MBTI Step II Facets: Realistic–Imaginative
A colleague came into my office one day and asked me, “Why would someone send another person flowers?” I was a bit surprised by the question. She continued, “They seem like such a waste. I mean, they are really expensive and they are going to die.” I thought about it for a minute, not sure at first how to respond.
I love to send and receive flowers, so I tried to explain that the cost and short life span of such a gift are not the point. Clearly not getting my message across very well, I decided to switch gears and asked my colleague, “What is the best present you have ever received?” She thought about it for a minute, then replied, “A coffee maker. I can use it over and over again.” Then, grinning, “It won’t die.”
Realistic people usually prefer getting useful things. Cost, utility, life span are all considerations they take into account when making up their wish lists. But as someone who reports Imaginative, I tend not to consider usefulness and cost first. When it comes to gifts for me, the more unique and whimsical, the better.
In terms of how people view each other, people who report realistic may see Imaginative people as lacking common sense, ignoring reality and/or wasting time. Yet these people also tend to admire Imaginative people's ability to dream up something that may be useful.
On the other hand, people who report Imaginative may see Realistic people as materialistic or unimaginative, yet admire their grasp on realities of a situation (including the bottom line).
As an exercise, think about leaders you've seen in the past. When they're learning about new competition, or taking in information to determine the company's direction, how would a Realistic or Imaginative facet play a difference in what information they decide to pay attention to and what information they ignore?
(If you want to read this series from the beginning, start here).