Sensors vs Intuitives: How Are They Different? - Dick Massimilian

Sensors vs Intuitives: How Are They Different?

Sensors vs Intuitives: How Are They Different?

Written By Dick Massimilian
Published Fall 2020

People take in information in one of two ways. Each way, sensors vs intuitives, views things from a different perspective.


Sensors are drawn to what is real and actual. They focus on “what’s so.” They build carefully towards conclusions. Their orientation is specifics and details. The first question they pose: “what have we got?”

Their Achilles heel: analysis paralysis.


On the other hand, Intuitives are drawn to patterns and meaning. They focus on “so what?” They move quickly to conclusions and follow hunches. Their orientation is big picture. The first question they pose: “what’s the point?”

Their Achilles heel: cognitive bias.

To discern if you perceive things in a manner akin to Sensors vs Intuitives, consider this scenario. Sensors wait for a story to unfold. Intuitives want to know the point up front. When you first see a painting, if you are drawn to details such as texture and color, you’re a Sensor. However, if you want to know what it’s a painting of, you’re an Intuitive.

Communicating with Sensors and Intuitives

If your boss is a Sensor, explain your process, outline your thinking, then make your point. On the other hand, if your boss is an Intuitive, start with your point, then explain your process and outline your thinking. If you don’t, you will irritate your boss.

In a meeting, always start with the objective(s). Sensors won’t mind if you don’t; Intuitives will. Both are equally impatient, but Sensors are impatient for details and Intuitives for the punch line.

Dick Massimilian in the Media

Dick appeared on the #hottakeoftheday podcast, hosted by David Ramsden-Wood, to discuss leadership and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. To listen to Dick talk about Sensors vs. Intuitives during the podcast, click here. Or, watch it on YouTube here.

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