Personality Type and Teamwork
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By understanding the different approaches, strengths and weaknesses of the type, the organizations can maximize team performance and leverage team members’ natural strengths. Understanding of type, own and of the others, can help team members open themselves to different perspectives and more effectively solve problems, resolve conflicts and improve collaboration and team cohesiveness. By adopting this approach to working with others, individuals will more readily accept and understand other team members from their own frame of reference, building bridges between the gaps that naturally occur between types, positively effecting communication, cohesiveness, and interpersonal relationships in a team.
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|General Information on Psychological Type||5|
|Using Jung’s Typology for Building Effective Teams||11|
|Profiles of Types in the Workplace||13|
|ESTJ (Extraversion, Sensing, Thinking, Judging)||14|
|ISTJ (Introversion, Sensing, Thinking, Judging)||19|
|ESFJ (Extraversion, Sensing, Feeling, Judging)||24|
|ISFJ (Introversion, Sensing, Feeling, Judging)||29|
|ENTJ (Extraversion, Intuition, Thinking, Judging)||34|
|INTJ (Introversion, Intuition, Thinking, Judging)||39|
|ENTP (Extraversion, Intuition, Thinking, Perceiving)||44|
|INTP (Introversion, Intuition, Thinking, Perceiving)||49|
|ENFJ (Extraversion, Intuition, Feeling, Judging)||54|
|INFJ (Introversion, Intuition, Feeling, Judging)||59|
|ENFP (Extraversion, Intuition, Feeling, Perceiving)||63|
|INFP (Introversion, Intuition, Feeling, Perceiving||67|
|ESTP (Extraversion, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving)||71|
|ISTP (Introversion, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving)||75|
|ESFP (Extraversion, Sensing, Feeling, Perceiving)||79|
|ISFP (Introversion, Sensing, Feeling, Perceiving)||83|
|Appendix: Fundamentals of Jung’s Typology||87|
INFJ in a Team Environment
This section provides information on how individuals of this personality type, in a team environment, is most likely to behave. Each of the personality types adopts a particular way of behaving in a team environment. In some circumstances, these behaviours enhance team functioning, while in others, it can get in the way of a team achieving its objectives. The following reflects the behaviours that you are most likely to see demonstrated by the INFJ on a team.
The INFJ contributes to the team by bringing a holistic perspective to their relationships, tasks and objectives. INFJs have the ability to assess each situation from a big-picture perspective and develop and communicate it to the team. They have a highly participatory approach to the team and encourage the contributions of other members.
The strong people orientation of INFJs provides them with a natural talent for reading and working with the interpersonal dynamics of a group. They inspire others through their optimism and their positive, humorous approach to things. They offer insight into others, often bringing things out in people that the people themselves did not know were there.They often find themselves as team facilitators, as they have a natural affinity for this role. They are able to focus on both people and new ideas during meetings, maintaining interpersonal harmony and working toward objectives.
INFJs place a high value on harmony and can agree to a compromise easily, unless it happens to conflict with their personal values. They dislike having to give critical feedback and can lose effectiveness by not expressing their thoughts and feelings when it would be helpful to do so. They have difficulty when they have to deal with people who are openly hostile, excessively confrontational, or who do not appreciate or value the ideals and opinions of others.
INFJs have a tendency to over-personalize situations and problems that don’t concern them and turn these situations into their own crusades. The highly empathetic INFJ often takes on the concerns of co-workers by strongly identifying with how the other person feels. They are then likely to take any criticism of these people as if they themselves were being criticized and, furthermore, were responsible for the behaviour or event that evoked it even though they had nothing to do with it. A simple team issue can escalate into a major disaster because they have decided that it is their situation to resolve. They don’t always listen to others when they tell them that it is not their problem and to not concern themselves. Once the INFJ has emotionally invested themselves they have difficulty detaching from the situation.
INFJs have a visionary insight into what is possible in the future. They make a significant contribution to the team by inspiring and motivating people with their ideals. They work with steady determination to make their insights real. However, they can insist on dealing only with what may be possible in the future, at the expense of the present reality.
INFJs have difficulty with people who talk too much or who do not think things through before they speak. Because they themselves meet their commitments, INFJs have difficulty with those who fail to contribute or do not keep their word.
They are most comfortable working with small teams who, over time, become trusted friends. In this safe forum, they are able to speak out and express their valuable and inspirational ideas.
JTW - Personality and Teamwork © Anne Dranitsaris Ph.D. 2009
PROFILE FOR THE INFJ
This section provides information on how individuals of this personality type are most likely to behave in the workplace. Although each personality type has preferences for behaviour based on what is considered “normal” for them, they are capable of adapting their behaviour to the norms of the organizational culture they work in. In addition, their preferred ways of behaving will vary in intensity from person to person of the same type. It is useful to recognize when these characteristics work to their advantage, and when they get in the way of achieving their objectives.
