In this first of a four-part series, we will explore the personal style aptly named "Instinct". If you haven't already taken the short assessment, check out the post, download the form and determine your personal style. Even if Instinct is not your dominant style, you may want to keep reading - chances are, you know someone who is an "Instinct" type.
People whose dominant personal style is Instinct are typically highly creative, “out of the box” thinkers who can always be counted on to come up with new ideas and think on their feet. They tend to be quick-witted, good communicators, smooth networkers and highly sociable. At times, they may come across as self-focused, irresponsible, impatient or untrustworthy. Their ability to influence others is a key strength, as are their energy, adaptability, and playfulness. They are adventurers, free-spirits, and risk-takers. Some possible careers for Instinct types are sales manager, real estate agent, party planner, musician, lobbyist, marketer or chef. It's not an exact comparison, but the most similar MBTI types are ESFP, ISFP, ESTP and ISTP, although others are possible.
What this means for making choices
The most notable thing about the way Instinct types make decisions is that they do not need many details - they focus on the big picture and make quick decisions. Instinct types are true to their names when it comes to decisions – they are instinctive! They can trouble-shoot issues very quickly and take action before others realize there is a problem.
Another key thing to know about their decision process is that unlike Logic and Responsibility types in particular, they do not typically fear making mistakes. They welcome change and take any failures or setbacks in stride. This also means they seldom look back or spend time regretting past choices. Unfortunately this means they may not learn from their mistakes and may miss chances to apologize or make amends for when they hurt others with their choices.
They get bored easily, thrive on stimulation, and like to make things happen. This leads to choices that on the positive side can be adventurous and fun, but on the negative side, could be chaotic and risky. More than any other type, they usually suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out), which has a huge impact on their choices. They do not want to sit around and discuss things, they do not want to plan and they do not want anyone to slow them down.
Their choices can hurt the feelings of Cooperation types, and frustrate the heck out of Logic and Responsibility types because of the lack of thought and structure they need to make a decision.
They tend to live in the “here and now”, so their choices may have a short-term focus. This can be admirable, as they definitely embrace life and live it to the fullest every day. However, on the flip side, they don’t always take the future into account and can make choices that are short-sighted and create problems in the long term.
Decision challenges to conquer
Difficulty in predicting or ignoring how current choices will affect their futures
Impatience with others who want to talk about plans or think things through
Changing their mind suddenly and going in a different direction without considering consequences
What about Introversion/Extroversion?
eInstinct: Extroverted Instinct
Many Instinct types come across as extroverted simply because they are always on the go and in the center of activity. Most often that means they are with other people – recruiting others to participate in activities, negotiating and convincing others to do something, and often doing several things at once. Very often, they do fall on the E side of the spectrum.
iInstinct: Introverted Instinct
Due to the very nature of the Instinct type, it can be difficult to spot an iInstinct – but they are out there. They may still spend time in the center of activity, but at the end of the day, they will seek out alone time to recharge. You might also find them participating in adventurous, stimulating or fun activities (e.g., concerts, rock climbing, video games) alone.
Advice for the care and feeding of an Instinct type
Instinct types are not likely to plan or think things through carefully – help them by posing questions and providing high-level structure to guide them in the right direction
Try not to overwhelm them with details. Give them only the most important, high-level information they need to move forward
Take advantage of their ability to lead others through chaotic or difficult situations. They are amazingly good at ignoring the noise and getting to the cause of a problem and solving it
Give them feedback. They will not take it personally and will welcome it, even if it is critical
Stand back and appreciate them for the fun, entertaining, energetic and spontaneous people they are
Do not: Force them to adhere to a strict schedule or structure, or make them spend any more time on detail and planning than is necessary
If your type is Logic or Responsibility, be extra careful that your attention to details and structure doesn’t turn off an Instinct type and try not to get too irritated with them when they behave unpredictably
Are you an Instinct type? Do you think this describes you?
Remember, there is no best “type”, each has its own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to making good choices. We can have feelings and display behaviors that align with any or all of these styles, depending on the situation. The key is to understand what are the predominant personality characteristics driving your decisions and use it to make amazing choices!