ISTJ vs INFJ | Personality at Work

ISTJ vs INFJ

ISTJ

The Inspector

INFJ

The Confidant

Personality

Logical, detached and detailed, ISTJs use their experience and store of knowledge, to plan and will work quietly and steadily behind the scenes towards conclusion. The ISTJ has a strong sense of duty, loyalty and tradition and once they are clear on what’s expected, they will work in a methodical way to complete. Risk averse they prefer the known, and prefer facts to concepts.

Serious minded and caring, values are so important to the INFJ. Integrity is their watchword and they will be excellent listeners, supportive and with a strong desire to ‘do the right thing’ often the catalyst for making things better. The INFJ will work patiently long and hard behind the scenes to maintain harmony but they are also intensely independent of thought and spirit.

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

ISTJs bring a strong sense of planning, agreeing objectives and working steadily towards closure. They have a strong eye for detail and can therefore protect the team from going off in a wrong direction.

Contribution to the team

Although introverted, the INFJ has very strong opinions, honed over much private reflection and will voice these strongly, less concerned with self and ego than with the cause.

Leading

ISTJs will be great at ensuring everyone is clear on what is expected, everyone knows what the plan is and their part in it and ensuring that the plan is enacted, so more task- than people-focused.

Leading

INFJs can make inspiring leaders as followers will believe in them and want to ‘sign up’, having a devotion to the cause that borders on evangelical so people will have a crystal clear vision of what could be.

Being managed

Best managed by clear tasks, ISTJs need plenty of time to fully understand what is expected then let them get on, working with consistent steady energy towards completion, not micro managed.

Being managed

Meaning is at the heart of who the INFJ is and they would not be motivated by ‘doing a job’ but need a cause, something which is important to them, something to believe in.

Attention to detail / focus

ISTJs have and incredible eye for detail, focus and a desire to drive for closure. They will want to slowly assimilate information and be sure of their facts before moving forward and this will be as per the plan.

Attention to detail / focus

Strongly humanitarian, INFJs tend to be idealists, and because of their desire for closure and completion, they are generally ‘doers’ as well as dreamers, who take on a disproportionate amount of responsibility.

Creativity

ISTJs are more factual than creative and their value is exactly that: ensuring that was has been agreed is delivered exactly as agreed and translating everything into a plan that is clear and can be delivered.

Creativity

The INFJ is the innovator, coming up with genuinely radical and different ideas and solutions a great driver for the team, often taking on far too much but this is simply due to the INFJ desire to complete.

Culture fit

How will an ISTJ 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 INFJ, 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

ISTJs prefer to keep themselves to themselves and so in conflict situations they will struggle with overt conflict, ie with someone who wants to engage verbally. They are fine with more formal conflict.

Initial response to conflict situations

Deep and private the INFJ will keep their own counsel. Yet they have such deeply held beliefs that others may be surprised how forthright they can become to defend values or those they feel need support.

Issues they'll fight on

ISTJs have a strong sense of right and wrong and this tends to be around what has been agreed. They believe if you have said you’ll do something then it is akin to a contract and you should fulfil that

Issues they'll fight on

Although the INFJ prefers and will create harmony, they have such strong and deeply held values, these honed over a long time and they will defend those values vigorously if they are transgressed.

Conflict style / communication

Formal processes such as writing letters of complaint or going through the proper channels plays to ISTJ strengths. They are measured and formal and so will be very factual and non-emotional.

Conflict style / communication

Because the INFJ is basically private, they will fight only on issues that really mean something to them and thus they can switch from being quiet to incredibly crusading, assertive and stubborn.

How they feel after

It is all about right and wrong. ISTJs do not like conflict if it involves emotion, as they prefer to see things far more factually and in a binary way. For them it will be about did it play out fairly and as agreed?

How they feel after

All interactions, given the nature of the INFJ as champion and supporter, will eventually deplete their energies and they will need to recharge on their own, thinking deeply about issues and connecting the dots.

Creating harmony

Understanding ISTJs 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

INFJs 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

Because of their intense focus ISTJs may be seen as slightly detached, cold and impersonal, possibly even as uncaring. This is not deliberate but it can alienate those trying to get close or get to know them.

Being around them

Although quite gentle, and preferring to be out of the limelight, the INFJ will work long and hard behind the scenes to maintain harmony but they are also intensely independent - both of thought and spirit.

Dealing with emotions

Detached and factual ISTJs often find it difficult to deal with emotions as they see this as irrational and when others display emotions they have to translate the emotion into factual language that they can understand.

Dealing with emotions

This is a necessary escape valve for INFJs providing both time to rebuild their depleted energy and a filter to prevent the emotional overload to which they are so susceptible as inherent ‘givers.’

Openness and sharing feelings

Deep and private ISTJs will tend to keep their feelings to themselves and until they have the measure of people will be unlikely to proactively share their feelings. Too much interaction sucks their energies.

Openness and sharing feelings

Although at times strident and outspoken, INFJs can only be emotionally open about themselves with a chosen few. At times INFJs will withdraw into themselves, shutting out even their close friends.

Drivers and values

ISTJs like people to stick to agreements and commitments and may not understand that this is human nature, not human deficiency as they themselves take such commitments incredibly seriously.

Drivers and values

Values are at the heart of the INFJ and they will take relationships as seriously as they do their causes and their global outlook and big picture focus may mean that it is difficult to get on their wavelength.

Personal development

ISTJs 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 INFJ 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.