• Leila Ainge

Personality Types

Introvert and Extrovert

The truth about Introverts: They are not always shy, and Extroverts are not always ready to be the life and soul of the part.

We all have times when we are energized by solitude or alone time, and times when we’re energized by people. Where we get our energy from is the focus of the E and I in Carl Jungs Personality types.

These words have a meaning in psychology that is different from the way they are used in everyday language, it is not about how confident or shy you are, in fact, these are misleading descriptions of Extraversion and Introversion.

Everyone spends some time extroverting and some time introverting. Shyness is not related to introversion. It is far more useful to think about E and I in terms of situations. How do different situations make you feel?

Whether you survive or thrive in a situation will tell you more about what and who brings out the best in you.

Take the following statements:

  1. I love going to loud concerts packed with people, but dinner parties and small talk make me tired.

  2. I don’t like nightclubs, but I love being part of big discussion

It’s not so clear if those statements refer to an extrovert or introvert, and that’s because we are all a little bit of both, sometimes more extrovert or introvert in particular situations. Introverts can host events and lead teams with passion, they may just need to have time alone before and after to recharge. Extroverts can be overwhelmed and need to seek out ‘quiet time’ to process information.

E and I feel like they should be quite obvious in the personality types, but they are probably the most complex.

If I spend too much time alone, I get bored, yet too much time around other people leaves me feeling drained- said the Ambivert 😊

Perceiving and judgement

Got a decision to make? Put on your PJ’s - yes really!

P is How we look at things, and J is how we evaluate them. .

Most of us have a preference (Jung’s theory of Psychological types 1971) and in its very simplest form P the perceiving type is comfortable with exploring options and improvising- being spontaneous! J the Judging type is comfortable with plans, routine and having things decided. .

So put on your PJ’s and try this:

1. Take the last big decision you had to make, how did you approach the task and the decision?

2. Did you use one style more than the other?

3. How could you have used the opposite style?

Some limitations and explainers on this theory... some people do have a strong preference, but others do not. Consider that there are many Dr’s and researchers with strong Perceiving styles- they are open to possibility, naturally curious. This doesn’t preclude them from being meticulously organised in their work. .

The traits associated with each style are not exclusive, so look for cues and patterns in your decision making. Understanding how you make decisions enables you to communicate them better

Thinking and Feeling

Imagine you’re delivering a presentation, and you need your audience to make a decision.

Is it best to stick to facts or appeal to emotion?

I guess it depends on the decision and who is in the room.

Introducing the next pair of personality types, Thinking and Feeling. We all sit somewhere between the two types in our decision making.

Neither type is more emotional or intelligent than the other, they do process situations differently.

After the presentation, the person who notices an inconsistency, or references data in an appendix - this is a thinker.

The person who asks what feedback you’ve had, turns to colleagues - asks trusted advisors, this is a Feeler.

When preparing presentations, try this in your opening statement.

  1. What’s the truth, the facts or logic of what you are presenting?

  2. What do the people (customers/staff/colleagues) think?

In your conclusion

  1. Thinkers want to understand the logic, can you provide a tangible number/percentage or estimate to support the conclusion ?

  2. Feelers want harmony - can you share how the proposal has been received by others? Is there support? Who is supporting?


The types are extremes, and actually we all have the ability to think and feel. Using thinking and feeling messages in communication is a useful way of covering all of the bases!

Sensing and Intuition

The curious thing about perception⁠

Sensing and Intuition are the two perception types identified by Carl Jung. ⁠

Unlike the other personality pairings... mostly we live in a sensing world, we see, hear, touch and taste things. We are not completely oblivious to the world around us. ⁠

Everyone senses things, the degree to which we sense over our intution is the curious thing about ours and others perception. ⁠

When I'm working with a client and goal setting I like to use a picture to understand where their perception sits. I like the painting by Jack Vettriano of the 'Singing Butler' - asking someone to describe a situation that is in plain sight is a powerful technique. I'm curious about their perception of the picture, what do they see first? ⁠

☂️The people are dancing⁠

☂️It's raining⁠


☂️It's romantic⁠

☂️There's a storm coming⁠

☂️The butler and maid are struggling⁠

An intuitive mind will see the possibility, patterns or think about what happens next or what happened before the moment.⁠

We all sense things, we are all intutiitve to some degree, but sitting down and using a guided technique to explore perception in a work setting is very useful. ⁠

The Vetrriano painting is full of enigma and suggestion, it's hugely popular - you can use any painting, or real life scenario though. ⁠

I once took candid photos around a client site of staff at work as part of a change project, I used the photos in a workshop with the management team to understand their perception of what was happening. This approach elicited a richer response than asking people to recall memory or exeperience. ⁠


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