Using Roger Pearman’s established definition of emotional intelligence as the ability to regulate our own impulses, showing empathy to others and resilience in the challenges we encounter, one of the most important aspects of EQ is that it relates to how we react to the emotions and behaviors of those around us.

The ISFJ Personality Type

The ISFJ personality type, which stands for Introverted-Sensing-Feeling-Judging type, often referred to as ‘The Defender’, are warm hearted, they like to take responsibility and are very reserved in terms of displaying their own emotions. They are considered loyal and dedicated to those they value, and seek out stability, always looking to create harmony within their groups or tasks.

ISFJs are practical people, they view work challenges in a realistic way and prefer organized approaches to any task, so they have a clear view of goals and the way to achieve them. They tend to be supportive leaders who get results through encouragement and can handle stress and conflict through adherence to rules and established expectations.

The ISFJ Emotional Intelligence in Teams or Groups- Strengths & Challenges.

What this means for ISFJ types within a team environment really depends on the situation. As a group who defaults to sympathy, loyalty, and kindness allows the ISFJs to flourish though ISFJs can still be an essential part of any team, providing the support and stability that others can trust and rely on in challenging situations. This importance is increased with their excellent listening skills, making ISFJs great people to talk through problems with, or helping a team build consensus.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) in The Workplace- The ISFJ Personality Type

Read all about The ISFJ Emotional Intelligence tendencies in the Workplace.

However, despite this, ISFJs do have their challenges in teams, and can often struggle with people who tend to look beyond the established agenda to find new approaches. Because that kind of thinking is where innovation is found, ISFJs can hinder that kind of out of the box approach. In a similar way, the ISFJ focuses on harmony and balance in teams and can be troubled by those who are loud or aggressive, or who interrupt and disrupt the flow and order of a meeting. Here, the inability to be flexible with the rules and a high level of seriousness can cause friction with other team members, making ISFJs unsuitable for environments where innovative or unorthodox approaches are welcomed or even expected.

For ISFJs, the ability to support others and follow through on commitments do make them an excellent choice for leadership. However, the understated approach that focuses on support and encouragement is not suitable in every scenario, as once again that need for rigidity and rules can cause problems with team members who prefer a more free-flowing approach. For those who love to improvise and take a flexible approach to reaching team goals, ISFJ leadership will be problematic, and can be a cause of conflict within the group. ISFJs do struggle with conflict, again falling back on the rules and organized, task orientated approaches to deal with such problems. This can work well, and offers transparency and an unbiased approach, however it will only exacerbate the problem for those that look beyond the rigid structures. It is important then, that ISFJs operate within teams that embrace that rigidity and rules-based approach to almost every aspect of teamwork.

ISFJs who can make full use of those natural instincts to support and encourage and find ways to accept innovative routes that don’t follow established rules could be the best way forward. This step forward to improve on their emotional intelligence in understanding how others react to their innate personality type, will aid them to excel in leadership roles and be an invaluable team member. However, it is that flexibility in approach that they will find most difficult to accept.

Change is part of life, and when change occurs in a team, it can be a real challenge. For ISFJs, the logical approach once again dominates. They don’t overtly reject change, though view it in context with what they know works, embracing change they can see improves things, though if they cannot see practical value in change, they may not be as supportive as others on the team. If change is imposed without considering what they see as legitimate concerns, they can become overtly opposed to the change, and can have problems as they try to adopt established rules and processes to the changes. Here the lack of flexibility can really show and be an issue until new rules are created.

The ISFJ Emotional Intelligence and Teams Conclusion

Finally, no matter how well a team works together, challenges and one’s work life will throw up stressful situations. ISFJs are excellent in these situations and tend to volunteer to take on extra work to help the team through whatever the issue may be. As efficient communicators, their empathy tends to be beneficial here too, as they provide comfort and support for others during difficult moments. However, they will have issues with team members who don’t take the problem seriously, or don’t show appreciation for that extra work or support the ISFJ contributes. They can also, again, be trapped within the rules and guidelines, unable to look at alternatives even if the issue is not being addressed, and that can lead to a negative outlook that can harm team morale. Here, encouraging ISFJs to embrace new approaches can avoid that cycle of doom and gloom and benefit the entire team.