INFJ Personality Type – Introverted Intuition with Extraverted Feeling
The INFJ psychological type (as outlined by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® Assessment, or MBTI® Test) is the Introverted Intuition with Extraverted Feeling type. A typical INFJ is astute, imaginative, and quixotic. They’re very good readers of people, with the ability to accurately understand the worries, frustrations, incentives, qualms and beliefs of others, even if those individuals are not yet aware of these feelings themselves. An MBTI test -assessed INFJ type uses this innate ability to comprehend the inner workings of others and applies them to their occupation.
- Can instinctively recognize what is going on in a variety of situations regarding human interactions and relationships, and can naturally discern answers for complicated explanations
- Have high levels of ambition and dedication, and a methodical nature helps them achieve goals
- Extremely focused on what matters, finding no pleasure or importance in insignificant minutiae that have no place in their lives or aspirations
- Feel great sense of accomplishment when their work and values affect the world around them for the better
- Always interested in the progression of their mental and physical well-being, as well as those of their peers and friends, allowing them to motivate and instruct others well to develop new skills that are beneficial for their work
Honor-Bound and Sympathetic
Individuals with the Myers-Briggs® test INFJ personality type value reliability and a person’s word, both in the workplace and in their individual personal lives. They are emblematic, profound, perceptive and sympathetic. They wish to surround themselves with careers and objects that hold a special importance to them, and hold their own values and beliefs in the highest regard. INFJ personality types can often be found applying their personal beliefs or principles to their work, and prefer to surround themselves with people that carry similar thoughts, feelings, and ideals about the world around them.
Individuals with the INFJ personality type preference are the ultimate people-readers, and they are very proud of their ability to be intent and perceptive. They are trustworthy and dependable to those close to them, and are known for being nurturing and sympathetic.
A MBTI Test-assessed INFJ Personality Types ability to read others can sometimes translate to them being less open about their own feelings. While they are adept at discussing another’s feelings and ideals with them, they only let trusted individuals into their own minds and internal processes. INFJ types, then, can sometimes be difficult to read or figure out, as they are not very forward with information. When they do venture to explore their feelings verbally to another, Myers-Briggs INFJ types use abstract wording and allegorical descriptions. An INFJ types values and beliefs, however, are often freely discussed when the INFJ feels that his or her standards are being fought, in which case the INFJ type has no problem standing up to others.
Because of their proud beliefs and their slightly closed-off nature, this MBTI personality type can seem steadfast, tenacious, severe, and isolated to others. They can become so set on their values that they rush into decisions or opinions without consulting any other outside ideas, information, or wisdom. INFJ personality types may also feel that they don’t need to detail how they arrived at a decision or judgment, relying on their own faith in their wisdom as a reliable-enough source to base these choices off of. This can prove difficult in the workplace, especially when they fail to have any evidence or realistic reasoning for their decisions. Furthermore, if they feel challenged in their choices, the INFJ type can become malicious and derogatory towards those around them.
The Other Extreme of the INFJ Type’s Ideals
Similarly, a Myers-Briggs test INFJ type can create overly idealistic goals based on their inner feelings and ideals, and attempt to fulfill these goals even if they are impossible. An INFJ personality types lack of outside wisdom makes it hard for them to realize when their goals do not make realistic sense. By being more open to expressing their inner thoughts and feelings and by openly taking in information and avoiding single-mindedness, MBTI test-assessed INFJ types can become more effective workers and individuals.[Personality type information was referenced from the following publication- (Isabel Briggs Myers, 1998, CPP Inc.)]
Professional Fulfillment is a Must for INFJ Types
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator INFJ personality type thirsts for significance in their careers and their people-reading skills serve them well in various occupations across several areas, with the four most popular being education, the arts, medicine, and science. Myers-Briggs test INFJ types are drawn to careers that involve helping others, including surgeon, pathologist, or physician. They also thrive in creative fields that involve understanding the human processes, desires, and admirations, such as multimedia artist, interior designer, and writer. Other scientific fields are also popular among MBTI test-assessed INFJ personality types, including engineering, surveying, and research (Allen L. Hammer, 1993, CPP Inc.).
