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Getting the information you need to make better reintegration decisions

Getting the information you need to make better reintegration decisions

Managing the Transition Home – Post 4

Written by Katherine and Elizabeth Hirsh

In previous posts we’ve looked at the impact of particular preferences (for example, Extraversion  and Introversion) on your reintegration journey. In the next few posts we’d like to introduce another way of working with MBTI® personality type, what we call a “Lens.” Like a pair of glasses, a Type Lens can help you see yourself and others more clearly. It can focus your attention on specific similarities and differences in the way people experience reintegration.

Let’s begin by exploring the Functions Lens, named thusly because it is based on the second and third letters in the four-letter type code—S or N and T or F—which are called the Functions. The Functions Lens highlights four ways of seeing the world: through Sensing and Thinking (ST), through Sensing and Feeling (SF), through Intuition and Feeling (NF), and through Intuition and Thinking (NT).

Because the Functions Lens is based on just two of your letters rather than your whole type, each of the four different pairings has something in common with two of the other pairings: ST and SF share Sensing, NT and NF share Intuition, ST and NT share Thinking, and SF and NF share Feeling. Given they share a Function in common, there are some similarities in how individuals from each of these groupings approach reintegration. In contrast, differences between the reintegration approaches of individuals from groupings that do not have any letters in common—STs and NFs, and SFs and NTs—may be easier to spot.

How can an awareness of the Functions Lens help you? The Functions Lens highlights what tends to capture your attention, where you typically expend effort, and what you may fail to consider without a gentle reminder. Armed with this knowledge about your personal style, you can enlist others to help you get the information you need during reintegration, including support in exploring those areas that for you tend to fade into the background.

People with preferences for ST tend to be present focused and data driven. If this is your style, you can improve your reintegration process by

  • Asking directly for specifics on what systems would provide the best concrete results right now
  • Taking time to shift your attention to encompass the future and people-oriented concerns

People with preferences for SF tend to be present focused and people oriented. If this is your style, you can improve your reintegration process by

  • Asking directly for specifics on the most practical way to take the best care of yourself and others right now
  • Taking time to shift your attention to encompass the future and data-driven concerns

People with preferences for NF tend to be future focused and people oriented. If this is your style, you can improve your reintegration process by

  • Asking directly for ideas on what might best motivate you and others going forward
  • Taking time to shift your attention to encompass the present and data-driven concerns

People with preferences for NT tend to be future focused and data driven. If this is your style, you can improve your reintegration process by

  • Asking directly for ideas on what systems could be developed to provide the best outcomes going forward
  • Taking time to shift your attention to encompass the present and people-oriented concerns

Having a sense of your personal style and your needs during reintegration can make your life more manageable as you transition from warrior to worker. You can ask for the information you need to feel confident about your reintegration choices—details or the big picture, data or people—and also request help in areas that come less naturally to you. You may even recognize where you and your colleagues, friends, or family members might misunderstand one another due to your different ways of approaching things. Switching gears from service to civilian life can be tough—let knowledge of your MBTI type make it a little easier!

You can learn more on the topic of psychological type and reintegration in our booklet Introduction to Type® and Reintegration.

Elizabeth and Katherine Hirsh are coauthors of several publications, including Introduction to Type® and Teams, MBTI® Teambuilding Program: Leader’s Resource Guide, Introduction to Type® and Decision Making, and the MBTI® Decision-Making Style Report.

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