This blog post could also be titled, “How roommates with Perceiving and Judging preferences flexed their organization styles to remodel their place,” but that title was too long to fit in the box.
In my last post I talked about the differences in how people preferring Perceiving or Judging tend to get organized, and how those who prefer perceiving can make tweaks in their approach to accommodate Judging-driven demands, but still remain true to their preferences. Now I’d like to talk about how some of these tactics might be played out in a real-life scenario, with two roommates of competing preferences collaborating to remodel their condominium. Interest rates are at an all-time low, and they want to refinance before the Fed starts to raise them.
Joe: the guy who runs the tight ship
As someone preferring Judging, Joe is going to get started on the physical work at the outset, and he’s going to proceed based on a well-structured plan that includes a steady stream of milestones and checkpoints. He’ll make the big design decisions and do the heavy lifting early, so that he can spend the rest of his time on the finer details–touch-ups, decorating minutiae, etc. It all sounds good, except……
Mason: the “twitch” in Joe’s eye
…Mason is driving him crazy! While Joe checks important tasks off of his to-do list, it appears to him that Mason is delivering nothing, or at best meandering over a variety of inspirational or instructional magazine articles and videos, and repeatedly looking over the property. He doesn’t see any plan or roadmap that is going to take Mason from the project’s inception to completion. Joe doesn’t doubt that Mason’s research has value, but he is very concerned that they’re going to take too long to complete the project and miss the opportunity to refinance on an ultra-low rate.
In reality, these two are exhibiting time organization approaches based on their preferences for either Judging or Perceiving. As someone who prefers judging, Joe is has his best energy at the start of the project and it makes sense for him to do the work that requires the intense brainpower earlyon. Mason is the opposite: he gets his best energy later on in the project, so it makes more sense for him to spend the early days gathering info, and postponing the more brain-taxing work until closer to the end.
Different strokes for different folks, so case closed–right? Not really
Unfortunately the nature of the project means that Mason and Joe can’t work in “separate universes”. Joe needs portions of Mason’s work in order to complete his portions of the project. Whether they like it or not, these two are going to have to compromise. In this case, the “compromise” in question is more a matter of Mason adjusting his behavior to be more J-like, and Joe adjusting his expectations of Mason to be less J-like.
Somewhere between Judging and Perceiving, Mason and Joe find organization Zen
A workable solution for these two might look something like this:
- Joe and Mason work together to compile a master list of things that have to be done. This is a good starting point for both of them, because both people who prefer Judging and people who prefer Perceiving like to make to-do lists (though they think about them differently)
- Joe and Mason each identify tasks that need to be done early, or along a specific timeline. They prioritize these items in order of importance. In particular, Joe works with Mason to identify things that he needs done in order to complete components of his own work.
- They each set deadlines for these things that they think are reasonable. Now here is where Joe and Mason are going to have to compromise, as Mason will likely think that a ‘reasonable’ deadline is much later than Joe thinks it should be. In some cases, it may work just to split the difference and come up with a deadline halfway between. In other instances, either Mason or Joe may need to present a logical case to the other as to why they either need the project to be done no later than a certain date, or why they can’t reasonably be expected to complete a task before a certain date.
- Once the plan is in place, Mason and Joe both need to somehow signify that they’re in agreement so that it’s binding (let’s assume that this requires little more than a handshake–if it takes a lawyer, they’ve got bigger issues to deal with).
- Then, they need to stick to it. Mason needs to take his deadlines seriously, and Joe needs to refrain from holding Mason accountable for any more than he has actually agreed to, even if it starts to feel uncomfortable.
Hopefully Mason and Joe will be able to come up with a plan that may not seem totally ideal to either one of them, but will still allow them both to work within their type-based “energy zones”. By so doing, they’re able to get the job done in a timely manner, and with the best quality, so that when the appraiser comes, he/she gives the highest estimate possible.
Such a scenario could easily be played out at work too. It’s not tough to imagine Mason and Joe as software developers charged with prototyping a new social platform, or as partners at a law firm working on a critical case. Regardless of the setting, by allowing each person to organize their time in a way that leverages their full energy and creativity, the process will go smoother, they’ll get along better, and the final result will more than likely be superior.