How Do You Process Information?
Sensing and Intuition
If you’re just joining us, we recently concluded a six-part series on how to determine the first of your four Jungian Type personality preferences. The series took a deep dive into the true meaning of Extraversion (E) vs. Introversion (I), discussing what it means for the way you recharge and communicate, as well as how your natural wiring influences the way you lead and interact with others. You can catch up with us by checking out that series , or you can continue reading and jump right in as we begin a new series tackling the second Jungian Type preference set. I would, however, suggest taking a moment to read the introductory post about Jungian Type and the GiANT Best Fit in general, so that you can dive into the conversation with some background and helpful terminology warnings.
Interestingly, the second preference is typically the hardest for people to clarify. This set of letters, “S” vs. “N,” addresses how you prefer to take in and process information. While the differences between the two can be tricky to spot, the letter choice often proves confusing at the beginning. “S” stands for “Sensing,” so no issue there, but “N” actually stands for “Intuition.”That sometimes throws people off since the word doesn’t start with an “n.” However, because we already have introversion represented by an “I” in the first preference pairing, we have to represent intuition with a different letter, “N.”
The Great Cry of the Sensor
If you are a right-handed sensor (i.e. have a dominant preference for “sensor”), it means you prefer to take in and process information in a precise, exact, detailed manner. Most sensors want to be able to use their five senses to analyze whatever quantitative information they can get their hands on. Is it concrete? Is it real? Can I touch it, taste it, see it, hear it, smell it, analyze it? The more real, pragmatic, and concrete the information, the more confident the sensor is in their ability to understand and make decisions. The great cry of the sensor, above all else, begs for someone to “Tell me what is!” They don’t want conjecture, ideation, hunches, or guesses. They want hard facts, data, and history to factor into their decisions. Sensors are always thinking, “Okay, let’s make sure we really understand where we are and what the unvarnished realities of the situation are at the moment.”
The Great Cry of the Intuitive
Intuitives, on the other hand, start at the completely opposite end of the world. Instead, they tend to ask for the big picture first, begging someone, “Sell me a vision, and if I’m inspired by the vision of what could be, I’ll work my way back towards the details.” In stark contrast to sensors, and much to every sensor’s horror, Intuitives will rarely bother with the details of a decision, idea, or situation until they are absolutely certain that they’re really excited about it. Their great cry is, “Tell me what could be!” Consequently, most intuitives will often rely heavily on, and justify their decisions with, what they love to call their “sixth sense” or “gut feeling,” especially when it comes to making big decisions. Nothing could be more terrifying for sensors.
Now that we know Sensors and Intuitives tend to process information through fundamentally opposing methods, that leaves a great deal of room to explore the pitfalls and struggles of each. These differences become especially glaring in light of the various ways intuitives and sensors approach details, planning, and change, as well as how they view the past, present, and future. Join us for the next installment in this series as we discuss the common pitfalls that plague each of the information/processing preferences!