Myers-Briggs INTP Personality Types and Communication
In the workplace, having a team of people with varying Myers-Briggs® personality types can be beneficial. Individuals’ diverse strengths and perspectives complement one another (Dunning, 2003), composing a more agile, capable team. However, this diversity also requires team members to pay careful attention to communication. The importance of communication is often underestimated, since so many communicative processes are unconscious. However, since people with different personality types tend to communicate in different ways, being aware of how and why people communicate can help team leaders, managers, and individual team members anticipate possible challenges and resolve them before they escalate into major issues. Doing so prevents misunderstandings, streamlines operations, and ultimately increases the efficiency of any organization.
What Type of Communication Do INTP Personality Types Prefer?
While communicative differences are inevitable, especially in today’s increasingly digital workplace, Dunning (2003) distills MBTI® Types and communication to a few key insights and action steps to help organizations and companies improve their functioning. For instance, INTPs are “practical and insightful analyzers” (Dunning, 2003, p.4). They are able to logically evaluate large amounts of information, and tend to make data-driven decisions based on them. As a result, their communication style tends to be logical, linear, and analytical. They highlight cause and effect relationships when they present information, and when they receive information they tend to ask a lot of questions in an attempt to understand the complex nuances of the world around them. For these reasons, they often seem overly technical or preoccupied with unnecessary details. However, understanding these fine points is essential for INTPs. While they are comfortable with necessary or unavoidable ambiguity, they tend to be impatient with unnecessary shortages of information.
How To Best Interact With INTPs’
While such an approach can be frustrating for some other personality types, INTPs’ natural curiosity, skepticism, and attention to detail can be an enormous asset, if it can be tapped. When presenting information to them, try focusing on the information that is strictly necessary rather than presenting extraneous background information or information that is only loosely related to the task at hand. When giving them feedback, offer specific areas for improvement and focus on constructive feedback rather than vague criticisms. On the other hand, when receiving feedback from INTPs, be prepared for more corrective than positive feedback, but know that they may genuinely be trying to offer support and work towards the best possible outcomes for the company or organization, regardless of how overly critical they sound. INTPs are often not being intentionally harsh or distant, and they do tend to appreciate honest and direct feedback that is focused on changes that lead to improvement.
When different people have to work together towards a common goal in a rapid-paced work environment, often with tight deadlines, being aware of how others think and communicate is extremely important. The MBTI can shed light on these nuances, and can help organizations and teams anticipate such challenges, prevent the squandering of valuable time and resources, and instead focus on company output and achievement.
- Introduction to Type and Communication. (Dunning, D. CPP, 2003)
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