INFP Myers-Briggs® Personality Types and Decision Making

Geeta AnejaINFP, MBTI, Type and Decision-Making

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Each one of us makes dozens of decisions every day, often starting with whether or not to hit “snooze” before getting out of bed. While some decisions, like what to have for breakfast, are relatively low-stakes, decisions in the workplace can yield enormous benefits or crushing losses. Another difference is that decisions in the workplace often involve multiple people collaborating to reach an agreement, and that the agreement made will affect more than one person—sometimes even in the millions. When different people with the same information reach different conclusions or have different opinions, levels of stress and frustration can rise. Luckily, individuals’ Myers-Briggs® Personality Types (MBTI® Personality Types) can provide a window into their decision-making mindsets—shedding light on how and why they make the decisions that they do. In doing so, having your Myers-Briggs Personality Types Test awareness can increase mutual understanding and respect in the workplace.

For example, those who are INFP personality types (Introverted-Intuition-Feeling-Perceiving types) often weigh one consideration above everything else: What is the most caring choice? (see Hirsch & Hirsh, 2007). As they first begin to approach a decision-making opportunity, INFPs define the issue itself as well as their goals in terms of how they can most effectively serve and benefit all of who are involved in the decision-making process, as well as those who the decision itself may actively affect. For this reason, they also tend to take ample time to examine the entire situation from multiple points of view—how are different stakeholders affected? What will meeting one person’s needs take away from another person? Because INFPs want to achieve the optimal outcome for everyone, they risk getting lost in their own heads (or in their comprehensive piles of research), in pursuit of the ideal strategy. However, the reality of the world is that making everyone completely satisfied is almost always impossible, and they should instead focus on developing a win-win strategy that is as realistic as possible. INFP Myers-Briggs Personality Types certainly benefit from seeking others’ input, but they should make an effort to remain focused, narrowing their options gradually as they brainstorm.

INFP Myers-Briggs Personality Types

Learn about INFP Myers-Briggs Personality Types and their decision-making process.

INFPs truly shine once only a few options remain on the table. Their decisions are ethical, compassionate, and considerate, and are conceptualized in ways that will have long-term and wide-reaching relevance. As they begin to consider logistics of implementation, they should keep in mind Occam’s Razor—that the simplest and easiest solution is often the best. While such solutions may not be perfect, sometimes making decisions that can be more easily implemented in a timely fashion is more effective than debating minutia. That said, INFPs often adapt decisions to changes in context quickly and easily, especially since necessary changes often benefit people directly. They should be conscious, however, of updating other members of their teams on their visions and goals as they change, as some peoples’ feelings may be hurt if the plan is altered without their knowledge.

As INFPs and their teams reflect on their decisions and evaluate their effectiveness, they should make an effort to notice the positive strengths as well as areas for improvement and growth. Valuing and validating achievements is a major component of motivation, and so reinforcing the positives is absolutely essential. That said, as they do identify areas of growth, MBTI INFPs benefit from making an effort to break down large or long-term goals into intermediate stepping stones—this will not only make their goals seem more concrete and achievable, but will also help them share their vision with others who may be able to help and support them.

The takeaway here is that INFPs’ greatest strength—their consideration and compassion for others—can be their Achilles Heel, if it is not kept in check. According to Hirsh and Hirsh (2007), two quick questions INFPs can ask themselves for any decision they make are: (1) If I didn’t have to worry about others’ feelings, how would I decide? And (2) Is this decision economical as well as empathetic? (p. 31).

Armed with these tools, INFPs can make decisions that are caring, practical, and innovative, with high efficiency for their team.

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Introduction to Type and Decision Making. (Hirsh, K., & Hirsh E. CPP. 2007)


Learn More About the MBTI INFP Personality Type

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Click on one of these corresponding popular INFP Careers for detailed information including Career Stats, Income Stats, Daily Tasks and Required Education: Audiovisual Specialist, Broadcast Technician, Craft Artist, Film or Video Editor, Fine Artist, Food Preparation Worker, Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners, Occupational Therapist, Proofreader or Copyeditor,Technical Writer.

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