Judging vs. Perceiving

Judging and Perceiving, exploring the differences

The J-P dichotomy is about how we prefer to live our lives and is the one scale that can change through choice (although we will each have a natural predilection for one or the other). This is not one of the scales developed by Jung in his ‘Psychological Types’ but was added later, in 1941 by the mother and daughter Myers and Briggs.

Judging types prefer a planned, ordered world where things are organised and scheduled and they look to get to closure on issues as they tend to dislike loose ends. They also tend to finish one job before they start the next and are keen to have order.

Perceiving types are more flexible, spontaneous and almost get a kick out of last minute hitches or problems. They dislike routine and prefer to keep their options open seeing planning as stifling and plans as there to be changed.

Judging Types Perceiving Types
Do not like leaving unanswered questions Need freedom from lots of obligations
Planned, ordered, structured approach Flexible and spontaneous approach
Prefer to follow rules and protocols Act impulsively following the situation
Stable and predictable workstyle Often start things without finishing
Work towards closure systematically Work in bursts of energy
Do not like to change their decisions Curious and like a fresh look at things
Drive for closure Keep options open

How Judging types and Perceiving types might experience each other

Judgers may see Perceivers as Perceivers may see Judgers as
Careless and unproductive Rigid and inflexible
Lacking consideration for deadlines Stubborn and rule-bound
Not serious enough Overly controlling
Irresponsible and unreliable Too ‘black and white’
Procrastinators, unable to make decisions Making decisions too quickly
Expedient, jumping in unplanned Taking too long to plan

Engaging with and managing a Judger, if you are a Perceiver

  • Be clear and specific on what’s required, they will prefer clarity and probably want to make a list to drive towards closure
  • Give them a plan, or let them create one as a Judger will not function so well with too much ambiguity and will prefer straight, clear lines
  • Encourage them think as the Judger will want to make sure that they have a clear plan before embarking     
  • Question to check all options are explored    as the Judger may be so keen to get on and do that they not fully explore other options as this could be valuable ‘doing time’
  • Ensure it is thought through      as the Judger will want to get to actions immediately once they have a plan and a ‘to-do’ list
  • Let them get on with it as the Judger will not want to be micro-managed as ‘doing’ is their forte
  • They tend to feel more in control by having a clear plan with milestones and getting to closure early

Engaging with and managing a Perceiver, if you are a Judger

  • Let them ask questions and discuss options, as the Perceiver will prefer spontaneity rather than a strict plan
  • Allow them some wriggle room as the Perceiver will want to do it their way and trying to force them to do it one way will not help
  • Let them talk a little as the they will often vocalise their thoughts and they work best in short bursts of energy rather than systematically
  • Question gently to bring to a decision rather than force them down a prescribed route
  • Ensure they are clear otherwise they might end up working long and hard but on the wrong things
  • Check every so often how they’re doing rather than micro-manage just to ensure they’re on (the right) track
  • They tend to feel more in control if they can keep their options open and maintain a sense of flexibility


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