ISTP vs ISTJ | Personality at Work

ISTP vs ISTJ

ISTP

The Craftsman

ISTJ

The Inspector

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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 ISTJ, 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

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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?

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

ISTJs 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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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 ISTJ 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.