Those with introverted, intuitive, feeling, and prospecting personality traits, or INFPs, are often referred to as mediators. They are quiet but open-minded and imaginative, being both creative and caring in their dealings with others.

That compassionate and sensitive side is why they tend to find balance in conflict, as they show empathy for all and seek to help others achieve their goals. Quite a rare type, INFPs can feel alone and dissociated from what is happening around them, but that empathy and creativeness make them a group with valuable emotional intelligence.

Within teams, the emotional intelligence of the INFPs can be particularly valuable, although, as with all psychological types, they can have a negative influence, too. IN basic communications and dealing with other team members, INFPs bring people together. They create unity through empathy, listening to others, responding appropriately with compassion and understanding, and helping team members connect through shared values and ideals.

INFPs Emotional Intelligence

Gain deeper insight into INFPs’ Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace.

These traits allow them to motivate others too, and they can put forward even controversial ideas in a way that the group finds acceptable, always focusing on the bigger picture rather than the small details. However, that ability to connect and bring people together can become a problem if the INFP spends too much time doing that, and not enough time working towards team objectives. Yes, team cohesion is incredibly useful, but too much focus on it is a distraction from business goals. That focus on one thing can also be an issue with ideas, where the INFP may become too focused on one solution, refusing to let it go even when rejected by the rest of the team, and that can slow progress.

As leaders, INFPs create space for individuals to explore solutions and solve their own problems, offering support structures but also allowing freedom to try ideas. As imaginative and creative people, they also offer a clear vision for their team but do not define the path to that goal, again giving people the freedom to make the most of their own talents. This creates a supportive culture, but the INFPs’ focus on togetherness and harmony can be an issue.

Sometimes, a leader must provide constructive criticism or push the team to achieve a specific schedule or goal, and the INFP can be reluctant to do so. INFPs in leadership must learn to be more assertive with deadlines or other objectives and learn that constructive criticism is an important part of improving team performance.
As you may expect, with a psychological trait some call the mediator, it is in times of stress, conflict, and challenge that the value to a team of the emotional intelligence of INFPs really shines. They always look to form a consensus within the team, finding solutions that everyone finds acceptable and are great to have around as they are both patient and understanding with team members who are stressed or facing difficult challenges. They often use humor to diffuse stressful situations, and their insightful and compassionate nature often allows INFPs to provide new solutions for the challenges the team faces.

However, that compassion can lead to giving the benefit of the doubt to those who do not deserve it, leading to further problems with the individual. INFPs also struggle with criticism, both giving and receiving, and the latter can be problematic in stressful situations, becoming withdrawn if an ideal is questioned. Compromise and consensus are great, but INFPs often take this too far, refusing to accept a solution until there is something that pleases everyone, which in some circumstances may be impossible. The result is a paralysis where decisions cannot be made, causing delays, disharmony and stress for the team.

INFPs do not respond well to aggressiveness and will reject ideas presented in this way without thought about the idea itself. They are uncompromising too, so in environments where solutions are chosen to be politically expedient within the team structure, INFPs are not the ideal choice.
With their positive approach, ability to unify around a point and their imaginative and creative nature, INFPs are highly suited to change. They love innovation and embrace change themselves, but also aid change in a team setting by encouraging others to see change as a positive too, putting forward different perspectives to help teams accept those new ideas. They can get too caught up in the change process though, focusing on the process or how people react to it so much that it can delay or disrupt the change itself.
As enthusiastic, imaginative, friendly and compassionate individuals, INFPs are a valuable addition to many teams, providing harmony and bringing people together. However, they struggle in cultures where aggressive debate is the norm, and can find it difficult to assert themselves where there are lots of dominant types.