Sunday, March 22, 2009


As is often true with a given topic, the more we attend to it, richer insights come with the focus. Reflecting on the power of emotions is no different. Now that we have an ocean of evidence that all decisions and choices we make are driven and colored by our emotional underworld, the importance of the topic is magnified. I wonder what insights others have found while working with this topic?

Friday, February 22, 2008


In just about all aspects of life, the human emotion of caring is evident. Whether you support a particular political candidate based on “caring for a cause” or ponder career choices so that you can provide more for loved ones because you “care” about them, you are experiencing the basic emotional response of showing concern, empathy, or sympathy as the situation requires. When you see situations that prompt your attention or if another person appears to be in need of some assistance, the emotional urge to help is prompted by caring.

When experiencing caring, the internal feedback is that you perceive the relationship or other individual:
· Is important.
· Is a focus of your concern.
· Needs support or assistance.
· Deserves your undivided attention.

Emotion serves you by:
The emotion of caring provides for increasing the bond in relationships and facilitating social responsibility. When you experience caring, you feel support and encouragement from those around you. Even in demanding situations where care is directed, this eventually contributes to a state of well-being, safety, and reduced tension.

Caring and Health
The urge and emotional energy associated with caring can raise attentional focus that is directed toward an individual or individuals. This increased effort can be moderately stressful depending on the condition of the individual for whom caring is being expressed. If this is a relatively comfortable situation, then the energy is likely to be used in productive ways. If this is an uncomfortable situation, such as a loved one in a healthcare facility, emotions of anxiety or feelings of frustration may create a highly stressful situation. These emotions can combine to affect immune efficiency in positive or negative ways, depending on the context.

Generate this emotion in others by:
Giving full attention to the other person with eye contact and an open body stance.
Paraphrasing the information and emotion apparent in an interaction.
Showing interest in the other person’s perspective through open-ended questions.

Variations by Type
When we experience caring, everyone has the same neurological event. However, the triggers of caring and how it is expressed varies by personality type. What one type experiences as information that a person is in need and how they should respond is not the same as another.

Summarized below are the triggers by the mental functions of psychological type:

Sensing +Thinking Triggers and Responses:
Physical gap exists that requires physical assistance (e.g. you see a mother carrying a child and she about to drop her bag of groceries)
Individual seems to need directions to a specific location
Being very careful to provide explicit, verifiable information to others
Being efficient is an act of caring

Sensing + Feeling Triggers and Responses:
Individual is in physical discomfort and needs assistance
Individual has emotional discomfort which is prompted by a physical situation
Being attentive to the specific source of difficulty is an act of caring
Being willing to carefully record the details of a situation shows caring

Intuiting + Feeling Triggers and Responses:
Individual is psychologically or emotionally uncomfortable
Individual seems detached or emotionally uninvolved in the situation
Being demonstratively empathetic is an act of caring
Being an active listener and emotionally supportive is caring

Intuiting + Thinking Triggers and Responses:
Individual appears to lack the “know how” to get something done
Individual needs clarity in analyzing a situation
Offering a strategic or “big picture” perspective on a situation is an act of caring
Dialoguing about options, choices, and outcomes is an act of caring

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Decoding Emotions - Anger

By Roger R. Pearman, Ed.D
Founder and President,
Leadership Performance Systems and

While researchers may disagree on how the emotion of anger is developed and expressed throughout life, everyone agrees that anger is an emotion with significant consequences in your life. Often “feeling terms” such as resentment, annoyance, or frustration are associated with anger, and none of these are positive.

Yet, anger may serve various constructive purposes, when properly understood and managed. At its root, anger is an expression that you are unable (for various reasons) to achieve a certain goal or objective. Anger is a “feedback energy” to your psyche that things are not going as you might like or expect. The question is how to manage anger for constructive purposes.

