It's no surprise that Judging and Perceiving types do things differently at work, especially when it comes to managing their business goals. Judgers approach life in a structured manner, creating plans to fulfill tasks in a predictable way. Perceivers, on the other hand, tend to feel constrained by structure, as they prefer to keep their options open and use their time to explore problems as they come. To a Perceiver, a Judging personality type is rigid and single-minded, while to a Judger, the Perceiver is an aimless drifter. So what happens when these opposing personalities are given the same business task? How do they choose to tackle it?

The Judger's Approach: Checklists and Milestones

Let's say that the task is to write a short report, due by 5 p.m that day. To complete this task successfully, the employee must conduct research, interview co-workers, analyze the data, and write up the results.  

Judgers love closure, so they rely on deadlines and structure to be able to experience a feeling of accomplishment. Typically, they will create milestones to help lead them from a blank sheet of paper to the final report. So, a Judger's day might look something like this:

  • Prepares an outline of the report.
  • Conducts research.
  • Conducts interviews.
  • Analyzes data.
  • Populates the report with the findings.
  • Edits and proofreads.
  • Delivers the report by 5 p.m.

The Perceiver's Approach: Keeping Options Open

While Judgers enjoy a more structured approach, Perceivers tend to be a bit more relaxed when it comes to getting things done. They like to process new information as it comes their way, so a Perceiver's day might look like this:

  • Starts research. 
  • Finds interesting information that isn't relevant to the report, but that might be useful to HR. Then emails HR.
  • Brainstorms ideas with colleagues.
  • Starts the staff interviews and spends a lot of time on them, probing deeply.
  • Prepares report and makes a note of several more ideas derived from the research.
  • Takes an important call.
  • Finishes the report by 5 p.m.

So, Which Approach is Better?

Judging types often feel anxious and tense until they are able to cross the project off their "to-do" list. Perceiving types, however, prefer to research all of the angles and only begin to feel tension when they are pushed into making decisions too quickly. Neither approach is better than the other. However, problems can occur in process-driven environments where Perceivers are judged, not on the result, but on the process itself. In this case, some may criticize the Perceiver as inefficient and seek to impose stricter project management standards on them. You can eliminate these types of tensions by giving Perceivers autonomy and "wriggle room" for ideas to flow and by giving Judgers a timetable and the ability to make decisions on deadline-driven items. In conclusion, between the two, Judgers and Perceivers cover all of the bases: flexibility, open-mindedness and solid decision-making. 

Molly Owens
Molly Owens is the founder and CEO of Truity. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley and holds a master's degree in counseling psychology. She began working with personality assessments in 2006, and in 2012 founded Truity with the goal of making robust, scientifically validated assessments more accessible and user-friendly. Molly is an ENTP and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she enjoys elaborate cooking projects, murder mysteries, and exploring with her husband and son.