MBTI® ISFJ Personalities and Decision Making

Geeta AnejaISFJ, MBTI, Type and Decision-Making

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How and why individuals make decisions are often influenced by their Myers-Briggs Personality Types (MBTI® Types). More specifically, MBTI® Types can affect what factors different people consider important in a decision, whether decisions are “in stone” or flexible, and how people determine whether or not a decision was optimal or successful. Differences in decision making style can cause tension in the workplace, but with a little effort and knowledge about personality types, a diverse team with different perspectives can quickly be transformed from a liability into your most valuable asset.

Introverted-Sensing-Feeling-Judging personality types (ISFJ Types) do their best to maximize positive outcomes for people. They consider multiple different aspects of the issue at hand, and then develop a sequence of logical steps to tackle it. While they may at times be skeptical of non-traditional or innovative approaches, they do so because they prefer to be on sure footing—to have a strategy that they know will be reasonably successful. As they start to come up with ideas for tackling a particular problem, ISFJs tend to avoid options that promote competition or may cause confrontation. Maintaining a positive work environment is very important to them, but they may need to be reminded that debate is not always counterproductive—it can be a valuable way of generating ideas that can serve populations even more effectively and lead to even better outcomes.

MBTI® ISFJ Decision Making

Learn about MBTI® Types and The ISFJ Personality Type’s Decision Making Process preferences.

When actually making a decision, Hirsh and Hirsh (2007) observe that MBTI® ISFJs have a strong preference for “predictability, security, and tradition.” They require concrete information and instructions, and prefer certainty and specificity to flexibility, even though there are times where a “wait and see” approach is actually the best. At times, they may also need to be encouraged to consider long-term impact or continued growth in addition to immediate payoff for people affected by a particular decision. These preferences carry over into implementation, as ISFJs tend to meticulously and conscientiously carry out plans as they are developed. While they are detail oriented, they are also highly sympathetic and considerate of others on their team. They do enjoy working with others, but may take on too much responsibility themselves—if you are an ISFJ or are working with an ISFJ, encourage them to delegate and to share responsibility. This will increase efficiency and will reduce stress for all members involved.

After implementation is complete, ISFJs reflect on their actions and consider how it could have been improved. As they do this, their primary focus is on whether a real, tangible difference was made for individuals or groups of people. Because of their drive for perfection, ISFJs may focus on the negatives rather than the positives, and may need some extra support generalizing what was learned—the “take-away”—to other situations.

As ISFJs continue to develop professionally, they should try to become more comfortable with non-traditional, innovative ideas, and to share their thoughts and ideas as they arise. They can also solicit input from others with more frequency and consider not only immediate implications and logical consequences, but also future possibilities and impact of their decisions. Last but far from least, they should make an effort to become more comfortable with uncertainty and flexibility—not because being unprepared is a good thing, but because sometimes decisions need to be adapted to situations that are constantly in flux. Adapting to context while still remaining well-informed is a valuable characteristic in any leader and on any team.


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

Learn More About the MBTI ISFJ Personality Type:

Learn More About the MBTI ISFJ Personality Type

ISFJ Careers

Click on one of these corresponding popular ISFJ Careers for detailed information including Career Stats, Income Stats, Daily Tasks and Required Education: Court Clerk, Data Entry Keyers, Dietitians & Nutritionists, File Clerk, Insurance Claims Clerk, Insurance Policy Processing Clerks, License Practical & Vocational Nurse, Medical Records Technician, Payroll Clerk, and Work Processor & Typist.

Explore additional information that delves deeper into the ISFJ Personality Type by examining various personality and career based subjects:

Click on a link below to read more about different MBTI Personality Types