How TDF Works

How TDF Works

TDF is a simple but surprisingly rich way to understand some basic human differences – our styles. In the wonderfully messy complexity of humans, we will focus on one specific way in which we differ: we see things differently. As we look at our worlds, as we look at our tasks, as we look at our relationships, some of us focus more on the facts, the objective realities; others focus more on the choices and opportunities before them; and still others focus more on the connections and relationships among all these facts and opportunities.

Of course, we all see facts, choices, and connections. The difference is in which we see best, which is most salient, which captures our attention. The image we use is of three lenses, which we call (surprise!) T, D, and F.  In our early days, we used the words Think, Decide, and Feel, but we came to realize that those words are misleading. Your T lens doesn’t make you smart; your D lens doesn’t make you decisive; and your F lens doesn’t make you warm and caring. So now we just use the letters. 

Our T lens focuses on facts, our D lens focuses on choices, and our F lens focuses on connections. Facts. Choices. Connections. That’s it.

We call the lens you use most comfortably and most naturally your big lens. This lens strongly colors your sense of the world. The lens you are least comfortable with we call your small lens. Using this lens takes more effort, so it least shapes your sense of the world.

Then we look at your pattern of using these three lenses: how strongly each shapes your perceptions. So, for example, if you are a TFd, you see a world of many facts (T), quite a few connections (F), and relatively fewer clear choices (D).  On the other hand, if you are a DFt, you see many choices, quite a few connections, and fewer facts.

While TDF simplifies the way we look at the complexities of people, it doesn’t discount our shared humanity or our unique individuality. But TDF does provide a map through the complex territory of our lives and interpersonal interactions, allowing us to make more intelligent and effective decisions and actions when working with others.

Curious to learn more?

Take the TDF Pattern Inventory and learn your TDF Pattern. Visit our store.