John G Bell
Reflective Practicum 1
Spring '04 - Hormann

Weekly – What does your type need?

I am XNTP.

Because competence is so important to me, I hate doing anything that I don't know how to do yet, or have an expectation that I'll do well already. That also means that I try to change projects into tasks which I feel I already have the ability to do successfully. In order to do tasks and projects that I don't feel comfortable, I often time have to be sure I have a safe place where my display of inability will not come back to haunt me or be used to reflect on my personal worth or aptitude.

I find that a surprising number of times people have thought I was very judgmental. This is surprising to me because I see myself as being very open and flexible about other view and methods. However, I recognize that I have very high demands on myself for precision and competence that can also become demands on my acquaintances. I suppose that makes me more demanding than judgmental. However, I become frustrated when I feel that my competence is either taken for granted or being taken advantage of by others.

I look for ways to think that are outside the box. I will look at the ways things are being done and try to figure out how to map them in relation to each other that shows a blank square, a method or process that has not been tried yet. When entering a group, I will watch to see what roles are taken, and then take one that isn't yet filled. However, in many ways, I'm also more excited to explore new ideas than to follow through and finalize previous ones. I need others to help bring projects to conclusion, but also be flexible.

I intellectualize feelings, especially around people I do not know and with whom I am not intimate. In groups, I will find ways to talk about my emotions that do not reveal my emotions, or I will avoid those topics by moving to abstract or theoretical issues. This can make me appear impersonal. Because I'm both E and I, I can get my energy from people or on my own, but when in groups I am most comfortable when I can be someone else or play a defined role that does not require me to completely reveal myself to the group.

At the same time, in the right group or with the right partners the exploration of a project becomes almost too exciting, and I have a very difficult time pulling back from a torrent of ideas and thoughts. I spend a great deal of effort in holding back when in groups to create space for others, but this can lead to a feeling of dissatisfaction when I am unable to share enough within a group, or if the group seems to get stuck on something that I've already thought about and from which I've moved on already. I need to feel listened to by my project partners.

I look for ways to break the rules to find out what happens when I do. I find ways to do things that bend the rules, but still work. I look for the ways that theories-in-practice (or as I say, understandards) differ from espoused theories. This also means I become frustrated when my knowledge of how to work the system fails. I invest in my ability to navigate the system behind the system as a source of pride.

When I'm not challenged, I push deadlines in order to create artificial challenge. This is effective for a while, but then the artificial nature of the challenge becomes more just stress without meaning. Sometimes I overcompensate when trying to make space for others to speak, and need help from my project partners in creating space for me to contribute without feeling like I'm taking over.