These careers leave lots of room for INFJ personality types to aid others in various ways, and by honing in on certain skills, they can be more effective at doing so. Creating realistic goals for oneself and for projects is one of the best processes that an INFJ can do, as they are often caught off guard when something unforeseen occurs. By not only relying on idealistic yet unrealistic ambitions, you can be ready to adapt to prospects that introduce themselves.
Being open with others, openly networking, and developing personal relationships with those around you will also aid MBTI test -assessed INFJ types in their chosen careers. The broadening of your network will also help open yourself up to new chances and experiences.
Probably the most important skill that a Myers-Briggs test INFJ can develop is that of assessing all facts and wisdoms before rushing into a decision, as is often the case when INFJ’s focus only on their own values as a way of making choices. Individuals with the INFJ personality type need to open themselves up to other tidbits of data or wisdom, even if the information they receive makes them a little uncomfortable. Weighing different options will also help individuals with the INFJ type preference to not make injudicious choices. These skills will not only aid Myers-Briggs Test -assessed INFJ types in further helping others in their chosen careers, but they will also work toward strengthening personal relationships between the INFJ and others.
Click on one of these corresponding popular INFJ Careers for detailed information including Career Stats, Income Stats, Daily Tasks and Required Education: Clinical Psychologist, Curator, Dentist, Desktop Publisher, Editor, Educational / Guidance Counselor, Fashion Designer, Graphic Designer, Healthcare Social Worker, and Pediatrician.
Further Understanding INFJ Personality Types
Myers-Briggs ® INFJ personality types have an uncannily intuitive sense for highly complex meanings and human relationships. Coupled with their passion for improving the lives of others and their impressive degree of organization, they are certainly a force to be reckoned with—powerful leaders and invaluable contributors to any team. They are insightful, creative, and idealistic, and draw connections between their own experiences, their sense of others, and the world around them, all while remaining deeply committed to their values and to those to whom they are loyal. Above all, they search for meaning and significance in every aspect of their lives, from their projects at work to their personal relationships.
While MBTI ® INFJ types do value authenticity and relationships, they are surprisingly private people, often preferring to remain aloof, though they will assert themselves unabashedly if they find that their own or others’ rights or values are infringed upon. As such, they may come across as being distant or even detached from reality or from others. The fact that they rarely give justifications or background information into their decisions, and that they may be overly critical of the decisions or behavior of others, does not help others warm up to them. That said, for those to come to know them well, they can be steadfast friends.
INFJs’ Learning Style: Reflective and Connectionist
INFJ types are visionaries—they are future-oriented and enjoy engaging with material that will broaden their perspective in one way or another, either in terms of interpersonal human relationships or in terms of having new concepts or ideas that engage with the world around them in new and unique ways. They often think in metaphors, that both help them represent connections mentally, and also help them discover new relationships between different concepts and ideas as well as the contexts in which they emerged.
When they are in structured, classroom settings, INFJ personalities and other visionaries tend to prefer more organized lectures or task oriented formats rather than looser, discussion-oriented classes. They are often so absorbed within in-depth theoretical content, that the fact that the material is delivered in a traditional or even dry lecture is irrelevant. If anything, it means that INFJs can focus on the material rather than being distracted by a showy presentation style. Above all, they need the time to be able to reflect on what they’re learning and to be able to connect it to other concepts with which they are already familiar. Along the same lines, INFJ personality types often prefer learning alone, by reading, or in having small group discussions. They need to have the time to consider and analyze the material as individuals before attempting to apply it. That said, having a practical component to a course or workshop is highly beneficial for them, since they tend to have difficulty engaging with material if it does not connect to practice, achieving material goals, or to other concepts and theories they are already familiar with.
When teaching INFJs, instructors will find it helpful to provide them with as many additional resources as possible. While not all students may be interested, additional materials will help INFJ types build additional connections between course material and the outside world, and so will help them strengthen their understandings even more. Because of this deep practicality and engagement with the real world, INFJs are also highly skeptical of simple answers to complex questions. Instead, they enjoy having room to express themselves, ask questions, and explore nuances. For this reason, objective or multiple-choice evaluations are also frustrating for the Myers-Briggs ® INFJ type, while more task-oriented, realistic measures of their abilities are much appreciated. Along the same lines, they also tend to prefer straight-forward, efficient, specific forms of feedback.