Information in this emotion:
When you are angry, the internal feedback is that you perceive an individual has:
  • Failed to fulfill an expectation or agreement
  • Intentionally violated an important value or principle
  • Created a barrier to reaching an objective
  • Misused or misjudged you in some way
  • Gotten in your way intentionally

This emotion serves you by:
The emotion of anger prompts your body to prepare to fight or demonstrate protest. With anger, you are preparing for a physical response such as yelling or even physical contact. This emotion serves to focus attention, and when prompted for good reason, it can harness motivation to change policies, laws, and influence others. This contributes to a state of motivated interest even if it is negative.

Variations by Type
When we experience anger, everyone has the same neurological event. However, the triggers of anger vary by personality type. What one type experiences as a violation of trust, principles, or agreements is not the same as another. Summarized below are the triggers by the mental functions of psychological type:

Sensing +Thinking Triggers:
  • Lack of attention to detail
  • Lack of verification of information
  • Failure to follow through as specifically described
  • Inefficiency

Sensing + Feeling Triggers:

  • Failure to respond to personal inquiry
  • Failure to acknowledge hands-on efforts
  • Lack of attention to personal needs

Intuiting + Feeling Triggers:

  • Perceived condescension, insensitivity
  • Focus on “it” or “task” rather than on the individual’s needs
  • Failure to acknowledge efforts
  • Judgmental

Intuiting + Thinking Triggers:

  • Incompetence
  • Irrationality
  • Lack of logical basis for decisions
  • Failure to address competence after it has been identified

Short Cut: Transform this emotion to a constructive use by:

  • Acknowledging the anger and reflecting with the individual on the prompter for the response (e.g. feel misunderstood, obstructed, etc)
  • Exploring the desired outcome of “setting things right”
  • Discussing how anger relates to what you feel is important -- how you feel threatened and how to redirect that energy into less stressful strategies that will produce a positive outcome (e.g. problem solving)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Part Three: What Type Practioners Need to Know About Emotional Intelligence and Type

By Roger R. Pearman, Ed.D
Founder and President,
Leadership Performance Systems and


Traditional psychologists who develop EQ models build their work on an academic tradition rich in a large body of research in the intelligences. Mayer, et al are proud of building their EQ intelligence model on the long tradition of cognitive models of intelligence and their model is gaining acceptance in the psychological community. The mounting evidence of the validity of their model lends credibility to their claim that the hypothesized eight abilities exist.

Due to their academic tradition, it is unlikely that they give much recognition to Jung’s model. Jung, often eschewed by contemporary research psychologists, was an astute observer of human behavior. The patterns he observed led him to hypothesize that patterns were governed by mental processes that served specific and specialized purposes.[i]

Mayer, et al are contemporary “dyed in the wool” research psychologists who have developed a model that parallels Jung’s holistic model of the human psyche adapting and learning from experience. Mayer’s work claims a long scientific tradition; Jung’s model is measured by various tools with varying degrees of psychometric integrity.

Convergence—a theoretical consideration

These two theories—one on the abilities of emotional intelligence and the other on mental functions that make up psychological type-- are not “accidental” findings about basic human mental processes. Rather, Mayer et al, and Jung came to their propositions after considerable study. Granted, their starting questions are somewhat different, but ultimately both models attempt to explore the mechanisms at work in adapting and coping.

Both models have proposed:

Eight capacities or mental resources in both models with similar characteristics, though labeled very differently.
Perceiving and judging processes, four capacities within each dimension.
A dynamic among the capabilities or mental resources such that any given combination has differential behavioral outcomes.
Adaptation and personal effectiveness are a matter of development and use of one’s natural resources.

Type and Emotional Intelligence

There is much to discover in future research, but of what is known, the following observations seem reasonable about type and emotional intelligence:

The architecture of both the EQ abilities model and psychological type are similar, though the primary content of each framework is different. If Mayer, Salovey, and Caruso are correct about these abilities being instrumental to emotional intelligence, then I am suggesting that the parallel of the two models suggest that the basic functions of type are equally important.

The way individuals experience and react to emotional information is partially a function of their type. Extensive evidence (summarized in Introduction to Type and Emotional Intelligence) suggests that those dimensions considered important to emotional intelligence vary by type in terms of the interpretation of stimuli and the management of emotional information.

