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STACKS: our ORDERS of PREFERENCE
Once we identify & appreciate our personal Type, we can go deeper into understanding our personality.
The MBTI is not about knowledge, skills or abilities. Neither does knowing our type (ISFJ, ENTP….) force us to rigidly limit our options. We all have the ability to be flexible to choose & change behavior patterns that are immature or self-defeating, even while our underlying preferences remain the same.
To increase our self-awareness & flexibility, & to better appreciate how others are similar or different from ourselves, the MBTI provides a way to specify the mental faculties which help us make sense of the world.
They’re based on our type, but use only the 2 middle dichotomies, also called Cognitive Functions, which are the ‘heart’ of this typing system.
These show how we gather info (S=Sensing <—-> N-Intuition) & make decisions (F-feeling <—–> T-thinking), becoming 8 possibilities:
✥ Extroverted functions (e) : Se, Ne, Te, Fe and
✥ Introverted functions (i) : Si, Ni, Ti, Fi
– combining into 16 STACKS – the 4 dichotomies in a specific order for each of the 16 MBTI types. EXP: Small chart ↗️ shows the Stack for all INTJ people
✳ Our strongest preference is called Primary or Dominant, the next is Auxiliary, then Tertiary & lastly Inferior (weakest). Each Personality Type is referred to by its top two choices. Introverted functions are the ones we use internally, & the extroverted ones are used to interact with the world around us. (Formula for creating stacks and chart of all stacks – in #3c)
PURPOSE: Even though we only have 2 of the 4 choices in our Type (2 center letters), every stack will include all 4, indicating our thought process – NOT our behavior. It tells us the order of our mind’s/ brain’s thinking-steps: how we think, what we think of first, how we solve problems…. The same functions will show up differently in each Type, even the same Type, depending on their orientation (e/i, and j/p)
The order of their importance to us (our stack) comes from our genetic makeup, so it won’t change what it is throughout our life. But how it’s used & to what extent – can be modified or improved if necessary, by ironing out any inherent kinks.
Over the course of our life, different preferences may rise to the top & be used more often, as well as more easily – called Type Development.
EXP: Sometimes a Primary Thinker may decide things using their feelings, a Primary Feeler may make decisions logically, Ps can be very structured, & Js might go with the flow…..
✥ The 2 functions for gathering information (2nd dichotomy) – used to Perceive / see (p) things – are EITHER:
• Sensing (pS), looking for details & current realities
• Intuition (pN), seeing patterns, underlying meaning & future possibilities
✥ The 2 for organizing info & making decisions (3rd dichotomy) – used to Judge (j) / evaluate things – are EITHER:
• Thinking (jT), deciding based on principles, systems & logical consequences -OR-
• Feeling (jF), deciding based on harmony, values & consequences to people (MORE re J vs P).
• This table shows the distribution of cognitive functions between the genders in a theoretical population of 1 million….. it shows that the most common Perceiving functions are Si & Se, and the most common Js are Fe, Fi & Te.
This jibes with official statistics which identify SPs (Sensing Perceivers) SJs (Sensing Judgers) as the most common types. (in the USA ?)
Knowing our Cognitive Stack can help us TO:
• Explore ways to better develop our career, create or enhance our leadership style, & improve our communicate skills
• Appreciate diversity in working styles, & to understand organizational & team culture – which can improve working relationships
• Develop strategies to solve problems & resolve conflict
• Manage difficult or stressful changes, & understand stress reactions
NEXT: MBTI Stacks basics #2