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Type Tips from the Experts

Type and Decision-Making: Type Tip #21

Use the Z-model of decision-making with children just as you do with adults. Before bringing closure to a decision, they should answer four key questions.  

  1. Do we have all the information we need? (Sensing)  
  2. Should we consider other possibilities? (Intuition)  
  3. Is this reasonable? Can we really do it? (Thinking)  
  4. Is this important? Is it worth my time? (Feeling) 

They may need help answering the questions but asking the questions prepares them to look at an issue from a variety of perspectives. These four questions are only an example. Many others could be used. 


Making a Choice: Type Tip #20

Give CHOICES, CHOICES, CHOICES. Every time a child makes an independent choice, they choose a way to process the options and make a selection. This action allows for type exploration and type development. Even infants and toddlers can make choices. With toddlers, instead of the command, "Sit here" say, "Which chair would you like to use?" We may not know the basis for the choice but reaching a decision would require taking in information and making a choice, resulting in personal development. 


Small, Sequential Steps for the Sensing Preference: Type Tip #19

Use small, sequential steps when creating or structuring directions for students who prefer Sensing rather than compound or complex sentences. For example, instead of writing "Name all the vegetables that are native to the area, and tell how the local people use these to survive, and identify how else they might make a living" write the task as three separate sentences. "Name all the vegetables that are native to the area. Tell how the local people use the native vegetables to survive. Identify how else the local people might make a living." Young people with a preference for Sensing have said the first way is "confusing" but the second way is "clear." The work is the same. This same approach works well when giving directions at home, too.


Second Chance: Type Tip #18

Sometimes preteens, with a preference for Extraversion, say things first, before they think it through and then may feel they have to stand by what was said. The strategy of "second chance" allows an alternative. When a student said something that might be considered rude, I would say, "Second chance. Do you want to say that another way?" So often they would. If a child just wanted to be rude, they would say a second rude comment. When that happens then you know it is not Extraversion but is rudeness and you can give an appropriate consequence. 


5-Minute Warning: Type Tip #17

Use the "5-Minute Warning" to let a child know when closure to their task is imminent. "In five minutes, we will need to leave." Warning of the change in an activity is respectful to both the Judging (J) and Perceiving (P) preference. Those who prefer J are typically early starting and like to know what is coming next so they can formulate a plan. People who prefer P are often pressure-prompted and like to keep their options open, so advance notice reminds them to complete the task at hand. Time management for a J preference means following a schedule and reaching closure quickly, whereas, with a P preference, keeping options open until the last moment is optimal, producing their best work in those final minutes.