As we enhance our type development by learning and integrating experience regarding our mental functions as expressed through our attitudes, we will likely increase our capacities to constructively manage our emotions and enrich our relationships.

Final Reminder—Enhancing Perception and Judgment about Emotions

The following fundamental principle in emotional intelligence and emotional effectiveness, regardless of type, is the most challenging for many people to understand and act on: No one makes you feel one way or the other; your feelings and emotions are entirely of your making.

It is not accurate to say you “choose” your emotions because this implies a conscious decision. Your emotions emerge due to the mind maps built on your personal history experience through the lens of your type.

A specific behavior by someone may trigger anger in one person and not in another. The difference is the mind map each person has about a given behavior. For example, someone cutting in front of you while driving may elicit anger or humor, depending on your mind map about that behavior. The main point is that no one causes your emotions; the emotions are a personal reaction and are best understood as self-generated feedback designed to motivate reactions.

We can change our mind maps, which are the “filters” that guide and direct our emotional response. You can learn to redirect your emotional energy for positive ends. However, none of this can be achieved unless you accept this principle: you must “own” your emotions and explore the link between your emotional
responses and your mind maps. What you do with them leads to satisfaction and effectiveness or unhappiness. My clinical work suggests that your type development can be an instrumental tool to increase your emotional intelligence and life satisfaction.

[i] Jung’s model is complex. He suggests that the mental functions are the architecture while experience is creates the unique content that adds substance to the architecture. For example, Introverted Feeling exists for everyone; however, the values around which Feeling focuses vary by experience. Further, Jung felt that development (through differentiation) and balance (meaning balancing perceiving and judging) are impulses that are wired into the psyche, though the course of development would vary by type and experience.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Part Two: What Type Practitioners Need to Know About Emotional Intelligence and Type

By Roger R. Pearman, Ed.D
Founder and President, Leadership Performance Systems and

Decoding and Using the Information in Emotions

Emotions provide energy, motivation, and direction. Emotions are so integrated into the way we see, interpret, and act on experience that it is a miracle that eleven emotions have proven to have specific neurological patterns of chemical activity and pathways.[i]

Researchers have shown that we have short and long routes to emotional triggers. Imagine that you are walking around a cabin you’ve rented for a long weekend and it is early evening. You see a long, curled object on the side of the path and you immediately prepare to flee out of fear that it is a snake (short route). In a few moments you realize that the object is a water hose and now you are calm and even laugh at yourself for the initial reaction (long route).

Here’s the core issue. All of our emotions have short and long routes which are developed over a lifetime of experience. The interplay of experience and hard wiring create “programs” that get triggered, and the evidence clearly shows the programming related to relationships is largely influenced by type.

Ask an ISTJ and an ENFP what gets them hot under the collar and you’ll see what I mean. With lightning speed, many ISTJs will note inaccuracy and incompetent analysis as a trigger to a hot emotion, and ENFPs will often identify any kind of rejection or observed unkindness as a trigger. This is not to say that rudeness is unimportant to the ISTJ or accuracy and incompetence are not of concern to the ENFP, but these do not trigger a hot emotion like anger or impatience.

Parallel differences are found on triggers for the other emotions as well for the sixteen types. As we might expect, if type influences the triggers it also affects how these are managed internally and interpersonally. A decade ago when I started researching the various linkages between type and emotional intelligence, I had the good fortune of accessing the database at the Center for Creative Leadership which provided ample evidence of EQ variables. Without reviewing all of the subtle differences between the types, let me encourage you to read Introduction to Type and Emotional Intelligence[ii]. My point for this article is to illustrate that type is integral to our emotional lives.

Next step up
“The psyche is a whole in which everything is connected to everything else.” C.G. Jung, The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche, p.212

If, as suggested above, type influences the most fundamental aspects of emotions and emotional expression, then how might type be related to the proposed abilities that have been shown to be essential to emotional intelligence?

