January 2011 Application

Type Resources

January 2011 Newsletter


Thinking-Feeling "Downsizing" Exercise: A Training Exercise from our President



The purpose of this exercise is to aid individuals in their search for a preferred judging preference or process.


Provide the participants descriptions or short lists of the judging preferences or mental processes.  Have places for groups to assemble and record their actions/responses to the exercise in a way that prevents others from viewing what they are recording.


Have each participant select the judging description that fits him or her best.  Then divide the participants into groups based on their selections.  (I like to have groups of seven or fewer people per group so that group members are active participants.)

Inform the participants that if they find their approach to be extremely different from the rest of the group they are not to argue or try to take charge of the group.  Rather, they are to come to you for direction as to which other group to join.  (Based on what the person tells you happened, assign the individual to the group you think would be the best fit for the person.)

Provide the situation to the groups and instruct them to record their actions.


"You are the coach of a team.  (Never specify the type of team.)  Your team has 20 members and has just won its local competition.  As the team is moving to the next level of competition, you are informed that the team can have no more than 12 members.  What actions will you take as a result of this change?"


After the groups have recorded their reactions, ask them the following questions:

  1. What are you attempting to accomplish with your actions?
  2. Who is making the decision, or how are decisions being made?
  3. How will the team members be informed of the decisions?

Process the actions and responses to the questions ensuring that all responses are respected.  If you want to process this exercise at the mental process level (Extraverted Thinking, Introverted Thinking, etc.), ask each group if they recognize their group dividing into two sub-groups.  If they do, ask them to describe the differences between the sub-groups.

Expected Sub-Groupings at the Mental Process Level:

Extraverted Thinking - Will quickly develop criteria that can be objectively applied.

Introverted Thinking - Will want more information regarding the sport, age of players, and whether the team is a professional or amateur team.

Extraverted Feeling - Will be extremely concerned about hurting anyone's feelings and wanting every player to feel appreciated and to have a say in the decision-making.

Introverted Feeling - Will want the decision to be fair and will challenge the rule change.

Expected Results:

Those with a preference for Thinking tend to quickly list criteria for evaluating members and making the cuts.  They may even prioritize the criteria.

Those with a preference for Feeling tend to talk about how they hate making these types of decisions or how this shouldn't be happening.  Often they will develop a list of actions that include involving the team members.  They may create positions for those who are no longer on the team so that they are still participating with the team in a different role.

Those who prefer Extraverted Thinking tend to go straight to criteria development for evaluations.

Those who prefer Introverted Thinking tend to want to know more information about the team and the context.  Often they want to know the type of team, the age of the players, and if the players are being paid to participate.

Those who prefer Extraverted Feeling tend to focus on the reactions to the cut by the players and on making everyone feel valued and heard.  They may explain that everyone on the team needs to feel okay with the final decision.

Those who prefer Introverted Feeling may decide not to participate, as the actions violate their values.  Often they will comment that they never would have been in this situation to begin with.  They also might jump right in to developing criteria.

End the exercise by showing that all preferences and mental processes are valuable and necessary when solving problems.

Want to know more about the judging mental functions?  Check out the Decoder, our exclusive must-have online tool.  Free webinars, which include a chance to demo this tool, are also offered.

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Bob McAlpine Bob McAlpine, M.A. (ISTJ) is the President of Type Resources and one of the creators of the Function-Archetype Decoder.  To read his full bio, please visit the about us webpage.

Copyright © 2011 Type Resources

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