Introspection on INTJ

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It seems that iNTj's are big into contingency planning and, in general, most other people aren't; that explains a lot...

Whenever I find myself in an unexpected situation the first thing I always think is "what's the worst case scenario?". Once I've explored the worst case and worked through an exit strategy from that I start to work on the more likely outcomes, but I always do the worst case first. I have to do the worst case first because until I know the worst possible outcome and accept that I can't focus on the more likely outcomes. Also, I find that getting an hold on the worst case means that I have set some boundaries to the problem. Without the worst case the problem is unbounded and those kinds of problems are hard to work on - too many "what ifs".

I always used to want to explain how things were OK as the worst case was X and we could cover X by doing Y; but generally people didn't seem to like that. So now I only explain the worst case in situations where everyone else is shell shocked and haven't realised that the worst case is only X... I'm sounding like a patronising git here, I know, but, well, that's how it is.

So, once the worst case is dealt with we can focus on the more likely outcomes; choose a preferred outcome and work towards that. Simple. ;) To me this all seems completely logical and pretty much the only way that you can approach planning anything. It's the only way to remove the worry. Nail the worst case, accept that outcome, move on and deal with the issue. Nobody else seems to think like that, and now I have a hint as to why...

Some of these decision processes you just can't talk about to anyone. Things like your exit strategies for people dieing or leaving you are just not discussable topics; but I still need to work through them to make sure I know what to do and to remove the need to use up brain power worrying about them. That doesn't mean that the "solutions" are final; I revisit things when events change, or when I need to reassure myself that I'd cope.

I expect this approach could make one appear heartless. If an awful thing happens and someone doesn't break stride and just moves on through it people think that they don't care. Perhaps it's not that they don't care, perhaps it's just that they've already been through the worry and heart-break over and over and settled on what they believe to be the best path for them. Now that the event has actually happened they just execute the plan. Hmm. This fits with a lot of what DeMarco and Lister say in Waltzing with Bears...

So, given that most people probably don't do this kind of contingency planning it's hardly surprising that software projects are in such a bad state. In general the people running the projects aren't iNTj.

Hmm. This ended up a little deeper than I expected...

3 Comments

Hmm, meta contingency planning?

So I realise that people may react poorly to my overly planned handling of nasty situations and deal with it by blogging about how I knew they'd do that so that I don't have to say "I knew you'd do that" at the time because it would come across as patronising...

Hmm. I think I'll climb back into my head.

Hi,

I have to say with what ur saying above i agree with u 100%. I do the same thing i plan for the worest and hope for the best. If either happens im not worried cause ive worked it through all ready. Obviously some things still get to me cause u cant plan for every thing even when u try. I do appear heart less to some people because i dont see the need to break down oever some thing. Hard to explain to most people tho.

If ur the same person i was just reading about with ur partner of 17 years and so on u may wish to come back to the above article and have a bit of think.

Laterz

I do this incessantly. I plan for the worst, and back up and plan for the most likely situations with greater confidence. I've been described as cold and robotic because of the way that I can move on through life challenges.

It's good to know that I'm not alone.

As a way to cope, I've learned to mimic emotion to fit the situation. It helps me relate to others and help them to move on.

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