As indicated earlier, a group of researchers has taken the perspective that emotional intelligence is reflected in the way eight specific abilities are used. These researchers hold that like other abilities (e.g. math calculations), the eight abilities of emotional intelligence are coded into the human neurological makeup. The following table identifies the eight abilities and associates the psychological type mental process with each ability.

EQ Ability / Type Mental Process
Recognizing the physical fact of emotions /Sensing that is introverted
Identifying the contextual elements in your emotions /Intuiting that is introverted
Recognizing others’ emotions /Sensing that is extraverted
Anticipating others’ emotions /Intuiting that is extraverted
Identifying an appropriate emotional response /Feeling that is introverted
Matching the emotion with the situation /Thinking that is introverted
Evaluating the emotional needs of others /Thinking that is extraverted
Demonstrating appropriate emotions in interpersonal behavior /Feeling that is extraverted

Please note that I am not suggesting that a given type has an advantage on any given EQ ability. I am suggesting that the mental functions in their attitudes of types have a role in understanding the abilities of emotional intelligence.

Jung proposed four mental functions (Sensing, INtuiting, Thinking, Feeling) that are manifest in either extraverted or introverted attitudes as fundamental to an individual’s ability to perceive and judge. These processes work together in a pattern to produce a typical way of adapting to daily challenges. The perceiving processes are under less conscious control while the decision-making processes are more conscious.[iii] In a similar way, the EQ abilities model suggests that the eight abilities identified above work in various dynamic ways which the result being a certain level of emotional effectiveness.

Jung’s model included a way of understanding four perceiving strategies and four judging strategies that are used in varying degrees in our type dynamic. As Jung noted, type was about how we orient our conscious mind to the world, people, and things, and that while some processes are superior in consciousness, others are inferior in consciousness but NOT inferior in strength.[iv] Again, the EQ abilities model researchers have illustrated that abilities vary in their depth and use within each individual.

As a note of caution, let’s remember that there are some important theoretical issues which we as type users are working through in our research and use of type. Jung’s structure of type is based on two attitudes and four mental functions as expressed in those attitudes. This distinction is sometimes blurred when talking about the source of the type expression. For example, sometimes we hear discussions about extraverted thinking as if it has a different source than introverted thinking. In a letter to Erich von Fange, Jung wrote of his own theory: My book has been written to demonstrate the structural and functional aspects of certain typical elements of the psyche….my concepts are merely meant to serve as a means of communication through colloquial language about immensely complicated structures…We should take note of Jung’s caution about the complexity of the psyche and the interdependence of all of its processes.

[i] Lewis, M. and Haviland-Jones, J. (2000). The Handbook of Emotions. New York, New York: The Guildford Press.
[ii] Pearman, Roger. (2002). Introduction to Type and Emotional Intelligence. Mountain View, CA; CPP, Inc.
[iii] Jung is explicit that the four mental functions are manifest differently in extraversion and introversion. His theory of types plainly spells out that there are four qualities of extraversion and four qualities of introversion. The qualities are driven by the four functions. He begins the “General Description of the Types” (paragraph 536) with a focus on extraversion and introversion and in every essay after Psychological Types he goes to great pain to make the point that “the two attitudes are manifest in a special way through the predominance of one of the four basic functions” (paragraph 913). In recent writings we have moved to discussing these manifestations as extraverted thinking, introverted thinking, etc. as eight mental processes, which Jung alludes to with examples of the qualitative differences among the way extraverted thinking and introverted thinking are discussed. See Jung, C.G (1921) Psychological Types. Princeton: Bolingren, paragraphs 536-987.
[iv] Jung made this point in numerous papers. In an effort to make explicit is use of the words superior and inferior, he specifically noted that the “superior function is superior in consciousness; the inferior function is interior to consciousness but not in strength.”

