MBTI® ISTP and Workplace Behavior – Using the Myers Briggs Type Indicator® for organizational growth, is often a great method to learn about other’s innate behavioral functions, in order to improve communication, productivity, and often increase the overall company bottom line. The MBTI® assessment results include information regarding an individual’s preferred method of directing and receiving energy, how they may prefer to process new information, their decision-making approach, as well as an individual’s means of connecting with the outer world. An ISTP (Introverted-Sensing-Thinking-Perceiving) will innately implement these behaviors differently than an individual who may report as their opposite function pairs, such as an ENFJ. For example, an ISTP Personality Type, as well as others who have a preference for Introversion, may tend to direct their energy inward. In order for them to gain energy, they often need to spend time alone to “recharge their batteries”. This is much different than that of an ENFJ, who may be an individual who will be energized by attending a party that they have previously planned. Additionally, an ISTP may spend a great deal of their alone time participating in activities which allow them to reflect on previous experiences or think of future possibilities. Additionally, due to an ISTPs heightened Sensing function, they often embrace any new information by using facts obtained by tangible evidence gathered by their senses. Furthermore, an ISTP also has an elevated Thinking Function and will often base decisions about found information on the underlying logic. They have been known to make decisions with an unbiased view, having precision and validity as the dominant purpose for their choices. However, ISTP Personality Types also assess with a raised Perceiving score, which often guides them to also prefer spontaneity. They may prefer to leave decision making to others, or to work in environments which allow for open ended decision making. ISTPs have been known to prefer an environment which does not have loud disturbances, so as to support their deep concentration.


Learn about ISTP Personality Type behavior in organizations

ISTP Personality Types may display common behaviors in the workplace; for example, these individuals generally will refer to past experiences when brainstorming innovative solutions. They may also prefer to use traditional methods for problem solving, honing on the skills they have built for themselves over time. Due to this, they have a tendency to overlook other’s ideas which may step outside of their personal comfort zone. However, ISTPs rarely make any errors when presenting factual information to others. This may be attributed to their often-exaggerated concentration technique and their preference to present the specific facts of their work. ISTPs may take processes and procedures as presented to them and recondition them slowly over time. They generally operate with proficiency as long as they are given the liberty to do so as they see fit. ISTPs often have a keen sense of what needs to be accomplished in an organizational situation because they are known to pay close attention to their environment. They typically are unlikely to be convinced to make changes unless they are presented with a rational argument. If an ISTP is feeling a great deal of stress, they may lose this commonsense rationale and may feel they are unable to come out ahead. This may result in the individual to feel “stuck in a rut”, or in extreme cases, turn them to doubt themselves and their overall goal. It is important for all personality types to have a positive outlet for their stresses, in order to aid in finding organizational successes and work-related happiness.

Organizational Climate and ISTP Disposition

As with each personality type adding behavioral differences to the climate of an organization, they also each add value. When a personality type perspective is missing in an organization, it is up to the individuals involved to assist with filling the void and work out of their comfort zone in order to produce optimal results. For example, “while the ISTPs are saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” the ENTPs are saying, “If it ain’t broke, break it!”.”  (Hirsh, S. & Kummerow, J. CPP Inc., 1998 P. 7) Therefore, if the organization is staffed with only ISTPs, then it is less likely that innovative risks will be taken and the team will either need to work out of their comfort zone to “break it”, or hire a personality type who innately functions in that way. However, ISTP Personality Types have many strengths when it comes to adding to their organizational climate. They will generally want to follow and implement processes and procedures to increase their organization’s efficiency. Often, they rely on written text and not spoken commands and may be the type to read the company handbook thoroughly to see how they can improve it. ISTPs also have been known to be skilled in recordkeeping and knowing answers for projects regarding timing and budget. However, this personality type also generally will want to be a part of an organization climate which allows for flexibility. They may want to be a part of a team that begins projects and passes them to another department. ISTPs often prefer to have open ended solutions which allow for change. Additionally, this personality type may spend a great deal of time on a project because they will try to include as much information as possible. To others, this behavior may present as procrastination, but for Perceiving Personality Types, they simply do not want to miss any information for their submissions. Additionally, ISTPs may postpone their decisions so that they may include as much information as possible in their deliberation. However, due to this innate behavioral pattern, ISTPs also are masterful with adaptation and often can find constant change to be comfortable for them. Having strict deadlines and excessive structure can often make an ISTP feel restricted. These individuals may be the type to keep lists to assist themselves with organization and to keep themselves on task. ISTPs are known to be quiet, reflective, individuals who may think before they act and may get lost in their thoughts so far that they never actually take any action based on their well thought out plans.

