Mixing Work and Play (Or Not)

Judgers are Fun… When the Work is Done

It’s something I say playfully in our workshops but there is a kernel of truth to it: Judgers are fun… when the work is done.

Mixing Work and Play - Cartoon by Toomey and Toomey
Mixing Work and Play - Judger To Do List

Judgers: Work First, then Play

For the most part, and this is even more true at work, Judgers get focused on the task at hand and want to press forward until it is finished. Their need for closure allows them to maintain a singular focus in order to get the endorphin fix that finishing tasks gives them. In fact, that endorphin hit is something they will artificially create. If a Judger finishes a task that was not on their to-do list, they will often write it down just to have the satisfying moment of crossing it off.

Perceivers: Mix Work and Play

By contrast, the Perceivers out there are energized by mixing work and play and even moving from one project to another before they are finished. Perceivers often have the most energy at the outset of a project when there is a “newness” or freshness to it. As the project gets further and further along and the final version starts to take shape, Perceivers may tend to move on to something else. It’s not that they are uncomfortable with finishing things, it’s more that it takes more energy for them at that particular stage of things. When we don’t have energy for something, our attention will often turn to other things.

Mixing Work and Play - Playfulness
Mixing Work and Play - Timing is Everything

Timing is Everything

Now, where it gets interesting is when you have Judgers and Perceivers working together and trying to manage for these different styles and approaches. It is REALLY important for Perceivers to learn that the energy boost they get by mixing in some playfulness is not generally something that Judgers enjoy. Timing is everything here, so try to find your spots where your colleagues might be in-between projects and available for a playful chat or joke… or, you might decide that’s something you can dispense with for the most part and train your attention instead on your Perceiver colleagues.

Levity as a Stress Buster

On the other side, it’s important for Judgers to realize that it’s unrealistic to expect your Perceiver colleagues to sit down and just grind away on one project through the whole day. Perceivers will likely want to break the project into smaller pieces and work on unrelated things for a brief period. When Perceivers introduce some humor/playfulness into the equation, it leaves them re-energized to dive back into their work. Most teams and organizations notice that some playfulness is a stress-reliever and sets a different tone within the group. Whether it’s seen in the dugout or the corporate boardroom, a little levity keeps people loose and prevents things from getting mired in seriousness.

Mixing Work and Play - Levity as a Stress Buster
Mixing Work and Play - Bursts of Inspiration

Leveraging Bursts of Inspiration

Many Perceivers benefit greatly from shifting between projects and working in short bursts of inspiration. In these cases, you’ll notice Perceivers can accomplish more than if they spent the whole time devoted to just one project. A Perceiver’s burst of inspiration can be an impressive display of productivity – but much like a sprinter, it’s not usually a pace that can be maintained over longer periods of time.

The main thing is that there is no one “right” way of working and the most successful teams we see have room for different styles to emerge and interact.

Rob Toomey

Rob Toomey

President and Co-Founder of TypeCoach

Related Topics

Ready to try TypeCoach?

Rolar para o topo