T vs. F: “Feeling the Love” at Work

Ever wonder why some people just never seem to feel appreciated, despite all your efforts to show them your thoughts to the contrary? Or maybe you yourself keep questioning why your boss continues to throw meaningless “incentives” at you, when what you really want doesn’t seem all that much to ask for, but continues to elude you anyway?

If any of these scenarios resonate with you, or even if you’re just curious about how you and others can best reward and feel appreciated by others, then this post is for you! Let’s dive in, shall we?

How Do You Feel Appreciated?

First of all, take a moment to think about how you tend to feel most appreciated by your boss, family, friends, or significant other. Is it through reward and incentive – whether financial, prize-oriented, or otherwise? Or do you prefer a personal touch; something custom, sincere, and intimately affirming? Consider whether you feel more valued when someone backs up their assessment of your value with money or other tangible displays, or whether simple, genuine expressions of gratitude and appreciation for who you are as an individual are more meaningful.

When it comes to the “T vs. F” dichotomy, Thinkers tend to value competency above everything else, so being perceived as incompetent can bring on a sense of internal death for every Thinker. The very last thing Feelers want to be known for, however, is someone who lacks compassion. Being considered a hard-nosed, ruthless “killer” who’s only out for themselves is the thing they’ll find hardest to deal with. So, without further ado, let’s dive into a closer look at the T vs. F dynamic to find out how you most prefer to “feel the love” at work.

How Feelers Want to Be Appreciated

If you believe you might be a Feeler, here are a few things to keep in mind that probably hold true for you in terms of what makes you feel most valued and appreciated. Check out the following statements to see if they resonate with you:

  1. There’s usually, underneath it all, one fundamental necessity, and that is being appreciated for just being me. I like to be valued and recognized for being a human being more so than for the tasks that I do for my boss.
  2. If you are my boss, and you really want to show me that you value me, then the execution is quite simple: just tell me. Tell me regularly, sincerely, and directly. Money is nice, but it’s ultimately impersonal and not nearly as motivating as having a boss who takes the time to express the deeper, more human ways I contribute to the team. If I have a boss like that, I’ll follow them anywhere.
  3. If you really want to cement my loyalty to you and guarantee that I know how much you value me, then writing me a card something like this would seal the deal:  “Brenda/Joe, I love who you are. I love the fact that every day, you remind me there are things far more important than winning or the bottom line. I love the way you care for the people in this community. I love the way you represent the values of who we are as an organization, and that you help me be a better person every day. I’ll always be grateful for the contribution you bring in shaping the culture within our company, as well as in the wider world. Thank you for being you, and don’t ever change. Sincerely, Amy/Steve.”

Again, tangible financial rewards, public recognition, and other means of showing appreciation are certainly valued by Feelers as well. What we’re getting to, however, is determining which expressions of gratitude elicit the most primal, visceral feeling of value inside the Feeler or Thinker. For the Feeler, that unequivocally begins with personal affirmation delivered in a heartfelt manner and in such a way that the recipient believes it to be genuine. One important note to remember, however, is that with Feelers, it’s hard to slip past their authenticity radar. So if they feel you are just trying to “butter them up” with empty praises, they will likely sniff out the deception be driven in the opposite direction.

When Feelers don’t feel valued and recognized for being who they are first, then they feel like they’re just part of the machine, a cog in the wheel that is simply forced to work as a unit of production, indistinct and insignificant in its individual worth. And a Feeler being made to feel that way at work will ultimately suffer from a sense of being deeply violated on some level – taken for granted, abused, and manipulated. All those things are rooted in incredibly deep, emotional responses to a Feeler’s sense of self-worth.

How Thinkers Want to Be Appreciated

Similarly, if you believe you might be a Thinker, there are probably a few things that generally hold true for you when it comes to feeling valued and appreciated. Check out the following statements to see if they resonate with you:

  1. First of all, I like to be valued and recognized for getting the job done, being reliable under pressure, and delivering. After all, what else would tangibly merit confidence in my performance?
  2. If you are my boss, and you really want to show me that you value me for what I bring to the team, then there are three things that tell me more convincingly than the rest: more money, public recognition of how good I am at what I do, and greater opportunity to stretch my leadership gifting and allow me to grow my competencies.
  3. If you don’t truly understand how good I am, what I bring to the table – and if you’re not prepared to value and recognize it, then fine. I’ll go somewhere else where they will and not look back.

For the Thinker, the most direct, disrespectful slap in the face is to not be compensated or officially recognized in accordance with their value. Whereas Feelers view the personal, heartfelt confessions of appreciation as the validation of monetary or title-based rewards, Thinkers view the more tangible, merit-based incentives as the fundamental validation of praise and relational thanks. In the end, all the nice compliments and endless praises will boost their ego for sure, but if you don’t put your money where your mouth is, then you might as well be lying. At least that’s how a Thinker will typically see it.

As a boss, if you fail to tie financial reward, opportunities for leadership, or timely promotions to the mix of incentives for a Thinker, they’ll have no problem abandoning ship to go work for someone who will. Those with an overwhelmingly competitive, competence-driven nature have little patience for a place that has nothing to offer them but nice words and hand-holding.

Just Remember…

Never forget that we all need a little bit of both forms of encouragement. No one is entirely without a heart that needs tending, nor are they indifferent to the desire for fair, meaningful compensation. The issue at play here simply focuses on the fundamental drivers and expressions of appreciation that tap into the most visceral feelings of worth for Thinkers and Feelers. It’s always helpful to begin at the core and then work our way outwards. And at the core of Thinkers and Feelers, you’ll find a different primal motivation when it comes to incentive, reward, and appreciation. So take the time to get to know those you lead, reflect on the things that make them tick, and then find a way to regularly show them how much you value their presence on your team. Because if they have nothing else in common, you can be sure that Thinkers and Feelers alike will always look elsewhere if they don’t get the kind of love they need.

This was originally posted by GiANT Worldwide and I wanted to share it here as well. If you’re interested in learning more about how your personality type affects your leadership, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!