ISFJ vs INTP

ISFJ

The Defender

INTP

The Engineer

Personality

ISFJs are quiet, and often understated people-centric doers. Conscientious and hardworking, they are loyal and dedicated to people and organisations, and they take their responsibilities very seriously. They have an incredible store of knowledge and superb memory used to support people and solve problems. Shunning the limelight the ISFJ is often the one who quietly make it all happen.

The INTP is deep, private, difficult to know and extremely independent. They focus on things that interest them most putting off completing tasks until the last minute as the routine bores them. INTPs love logic and an indicator of being an INTP is obsession with logical correctness. An INTP will struggle with emotion, great at reading situations but less good at reading people.

At Work

We all bring something different to the team and we all agree that difference and balance are good things. However when someone is different from us we might not understand them so well so in this section we allow you to compare the differences at work, how these might manifest themselves and how best to manage them.

Contribution to the team

The ISFJ will bring order, clarity, organisation and planning. Although not the most vocal member of the team, the ISFJ will make sure the team moves towards a 'known' conclusion in a planned way.

Contribution to the team

Although quiet the INTP will come to the fore at analysing problems and evaluating ideas using their superb judgement and serious, unemotional nature to ensure the team makes balanced decisions.

Leading

ISFJs are more of the behind the scenes operators rather than being a charismatic leader. Yet their incredible memory, their caring and practical nature and planning ability make them good team leaders.

Leading

INTPs need those around them to be proactive and not keep coming to them with questions. They like arguments and actions to be well thought through and will excel at ensuring this is the case.

Being managed

Ironically, because they prove over and over that they can be relied on for their loyalty, attention to detail and high-quality work they can be taken for granted. Give them clarity and trust, they will deliver.

Being managed

The INTP will not fit snugly into a typical structure. They value independence, of thought and action and they need their space: to think, to be free from other people to work in short bursts of energy.

Attention to detail / focus

The ISFJ is painstaking, orderly, conscientious and anxious with a superb capacity for follow-through although they have a tendency to worry about the smaller things and a reluctance to ‘let go.’

Attention to detail / focus

The INTP does not like too much detail, preferring a broad-brush stroke approach. The simple, the obvious bores them and anything they see as trivial or unimportant will be pushed away.

Creativity

ISFJs have a great memory for facts and superb attention to detail. They will be more factual and practical than overtly creative, motivated by an internal anxiety to ensure the team doesn’t fail.

Creativity

If it holds their interest the high critical thinking ability of the INTP and their shrewd judgements means they can analyse and distil even the most complex problems and cut to the core of what needs to be done.

Culture fit

How will an ISFJ fit with your team? Often, when recruitment decisions go wrong, we realise that it was all about personal chemistry. Assess potential candidates for your team

Culture fit

Knowing the real drivers, motivations and aspirations of an INTP, and their unique strengths, helps you see how they will fit into your team. Assess potential candidates for your team

Conflict

Some people seek harmony, some see conflict as simply robust discussions, some people are emotional, some more factual. So there is no right or wrong about this and what we are trying to do is help two different people each understand how the other might deal with conflict and what it will mean for how they work together.

Initial response to conflict situations

The ISFJ will initially close down on conflict as they prefer harmony and indeed will work hard at creating that. Indeed the ISFJ will be a superb diffuser of conflict but they themselves do not enjoy it.

Initial response to conflict situations

Rational argument, logic and intellectual theory are the routes to the ‘heart’ of the INTP who will have no problem taking the hard decision, as long as it is the 'right' decision, one based on logic and evidence.

Issues they'll fight on

ISFJs are often called ‘the defender’ and this is because they will stand up for what is right and the rights of others. So whilst they may shun conflict personally, they will fight for other people.

Issues they'll fight on

INTPs are relatively easy-going until something violates a principle. Then they can become outspoken, inflexible and unreasonable, switching from reserved to actually enjoying the heated drama.

Conflict style / communication

Naturally more quiet and low key, the ISFJ will be conciliatory and seek consensus preferring to see good in people and they will look to get to a resolution that makes everyone happy.

Conflict style / communication

Blunt and to the point, the INTP will rarely let emotions get in the way and will use logic and data to make their point. Those who are more emotional may find them at such times a little cold and harsh.

How they feel after

Altercations and over interaction in general sucks the energy of the ISFJ and so they will need some private ‘me’ time to recharge their batteries and build up their energy levels.

How they feel after

As they are more deep and private the INTP will happily debate, using all their intellectual and logical abilities, before withdrawing back to their own world, not hard feelings, no feelings at all, it was a chat.

Creating harmony

Understanding ISFJs pressure points will help you adapt to one another. We all ‘get’ people who are like us, but for a team to work to its optimum level, we need people who are not like us, so the whole is far greater than the sum of the parts. Map your team and get them collaborating.

Creating harmony

INTPs deal with conflict in their unique way. Getting team members to understand the differences, where the potential areas of conflict might be and, more importantly, showing them how they can quickly overcome them is key to team success. Map your team and get them collaborating.

Interpersonal

We all have different motivators, values and views on the world, in part driven by our personalities. The section below describes how each person is likely to engage with others, and how others may see them.

Being around them

ISFJs are deep and caring with strong values and these will be held privately until the ISFJ allows people in. What others will perceive is a helpful, supportive, patient and detailed individual who is under the radar. The ISFJ is sociable but doesn’t like the spontaneity of crowds.

Being around them

The INTP is very independent, deep and private yet can at times seem totally outspoken because of their directness of communication and economy of words speaking only when there is something to say.

Dealing with emotions

The ISFJ is an emotional type, but may struggle at times to deal with these, as they are so private and reflective. It may be possible to deeply offend an ISFJ and not realise it, so private are they.

Dealing with emotions

INTPs find emotion difficult as they are at heart logical, analytical and objective with no time for anything they see as 'fanciful.' They will not be motivated by someone saying, 'please,' or by emotional pleading.

Openness and sharing feelings

Once allowed close the ISFJ will open up but it will take time and they are not naturally forthcoming. This may mean it emerges in small chunks, often off the back of other conversations.

Openness and sharing feelings

The INTP will find it difficult to share their feelings, although they will be blunt and outspoken regarding their thoughts. In moments of single-minded concentration, the INTP will appear aloof and detached.

Drivers and values

ISFJs have a strong sense of what is right and wrong and will tend to do what they believe is right, even at the expense of themselves. They really do want to support, care and are generous with their time.

Drivers and values

Sceptical and difficult to know the INTP is wary of close emotional involvement as emotions tends to be slightly outside their own life-space and if someone gets too close too soon they close down.

Personal development

ISFJs require a specific approach to being managed, motivated and developed, so that they are best able to contribute to the wider team. To find out how best to develop different personalities take a look at our development tool.

Personal development

Understanding what makes an INTP tick will help bring out the best in them, support them and know how they can play to their strengths. To find out how best to develop different personalities take a look at our development tool.