MBTI Bite: Three Tips for Working With Judgers (J’s on Myers-Briggs)

mbti-bite_-three-tips-for-working-with-judgers-js-on-myers-briggsAccording to Myers-Briggs, Judgers (J’s) are decisive, closure-loving, organizers who love to plan and love to be on time.  They tend to be more judgmental than their P (Perceiver) counterparts, but not always, and it is not the defining trait of those who have the J preference. J’s are typically the people who like to make checklists.  In fact, you can tell that someone really is a J if they do something that is not on their checklist, and then put that task on their list just for the satisfaction of checking another thing off the list.

Judgers love to make order out of chaos.  They typically are not quick to adapt or show a lot of flexibility.  When they find a routine they like, they stick to it.  Yes, they will eventually add some variety to it, but for the most part, the variety is just a tweak here and there.

Want another way to spot a judger?  Walk into their office.  If it is organized, they are probably a judger. Bonus tip: If things in the room are arranged symmetrically, yeah, you guessed it--they are a judger.

Judgers are rule-followers.  Not always, but usually.  They also tend to be comfortable with authority.

They find it hard to play when there is work to do.  They don’t mix work and play.  Work comes first, then we can relax enough to play.

As deadlines get closer and the work is not done, they are usually the ones getting nervous (This is why P’s can drive them nuts.)

They also feel much more comfortable once a decision is made than while there are still a lot of options as to how to make the decision.

You get the picture....probably some co-workers have already come to mind.  If you are in corporate America, about 60% of your co-workers are J’s.  The higher you go up in most companies, the higher that percentage goes up.

Even though I am a J, I must say we really need to increase the diversity of personality types in corporate America so we can cover our blind spots better.  But that’s another subject.

When working with J, keep in mind a few things that will help promote excellence across your team:

1. J’s value being methodical.

J’s plan their work and then work their plan.  They do so to avoid unnecessary stress.  If you have a task that needs to be done by a J, share that task with them as soon as you can.  They will develop, at the very least, a skeleton plan of what has to be done, and when.  Stronger J’s will develop a detailed plan.

Give them the chance to map it out.  It will serve you in the long run.

If there are members of the team who are not methodical or who wait until the last minute to get things done, a J will feel frustrated and anxious.

J’s develop the plans to limit the outside influences that can raise the stress level.  If someone tends to do work at the last minute, J’s often fear that something will come up that will lead them (and the rest of the team) to miss the deadline.

2. Be prepared... When in doubt, err by being over-prepared.

J’s value those who are prepared.  J’s cheered when Greg McKeown, in his book Essentialism, extolled the value of early and radical preparation.  Since J’s usually prepare well for their meetings and want to reach conclusion as fast as possible, those who do not prepare--and waste the team’s time due to their lack of preparation--are often frowned upon.

It is important for J’s to learn that their counterparts, P’s or Perceivers, often rely on the moment to put lots of things together at once.  If the P is also an N, then that is even more so. NP’s can see patterns and put things together fast, once the moment it is needed becomes clear.

For J’s, their desire to be methodical often blocks their ability to see things in the moment, unless they have a lot of experience or have prepared really well.

3. Avoid last minute changes.

Since J’s have spent time preparing and working out a plan, a last-minute change can  make them feel frustrated.  It means they don’t have time to prepare as they’d like.  Since they don’t usually possess strong “go-with-the-flow” skills, they will also feel anxious.  Strong J’s do not like to wing it unless they are extremely well versed in the subject.

If there needs to be a last minute change, then it is usually important that you explain why the change is better than what they’ve spent time preparing for.

It is also valuable to have some NP’s on the team who can map out what needs to happen in the moment, then the J’s can follow through with their strengths.

Chew On This:

  • What can you do to limit the amount of last minute changes?

Ryan C. Bailey is an Executive Coach who helps business leaders develop in-demand high performing teams.