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On A Team

What They Naturally Bring to a Team

  • Have a talent for developing and guiding people; their relationships are about supporting human potential

  • Bring a quiet enthusiasm and industry to projects that are part of their vision

  • Organized, with a strong sense of purpose

  • Loyal to both people and organizations

  • Actively listen and give their full attention to others

Their Teamwork Style is To

  • Lead quietly and by example in a predictable, orderly, and very personal way

  • Use insight and interpersonal warmth to organize, counsel, inspire, and teach

  • Inspire others with a positive, enthusiastic approach

  • Approach problems from a global perspective

Potential Blind Spots for INFJs

  • Can be seen as distant by others as they try to manage their own emotions

  • May lose sight of their own needs and personal identity, leading to eventual burnout

  • Might focus on developing people to such an extent that they lose a sense of perspective

  • May have difficulty separating their personal values from the impersonal

To Help INFJs Succeed

  • Try to create an open, honest, and sincere relationship with them

  • Provide a work environment that focuses on people and their needs, with an identity and purpose that goes beyond everyday routine

  • Give them positive feedback

How INFJs Build Relationships

For them, team relationships are about supporting human potential. They often show a talent for developing and guiding people, so putting them in a coaching role on the team benefits all. It is often painful, however, when they offer insights or advice and teammates choose not to take it. Others may see them as either more outgoing or more critical than they are. They often come to team relationships with pre-established expectations but are willing to change if met with new information or new teammates. They quickly pick up on insincerity and withdraw if someone on the team is superficial or obviously doesn’t care.

How INFJs Deal with Conflict

They typically don’t like conflict but won’t avoid it if it can improve relationships or lead to growth. Therefore, they are likely catalysts for airing team issues within the group. When conflict occurs, they first withdraw to sort it out, then seek to have a conversation where the conflict can be addressed. They realize the importance of keeping their emotions in check and not saying things that can damage relationships.

To Forge Better Relationships with INFJs…

Provide a team environment that focuses on people and their needs. Try to create an open, honest, and sincere relationship with them and help them create that kind of relationship with others on the team. Give them genuine, meaningful feedback, which does not always have to be positive, to let them know you are aware of their contributions. Most of all, frame the work of the team as having a meaningful purpose that goes beyond everyday routine.

How INFJs Approach Doing Work

They have a tendency to spend a fair amount of up-front reflection time to mentally get a sense of where the project and the team are going so will likely disengage from the group momentarily. They want a course of action or reference points to help team members know when they are on track. They see the value in defining roles so tasks can get done and matching the right team members with the tasks to accomplish the vision. Once underway, they are quite likely to be very time and task focused unless the team gets derailed or people clearly need attending to in order to be productive.

How INFJs Make Decisions

They tend to make decisions rather quickly if new information matches the vision. If it doesn’t, they will want time to integrate the information into their vision and adjust the vision or reject the information. They might be prone to inaction when they get overwhelmed with the physical realities of a situation or when they have no idea of what the next step should be.

How INFJs Respond to Change

When a change doesn’t match their vision of what is going to happen, they must trust that others are really looking out for the good of the people. This will help them adjust their vision, especially if accompanied by a good argument with a strong rationale and with new insights and evidence.

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As a Compassionate Visionary [INFJ] team member, I

  • Am warm

  • Am actively supportive

  • Take on and complete more than my share of duties

  • Am careful to validate and appreciate others

  • Have difficulty accepting critical feedback presented logically

  • Struggle to not react strongly if others seem uncaring or cold

  • Am accommodating and positive

  • Do not work well in an environment of personal conflict

  • See situations from multiple perspectives

  • Am good at linking people and finding common ground

  • Often play the role of moderator or conciliator

What's Your Type of Career?: Unlock the Secrets of Your Personality to Find Your Perfect Career Path by Donna Dunning

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Larry Demarest writes about INFJs:


Though they themselves are comfortable working alone, involving others and creating empowering environments is important to INFJs.  They naturally facilitate and build consensus, create cohesion, and work cooperatively.  They are good at working on teams (though too much interaction can be fatiguing).  Despite their general responsiveness to people, INFJs can become single-minded and inflexible about how things ought to be.  They can also be private and difficult to get to know.

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In a team environment, the INFJ can contribute by:

  • observing and understanding the team dynamics, and encouraging the team to recognise them and take appropriate action

  • listening carefully to various viewpoints, and being able to identify potential areas of agreement to be used as a basis to move forward

  • being trustworthy, meeting commitments to a consistent standard

  • contributing creative ideas, particularly those involving people

  • bringing the team to make decisions about important issues

  • promoting harmony and co-operation

The potential ways in which an INFJ can irritate others include:

  • not including others in the INFJ's process of developing ideas and vision

  • not giving criticism or expressing disagreement when it is appropriate

  • ignoring current reality in pursuit of insight and meaning - perhaps overlooking some tasks that need to be done

  • making errors of fact

  • not promoting their ideas in the group

  • wanting to pursue ideas without fully thinking through the consequences in, say, cost terms

by Steve Myers


Type in Organizations

Susan Nash

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