Preferences in Depth: Thinking/Feeling
The Thinking/Feeling scale of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator inventory fundamentally describes how you prefer to make decisions. This scale has powerful implications in career choice. Thinkers tend to prefer work that is logical and makes sense, where Feelers prefer work that seems personally meaningful.
When making decisions, Thinkers like to rely on logic and reason. The best decision to a Thinker is one that is objective and supported by data. Thinkers are likely to reason through the logical consequences, weigh the pros and cons, and analyze the options before coming to a conclusion. Thinkers tend to become frustrated when other people don't respect decisions that they perceive as reasonable.
Feelers, on the other hand, prefer to make decisions in accordance with their values, relationships and personal concerns. The best decision to a Feeler is one that seems like the right thing to do, and one that other people can support. Feelers can become frustrated if forced to make decisions based only on the "bottom line" or on detached analysis without any concern for the people and moral issues involved.
Keep in mind that most of us make both Thinking decisions and Feeling decisions depending on the situation; this scale is not about what we are capable of, but what we prefer. If you are not sure of your preference, think about what kind of decisions are easiest to make for you. Do you prefer decisions that can be logical and objective, or do you prefer decisions that allow you to consider your values and the feelings of others? If confronted by a choice between a more logical decision and a more popular one, which one would you be more inclined to choose?
Once you have determined your preference, you have a powerful clue about what sort of work you will find satisfying. Thinkers are often found in engineering, finance, science, and business. They prefer a work environment that allows them to use their analytical skills without a lot of politics or personal drama. Thinkers often enjoy working with people, but they like colleagues who are intelligent and competent and keep things professional.
Feelers, on the other hand, are often found in education, health care, nonprofit work, management, and personal service. Feelers enjoy their work most when they believe in the cause and see a positive impact on other people. Feelers like a work environment that is free of conflict, with warm and supportive colleagues. They can become discouraged if they feel unappreciated or do not see a socially beneficial result of their efforts. They do best when they are motivated by their personal values.