The following reflects the behaviours that you are most likely to see demonstrated by the INFJ in the workplace.
As employees, INFJs unique work style maintains an excellent balance between tasks and people. They have a highly developed ability to observe and accept atypical and unusual behaviour in those around them. To get a superior performance from INFJ employees, simply provide them with opportunities for solving people and systems problems using their creativity and insight. Also, give them the freedom to do their work in a harmonious environment where everyone is working toward a common, agreed upon goal.
INFJs are concerned with people's feelings and are highly sensitive to the needs of individuals and groups within the organization. They manage the duality of being able to work well within a team, while at the same time, have a capacity for working at jobs or projects which require solitude and concentration. They tend to work well in an organized structure, providing that they have enough contact with people and that the contact is not superficial. INFJs enjoy problem solving and use a creative and humanistic approach to do this.
Because they put their whole self into their work, INFJs need a workplace to which they can demonstrate their loyal, caring natures and work hard to achieve their ideals. They need to make an important contribution to either a leader or a worthwhile cause. They expect the organization or person they work for to believe in and live up to their ideals. They will put their heart and soul into their work, and tend to think that they can accomplish anything, even the impossible, provided they have a group of dedicated, like-minded individuals with whom to work. Reality is the only limitation to accomplishing their ideals, and they will work selflessly to attain them.
INFJs have a natural inquisitiveness and a strong love of learning, with a very strong work ethic. They are committed to continuous learning in order to contribute their best efforts to the company. They have an ability to grasp concepts and relationships and are likely to enjoy research, often going to great lengths to find answers. Their pursuit of perfection makes them relentless as learners.
INFJs are dedicated, loyal and hard-working, with a tendency to put their own needs on hold to meet the needs of others. They often get so caught up in doing things perfectly that they will go beyond the requirements of a task or job. They then run the risk of becoming overwhelmed and overworked, expecting themselves to be able to accomplish the impossible, even when it is not asked of them.
Systems are important to INFJs. They like to do tasks that can be performed in sequence with a sense of order. They prefer to have the opportunity to complete things that they start, as having too many projects on the go at one time can be frustrating and overwhelming.
INFJs enjoy discussing topics related to finding ways of helping people’s work environments become more meaningful. They can be a driving force in initiating programs to develop people and will work diligently toward that end, even if it is not their job to do so. When an INFJ is approached by a well-intentioned manager, friend, peer or subordinate trying to influence the INFJ’s decision or change their position on what they feels is appropriate, this person will find that the INFJ cannot be dissuaded. Other people will often be met with the determined and unbending will of the INFJ. Persons of this type are also capable of subtle retaliatory measures when they feel they have been wronged or that someone has tried to manipulate them. Once this has happened, it is very difficult for the person to get back into their inner circle, for the INFJs will treat this person with aloof friendliness. Honesty, sincerity and authenticity are the keys to having and maintaining a good relationship with an INFJ.
INFJs have different requirements for the person in charge than for their immediate superiors. Although they need everyone in positions of authority to be ethical, authentic and honest, they generally seek approval from the person in charge and have respect for their superiors. They do not respect the authority of a superior if he or they has not earned it. Even when INFJs do not respect or look up to their superiors, they are still vulnerable when receiving criticism and negative feedback from them.
When INFJs choose the right career and are allowed to use their many skills to the benefit of the organization, they will find themselves on the fast track to positions of responsibility. They are concerned and loyal to their organization and its goals, but their commitment is first and foremost to people. Most job satisfaction is gained when they are able to orchestrate and contribute to both individual and organizational goals.
In general, INFJs will work to their full capacity, to the benefit of everyone, if the following criteria or conditions are in place. The work:
- lets them use their intuitive function to create new ideas and/or approaches that help
- others grow and develop.
- involves them in the production of a product or service that is compatible with their
- values and beliefs.
- gives them recognition for their unique contributions to the organization.
- has supportive co-workers who take their ideas seriously and does not limit their
- personal expression.
- lets them see and enjoy the results of their vision as it comes to fruition.
- gives them the freedom to implement their ideas for the good of people or in service of
- provides situations where they can work in personal ways with others, preferably on a
- one-to-one basis.
- has a harmonious environment that is free from tension and interpersonal conflict.
- lets them work independently in small, tightly knit groups.
- provides them with the freedom to have significant control over how their time and
- work are organized.
- allows for their need of adequate reflective time to prepare, learn, formulate, and
- process their ideas.
- allows them to maintain a high degree of personal and professional integrity, as defined
- by the INFJs themselves.
JTW - Personality and Teamwork © Anne Dranitsaris Ph.D. 2009