Next Posting...Divergence and Convergence

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Part One: What Type Practictioners Need to Know About Emotional Intelligence and Type

By Roger R. Pearman, Ed.D.
Founder and President, Leadership Performance Systems and

The question was so simple and shocking that it rendered me silent for a few moments. A long-time user of psychological type asked me, “What could type possibly have to do with emotional intelligence (EQ)?” With this series of postings, I want to share with you some possible answers to that question. There are theoretical and empirical issues related to this question that has practical implications for our use of type.

Let’s agree that in research circles the nature of emotional intelligence continues to be controversial.[i] There are as many articles in professional literature declaring the EQ concept bankrupt as there are research reports showing the critical role of supposed emotionally intelligence constructs in performance. Of those who are believers, two schools of research have emerged, both claming to have massive data to prove the pre-eminence of their position.

Now after 1,549 published research studies since 1994, the two schools of thought that have developed are a traditional abilities model and a behavior-competency model. The abilities model suggests eight specific abilities that operate much like the capacities we bring to cognitive intelligence. Due to various research assumptions, I’ll add the neuroscience researchers to the traditional abilities school. There are a number of behavior-competency models which identify specific measurable behaviors that affect interpersonal effectiveness.

You need certain abilities to effectively use emotions. You must be able to identify the emotion, decode the emotion, understand its potential outcome if (and when) expressed, and translate the information into a constructive choice. For example, you have to be able to see that an individual has had a slight change in their facial expression that signifies a change in emotion if you are going to respond appropriately. The list below outlines the eight capabilities we rely on in emotional intelligence[ii]:

Abilities to perceive emotions:
· Recognizing your emotions
· Identifying contexts of your emotions
· Recognizing others’ emotions
· Anticipating others’ emotions depending on context

Abilities to manage emotions:
· Identifying an appropriate emotional response
· Matching the emotion with the situation
· Evaluating the emotional needs of others
· Demonstrating appropriate interpersonal behavior

Please note that we will return to this list of eight abilities, given that they so conveniently parallel the use of the functions of psychological type.

The second school of thought suggests that whatever the abilities may be, it is the way behavior is expressed that makes the biggest difference. Depending on the researcher, various competencies are listed as since there is no common nomenclature. For the sake of economy, I’ve summarized the typical abilities in the following list. I’ve selected terms to reflect common ground among theorists and researchers:

Self-Management Competencies/Perceiving
· Emotional self-awareness
· Recognizing “hot buttons” and sources of “emotional comfort”
· Stress-awareness

Relationship Competencies/Perceiving

· Awareness of others’ emotions
· Identifying values, perspectives, and intentions of others
· Emotional independence and perspective-taking

Self-Management Competencies/Managing

· Self-control and emotional regulation
· Intentional energy
· Optimism and confidence

Relationship Competencies/Managing

· Interpersonal savvy
· Adaptability
· Empathy

The casual user of psychological type can immediately hypothesize that each of these behaviors is affected by one’s psychological type. For example, the ways in which we express and demonstrate empathy vary by type.[iii] I’ve added a table at the end of this article which links various EQ topics and research in the MBTI® Manual (1998).

As tempting as it is to explore in detail how type is interrelated to these two schools, I think it is more useful in this brief article to step back to the foundations of emotional intelligence. Many writers and researchers in the field accept the premise that whatever emotional intelligence is, it must be an ability to decode and constructively use the information in emotions.

[i] Conte, Jeffrey. (2005) A review and critique of emotional intelligence measures. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 26, 433-440.
[ii] These were identified by researchers of the abilities of EQ and measured by the MSCEIT™. See Mayer, J., Salovey, P., Caruoso, D.(2002) MSCEIT™ Manual. Toronto: MHS, Inc.
[iii] The research that produced Introduction to Type and Emotional Intelligence (2002) used a random sampling of the database from the Center for Creative Leadership which allowed for an equal distribution of each of the sixteen types. Using various measures of interpersonal and intrapersonal variables, the styles of each of the sixteen types were analyzed and reported. It is this research which so thoroughly revealed the differences among the sixteen types on such variables as empathy.

Next posting...Decoding and Using the Information in Emotions

Thursday, April 12, 2007

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