Functioning in a corporate setting today is about more than having the right skills. We understand that our personalities, especially our emotional intelligence and how we control our own emotions and respond to others, have a direct impact on how each individual performs in the work environment.
This is especially true of teams, which are not just a collection of skills but of unique individuals who will all respond differently under stress, who may irritate each other simply through their natural behavior, and so on. Getting the right people, as well as skills, is key to team performance, and that applies at every level, from the leadership down.
To ensure that a team functions well together, we look to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to help us understand both the individuals and the collective how they will respond to stress and challenges, how each will affect their teammates, and so on.
If we look at the INFJ or Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Judging psychological type, they are defined by their compassion, organization, logical approach, and willingness to support others. Often called the confidant, INFJs are idealists who not only dream of change but turn dreams into action and make those changes a reality.
INFJs are the rarest of the Myers-Briggs psychological types. They are complex characters who are as concerned with their relationships with others as they are about getting things done. They make excellent leaders and prefer to build trust and consensus before taking action.
INFJ Emotional Intelligence in Teams
Within the team structure, INFJs tend to be extremely good at articulating the future goals and values expected from everyone involved and bringing innovation and creative ideas to the group in an engaging way. This allows them to bring others along with those innovative ideas, which can be extremely useful for a business looking to find a new path or seeking ways to overcome major challenges. However, there can be downsides, too.
They may sometimes focus too much on complexity or discuss ideas less objectively and more metaphorically, which can confuse other team members, and often struggle to deal with team members who can be rude or tend to play down the importance of subjects in favor of a more superficial approach.
To combat this, INFJs should attempt to focus on the realistic and achievable, though they should push their ideas even if others reject the presentation initially. To help with this, INFJs have great EQ-related interpersonal skills and are sensitive to group dynamics. They excel in making other team members feel valued, which in turn improves morale and gives all involved a sense of purpose and direction.
INFJs can take this too far, though, and cause issues by holding themselves and others to standards that are simply too high or unrealistic. They can also become a little too invested in seeing the personal growth of others, to the point of feeling intrusive. They may also clash with those who they feel are not as committed to the team goals or who they think are not achieving their obligations. As introverts, INFJs also appreciate time to themselves to recharge, and finding other team members who do not respect that need for time alone can also be a significant cause of conflict. To improve this, INFJs can work on the ability to accept mistakes when they happen and focus on the remedy rather than the initial problem. In terms of the personal growth of others, to avoid seeming to be intrusive, INFJs should learn to step back once the foundation for growth is in place, allowing the individual to succeed on their own.
As leaders, the INFJs’ emotional intelligence can be seen within their characteristics of being quiet, having unassuming confidence and empathy, as well as the additional strength of a drive to get things done, which all make them exceptional in many situations. They often inspire others by doing, through their compassion and dedication, so that others want to cooperate with them rather than feeling they must. They also like to take responsibility for the well-being of the team during stressful situations and excel in problem-solving and creating alternative strategies as these problems develop.
Start Here This makes for a more motivated team, but INFJs can fail to be tough enough when required as a result. They can have difficulty with team members who don’t adhere to the standards expected or fail to contribute enough, so team composition is important when looking at leadership roles for INFJ types. In addition, the need to take responsibility can mean they have difficulty in accepting input from others, which in the long term can leave team members feeling undervalued.
When overcoming challenges and instigating change, INFJs embrace innovative solutions and like to gain insight into any problem or change proposal before taking any action. In both situations, those impressive interpersonal skills and reading of group dynamics are very beneficial, allowing INFJs to provide excellent support for those involved and help alleviate uncertainty. They can find themselves having difficulty accepting that sometimes random events can happen, and INFJs may waste time and resources trying to define and incorporate those events into a solution, which is a drain on the team and can be counterproductive.
INFJs are enthusiastic, insightful, friendly, and compassionate. They dream big but also take action to bring those dreams to life. They can take a team with them on that journey but can be derailed by those who don’t appreciate the need for team harmony or an environment that does not allow them the essential time to themselves as introverts.