Work Style

  • Act as troubleshooters, rising to meet the needs of the occasion
  • Function as walking databases of information in any area that interests them
  • Figure out practical ways to get things done, overcoming obstacles in the way
  • Remain calm during crises and thus have a settling effect on others
  • Add expertise in areas of interest in which they have technical skills

Abstracted From:

Introduction To Type in Organizations (Hirsh, S. & Kummerow, J. p.11, CPP Inc., 1998)

ISTPs often establish themselves in occupations which have continuity, such as in administration and accounting, government, production, and construction. They also are attracted to positions which have regular hours and schedules. They are also commonly found having careers which are focused on strong, rational, task-solution skills, risk taking, and the ability to adapt quickly and seemingly effortlessly to changing circumstances, such as industries related to computers, engineering, production, and electronics.

 Workplace Association and Interaction

Workplace communication is justifiably one of the most important aspects of an organization’s success. Each MBTI® Personality Type will innately associate and interact with their team members in a particular manner. An ISTP generally will spend their focus on work duties and may have no trouble working in an environment which has team members who do not get along. They often will have a level-headedness that allows them to address problematic situations with practicality. They generally want to be seen by others as people who are resourceful, spontaneous, and willing to take risks. ISTP Personality Types are commonly well suited for teams containing action-oriented people who pay most attention to urgent matters. They tend to be firm minded and always ready to evaluate other’s work. However, this innate behavior can also be a source of difficulty for an ISTP who is trying to communicate with their team. For example, an ISTP may unintentionally upset others by overlooking their emotions when giving feedback. They often decide things mechanically, which may lead to paying insufficient attention to other’s personal preferences or desires and most attention to the company’s best outlook. When communicating with team members, an ISTP will often look for opportunities to meet on a one-on-one basis. They generally do not like large meetings and when they are required an ISTP will want them to be brief and to the point. However, this personality type has been known to speak up during meetings as long as they have had time to think through their presented thoughts far in advance. They will want to have a written agenda for the meeting in order to stay focused on the task at hand. They will want to hear about all of the potentialities which other team members may suggest but will also want to know that all options are preliminary and are able to be changed. During this process it is common for an ISTP to keep their enthusiasm for a new project to themselves, and to want to spend time to think about the project before including their personal opinion. This may be due to a common behavioral trait for ISTP Personality Types to have been reprimanded for completing a project too quickly in the past. They typically will avoid having any conflicts such as this, as well as, with their colleagues. However, ISTPs have been known to have conflicts with others who do not complete their work properly. Having loose policies and procedures in place will be the best scenario for ISTPs to avoid this common conflict issue.


Learn about ISTP Personality Type behavior in organizations

ISTPs and Operational Efficiency

For a successfully functioning organization to operate at it’s highest potential, the team must have effective training programs with leaders who genuinely want nothing more than the best for the company. Each MBTI® Personality Type will bring a different set of skills to an organization in regard to how they learn and how they lead. ISTJs generally will prefer to be taught skills and facts which they apply to areas of their position which they find most appealing. They often will want to know how newly presented information will assist with both ongoing and future organizational challenges. This personality type typically does not appreciate dry or dull means of learning and would much prefer a spirited presentation. However, ISTPs also have been known to absorb a great deal of information by reading and observing.

When an ISTP is in a position of supervision, they generally will lead by example and work alongside their subordinates. They have been known to “Want everyone to be treated as an equal and to pull his or her own weight”. (Hirsh, S. & Kummerow, p.11, J. CPP Inc., 1998). ISTPs are not commonly the type of people to micro-manage and typically will allow others to complete their work without interrupting them. However, when they need to step in, they will ordinarily react swiftly and have even been known as the “firefighter” of personality types. When leading, an ISTP often will have clear expectations of current needs, and organizes tasks based on logic. They also use this logic-based structure for their decision-making process. When making organizational conclusions, an ISTP may investigate all the specific information involved including, the impact on their team, as well as how the company can produce unprecedented results when doing so.

Using the MBTI® in the Workplace

 The Myers Briggs Type Indicator® has been used for several years in a variety of industries worldwide. Organizations use the Myers Briggs Type Indicator® assessment as a developmental tool for many different reasons. As discussed, understanding one’s innate personality function, as well as those of team members, can produce an appreciation for each other’s actions and behaviors in the workplace. This knowledge can also help organizations build a healthy work culture and allow for innovative solutions for current obstacles. It can also assist with finding unique strengths among staff, in order to capitalize on individual talents among these team members. Having this innate personality behavioral knowledge can also help an organization with their training programs, conflict management strategies, and recognition procedures. The MBTI® is a powerful tool that can help an organization develop their overall company culture by determining how employees focus their attention, how they gain energy, take in information, make decisions, and interact with others. Most importantly, once this information has been determined, it can be used to modify and develop behaviors for heightened overall company performance.

Learn More About the MBTI ISTP Personality Types


Introduction To Type in Organizations (Hirsh, S. & Kummerow, J. CPP Inc., 1998)