Developing Feeling

Type develops. Like a tree grows, so does our awareness of and comfort with all of the mental functions (Sensing, iNtuition, Thinking and Feeling). And while growth and development can happen organically—at their own pace, we can also approach our Type development with some intention and design. So how (and why) would you go about developing Feeling (subjective decision making)?

The Feeling function helps us weigh how much we care about the things that will be gained or lost by each. The Feeling function seeks accord between our personal sense of values and our actions. Its personal nature helps us focus on the relationships around us and how our decisions affect them. Feeling is empathic, values-focused, subjective and personal. Only the Feeling function can make decisions motivated by compassion and harmony.

Individuals with well-developed Feeling tend to be:

  • Appreciative of others
  • Sensitive conflict resolvers, disliking conflict and either avoiding it or diligently, even aggressively, working toward its resolution
  • Quick to sympathize/empathize and stay personally connected to issues and people
  • Gleaners of personal meaning from relationships and actions
  • Builders of effective relationships
  • In touch with his/her values and beliefs

Organizations with well-developed Feeling tend to have:

  • A premium placed on loyalty
  • Expressed concern and connection to work, colleagues, and outcomes
  • An emphasis on having and fostering warm customer and co-worker relationships
  • A familial and/or personal atmosphere
  • A reward structure emphasizing kindness, personal connection, and team work

Individuals with under-developed Feeling tend to be:

  • Insensitive, uncaring, and conflict-blind
  • Disloyal, and perhaps even amoral
  • Emotionally reactive in ways out of sync or proportion to the situation
  • Selfish and/or self-satisfying
  • Unable or unwilling to weigh impact on others
  • Cutting, with a caustic, abusive sense of humor

Organizations with under-developed Feeling tend to have:

  • Little attention given to employee, client, co-worker and team needs
  • A belief that conflict either does not exist or that conflict has no negative or toxic effect
  • A mechanistic approach to work and the people who perform it
  • Little loyalty to team, system or mission

The following are ideas to use in helping individuals improve access and skill with the Feeling function:

  • Reflect on how much you personally care about proposed actions, and the extent to which these actions fit your values—are the actions good or bad, and how will they impact you, your image, and those you care about.
  • Consider other people’s feelings—both reasonable and unreasonable. Remember when you felt a similar way and what your resulting needs or expectations were.
  • Reflect upon and journal (write down) the non-negotiables in your Statements like, “People should. . .” or “It is important that . . .” might help.
  • Express your feelings to someone you like, appreciate or care for (personally or professionally).
  • Establish eye contact, smile, and tell someone “Good Morning,” or “Hello”.
  • Talk to someone about a value you feel strongly about. Statements like, “People . .” or “It is important that . . .” might help.
  • Sell someone on an idea, belief or course of action—don’t debate them with logic, but sell them, convince them with your values and belief that your ideas are worth adopting.


Type Development WorkbookThe material in this blog are excerpted from OKA’s Type Development Workbook, by Hile Rutledge. For more information on this and other OKA Type resources, click the workbook image to visit OKA’s online store.





Also, consider OKA’s newest Type course, Using Type in Coaching and Development, a two-day, experiential deep dive into Type Dynamics, balance, and Type Development. Designed and delivered by Hile Rutledge, this latest Type offering from OKA will update and revitalize your use of Type and the MBTI assessment. Click the class image to learn more about this workshop.

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