MBTI Step II Facets: Tough–Tender

Posted 12 September 2017 by
Global Marketing

A couple of months ago, a participant in a training program told me she thinks of his Tough behavior in terms of removing a small bandage. She said Tough behavior is like removing that bandage in one quick pull. For her, pulling the bandage off slowly only prolongs the pain. This firm approach can be effective as long as it doesn’t cross over the line and become stern.

Tender behavior certainly does not intentionally prolong pain. Instead, people who report Tender believe that a kinder and gentler approach works best. This may look like they are backpedaling to those on the Tough side. However, further exploration reveals that those using Tender behavior tend to implement a decision with the intent of getting as much buy-in from those affected by the decision as possible.

Both Tough and Tender behavior can be effective when implementing a decision. Yet, when I cover this with teams, I often find team members have difficulty understanding their non-preferred side. We need to remember how this is described in the MBTI® Step II™ Manual (p. 24): Tough–Tender focuses on the impact of our judgments and how we proceed once our judgments have been made. If we stay open to both sides of this facet, we stand the best chance of achieving decision-making success.

Did you miss reading about the other Thinking–Feeling facets? Below are the hyperlinks in case you want to read the blogs posted previously: