ISTP vs INTP

ISTP

The Craftsman

INTP

The Engineer

Personality

The ISTP moves seamlessly from quiet bystander to being at the heart of solving problems then back again. They get an incredible buzz from difficult situations using their incredible store of knowledge, grasp of facts and practical nature to jump in and fix things but when it’s over, will get bored and withdraw once again to the sidelines, waiting for the next problem to arise.

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 ISTP will bring their vast store of knowledge and experience to bear on the team, showing great determination but their low boredom threshold means once they have sorted the problem they withdraw.

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

ISTPs are great in a crisis as they love the whole buzz and action of problems and difficulties. They are less good when the going is not tough and not so good at the more sensitive side of leading people.

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

ISTPs are extremely independent and will like the freedom to work in short bursts of energy on difficult action oriented practical problems that hold their interest. Routine and steady detail will bore them and they need their space.

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

Because of their full on or full off nature, ISTPs will either be right at the heart of the detail, surprising others with their vast store of knowledge and data, or if it is boring they will go back to their space.

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

ISTPs are essentially practical, preferring the concrete and factual to anything they perceive as woolly or impractical. But when they focus on a problem they can be forensic, coming up with practical solutions.

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 ISTP 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

ISTPs love difficult situations and they will see conflict as something, like everything else, to be fixed then move on. They do not seek conflict but are impervious to their environment so it goes with the territory.

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

Intensely practical the ISTP will only want to get the problem solved or the issue addressed, practically and as quickly as possible. Personal feelings matter only insofar as they relate to what needs to be done.

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

The ISTP tends to be economic with words and a little terse in their communications. This is not rudeness just a desire to get everything resolved and so they will have no problem getting to the point.

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

As ISTP’s are factual and living for the moment, any conflict will just be a small part of getting the problem fixed (which energises them) and then if it becomes chitchat their energies will deplete. They need action.

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 ISTPs 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

ISTPs tend to be either full on or full off. They can be passive bystanders until something grabs their interest or a practical problem needs fixing and then they take over, fix it, and withdraw loving the buzz.

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

Although friendly the ISTP is more practical and factual and so may not understand emotions. They tend to break things down to constituent parts and do not like anything they see as irrational.

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

The ISTP is quite closed to emotional issues. It does not make them uncaring but sharing feelings or intuiting how others are feeling doesn’t really compute with their scientific nature.

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

At their heart ISTPs are thrill seekers and will love to be where the action is. However once they have jumped in and experienced they will tend to go back to being passive and quiet.

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

ISTPs 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.