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Thinker or Feeler

How do you process information? In the Pathmaker created by Strategic People Development we discuss how people process information as a thinker or a feeler. Think of information being received as balloons. The information (balloons) are coming at you at an incredible rate of speed and how you receive them determines how you are able to process information.

A feeler doesn't see the balloons coming. The balloons just appear all around them. As information is presented to them they first feel the emotion attached to the information (anger, sadness, joy, anticipation, fear, humor) for example maybe they receive news that a friend they went to school with recently got married. They'll process that information surrounded by the emotions they feel. They may feel slighted because they weren't invited to the wedding or they might feel jealous that their friend found someone while they are still single. They may be flooded with memories of the good times they had with their friend. After they have feelings about the information (balloon) they are able to see it, acknowledge it and then decide to keep or discard the information. They will have finished processing the information and used their feelings to do it.

If someone process information as a thinker they see the information (balloons) coming towards them and catch them at arms length. In the same scenario as the feeler who found out about their old classmates wedding they will probably ask a lot of questions. Where was the wedding held, who attended and who did they marry. After they have asked enough questions to understand the practical information they will decide to either have a feeling about the information or let it float off into the wind. They don't need to feel any emotions about the information they desire to understand it. One of the most interesting differences between thinkers and feelers is their capability for strong emotion. At first glance you might assume that the feeler would be the one who would have the strongest emotions. They have a lot of emotions about everything, are often hurt by people and circumstances and often wear their feelings on their sleeves.