Is Sally the data miner a Sensing type or Intuitive type?
Spoiler alert!!! To fully appreciate this post take just a minute and read our last post that sets the stage for understanding Sally.
When we left Sally she was preparing a presentation to the leadership team. She really wanted them to “get it” so she had asked her staff to gather every shred of data available on the issue. After her staff had assured her that there was no more data to be had, Sally went to work pouring over the data, learning and understanding every piece of it.
At this point it might be easy to assume that Sally is a Sensing type. Sensing types like to present the details of their work first, they usually proceed step-by-step and seldom make error of fact. But what we haven’t yet seen is how Sally views and uses the data that she so meticulously gathered.
Sally always wants her projections to be fact-based. She knows that several members of the leadership team will check her facts and she wants to be prepared. But what Sally actually does with the data is to look for trend lines, inflection points and other “implied” results that the data can suggest. She is always looking into the future. “What does this data produce in the long run?” “What opportunities or threats does the data lead us to think about ahead of time?” “How does this align with our long-term goals?” Sally isn’t worried about what needs to be done by Friday, she wants to know of we’re preparing ourselves for the future. Sally is a very Intuitive thinker.
It’s not just the Sensing types that make sure the facts are correct or are the only ones who base their decisions on the facts. Intuitive types are fact based as well. But they want to both start with the long-term projections and implications and understand where the trends are going to lead us. They also want to know about the decisions we’re making today and if they will lead us in the intended directions.
Sally is an Intuitive type on the Myers-Briggs scale. That doesn’t mean she ignores the facts or makes her decisions on “gut instinct” only. It simply means that her search for meaning and direction in the data will influence her decision making.
Most of the mistakes that amateurs (and even some Myers-Briggs practitioners) make is bases our assumptions on behaviors that may lead us to assume that a person is a Sensing or Intuitive type. Be careful. You might be surprised!