizing the real strengths of the team - together.

The NTA concept

The NTA is a concept is based on the personality type theory of Carl Jung. The NTA model is built of four pairs of functions which can be used to describe all human beings in the world. Obviously there are around 7 billion different human beings in the world and the model is hugely simplified. However limiting the number of different personality types 16, instead of 7 billion, makes it a quite a bit easier to understand and use.

The NTA functions

The personality of each human being can be identified using the four NTA functions. Usually each personality is a mix of both extremes (like some extroverted and some introverted characteristics). However one or the other is always the dominating function. This dominating function is called "tendency" or "preference". The NTA functions are following:

Function 1: Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I)
This function answers to the questions: Where do you get the energy or where does your thinking take place?

Function 2: Sensing (S) or Intuition (N)
This function answers to the question: How do you collect information?

Function 3: Thinking (T) or Feeling (F)
This function answers to the question: How do you make decisions?

Function 4: Judging (J) or Perceiving (P)
This function answers to the question: What is your external lifestyle like?

Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I)?

The questions here are:
Where do you get the energy?
Where does your thinking take place?

Let me open this topic a bit. Perhaps we start from the question "Where does your thinking takes place" - simply because it is more tangible and somewhat easier to understand. The common misbelief is that extroverted people are the ones who talk a lot and introverted people are the quiet ones. Even though it may externally appear so, that is definitely not the ultimate truth.

Let's set the scene with a situation where your friend asks you where would you like to go for a lunch? Let's also assume that you are discussing face to face. Here are the questions to you:

  • Do you tend to start talking as you think like saying: "Pizzeria would be great, but on the other hand I was in Pizzeria yesterday. Tonight I am going to have pasta at home so Italian would not be such a good idea. On the other hand I have not had Indian for a while. Actually Indian would be great. Yes, let's go to Indian or what do you prefer?"

or

  • Do you tend to think quietly first inside your head like: "Hmmm. Pizzeria would be great, but on the other hand I was in Pizzeria yesterday. Tonight I am going to have pasta at home so Italian would not be such a good idea. On the other hand I have not had Indian for a while. Actually Indian would be great." When your quiet thinking process is finished you say: "Yes, let's go to Indian or what do you prefer?".

If you tend to recognize yourself talking as your think (question 1) your tendency is probably towards being an extrovert. On the other hand if the question 2 is more like you, your tendency is probably towards being an introvert. Authors note: my tendency is a little bit towards being Extrovert. However, I am not an extreme extrovert.

Now comes the golden question. Which one is better? Answer: none. Both preferences, or tendencies if you will, are needed and both of them equally important. The key is to understand and recognize your discussion partner and let her/him be herself/himself.

Sensing (S) or Intuition (N)

The question here is:
How do you collect information?

The people with sensing (S) preference tend to live in this very moment and in the world of memories i.e. in the past. The S people could be described to be "down to earth". In contrary the people with intuition as preference tend to live strongly in the future and in the world of possibilities and ideas. The N people could be described to be "people with crazy ideas".

Let's take another example. Your boss asks you to prepare a sales plan for next 6 months. That's it, no more instructions than that. Here are the questions to you:

  • Do you tend start collecting data from the past? This could mean going through the sales of past 6 months or the same period last year or perhaps couple of last years? When you have the data you just calculate, taking into account the trends, where you are going to end up during next 6 months. Is your written report likely going to consist of large amount of facts and arguments (from the past and present) which support your estimated 6 months sales figures? Shortly, do you base your plan on existing facts?

or

  • Do you tend to start thinking about the opportunities and risks now and in the future. You might also consider if there are going to be any discontinuities in the market coming up. Do you think if there are some great new opportunities with new services or products coming up? Is your plan likely to short (one page or so) or do you even prefer not making a plan at all but explaining your vision verbally? Do you feel unease when your boss wants to have more (or even some) facts and figures which support your plan? Shortly, do you base your plan on gut feeling?

If you tend to recognize yourself answering mostly yes to the question 1. your tendency is probably towards being a sensing (S) person. On the other hand if the question 2 is more like you, your tendency is probably towards being an intuitive (N) person. Authors note: my tendency is very much towards Intuition.

Like in the previous function none of these two are better or preferable. They both just are plain neutral and as important. The key is to understand and recognize your discussion partner and let her/him be herself/himself.

…stay tuned this blog will be continued shortly with functions Thinking (T) and Feeling (F).


Tags

advice MBTI, NTA, natural tendencies Consulting creative creativity Leadership culture everyday life inspiration leadership in training leadership method new inspirations


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