INFJs’ Leadership Style: Supportive and Personal
MBTI test INFJ personality types are able to envision long-term goals and identify shorter-term, intermediate benchmarks to gauge progress along the way. While they do sometimes struggle to articulate this vision so that others can follow along, their passion and drive is inspiring and motivating in and of itself. They prioritize strong relationships, and make an effort to be inclusive to different points of view, so that every individual feels like a valued and valuable contributor and team member. That said, the INFJ can at times find it challenging to separate their roles as a leader or a boss, and as a friend. This may lead to them losing influence, or having less control over their team than would otherwise be effective. Along the same lines, because they are so concerned with maintaining relationships, they may inadvertently come across as tolerant of mediocrity because of their lack of specificity in feedback. Without specific, concrete feedback, many individuals will find it hard to improve their output and may subsequently lose motivation.
Nonetheless, INFJ personalities do make strong, energetic role models, and their optimism is highly contagious. While they are methodical and practical, they also have an uncanny ability to tap into others’ values and passions, making sure that they are committed to the task at hand and that they are willing and able to carry out even the most challenging of tasks with a positive attitude. That said, they should make an effort to focus their efforts to strike a balance between amicability and results and friendship and leadership. Otherwise, they risk their teams stagnating and becoming little more than glorified social circles. Instead, they should learn to be diplomatic while still being constructive, supporting members of their teams in improving themselves and their output.
As they continue to develop as leaders, INFJs should make a concerted effort to give more specific feedback, and to address unpleasant details rather than putting them off to someone else, or simply burying or neglecting them. They should also make an effort to develop skills as public speakers, even if only in front of team meetings in the office, as well as skills in negotiating productive disagreements. In many cases, a friendly disagreement can support an organization’s progress, helping individuals hone innovative ideas, and moving towards new directions of growth and development.
INFJs show an impressive degree of self-confidence and self-awareness of their moods—if they are happy, they are conscious of it and understand how they came to feel so. If they are unhappy, they are able to make intentional efforts to redirect their efforts to improving their emotional state, particularly when they are surrounded by others who are equally positive and supportive as well. On the other hand, they may risk losing this ability to self-regulate when they experience insensitivity, cruelty, or a feeling of distance or aloofness, either towards themselves or towards another person.
While INFJs do enjoy variety and are highly adaptable to new situations and circumstances, they also benefit from certain constants, for instance, a respect for personal space and privacy, particularly since they are ultimately introverted and need quite, personal time to recharge and rejuvenate. They also benefit from collaborative relationships with positive people who they can motivate and who they find will also motivate them, and they maintain long-term, close relationships with a small inner circle of very good friends. INFJs’ values also remain relatively constant, even to the extent that they enjoy putting their goals in writing, even though they are highly flexible and will adapt their goals and values to fit their specific context. Along the same lines, INFJs are highly resourceful, and know how to utilize their resources in efficient and organized ways to achieve their ends.
When it comes to interacting with others, INFJs are as aware of others’ emotional composition as they are of their own. They are highly perceptive of personal feelings, and tend to be supportive of others, even to the extent of avoiding giving advice, especially in public, and being slow to criticize or even offer constructive feedback to others. They also tend to be very tolerant of others’ beliefs and values, and are diplomatic when expressing disagreement, if they express disagreement at all, though they will defend themselves if they believe their own values are being encroached upon. They are much more likely to express disagreement in private, in a small group or in a one on one conversation than they are in public. In the same way, they also prefer to interact with small groups in general, and may feel drained after having to be around larger groups for long periods of time.
Because INFJs tend to be so overly emotional and empathetic, other more analytical personality types may have trouble understanding where they are coming from at times, particularly because of how vague their feedback tends to be. As such, as they continue to grow, INFJs would do well to try to give more specific, logically structured feedback so that others can follow their thought processes.
INFJ Personality Types in The Workplace
Individuals who assess as Introverted-Intuitive-Feeling-Judging (INFJ) Myers-Briggs® Personality Types are compassionate, insightful individuals who almost instinctively foster interpersonal relationships and inspire others. They have a unique intuition that allows them to sense complex meanings, interactions, and implications just below the surface of an issue. They are also deeply empathic, and can even anticipate how others will feel before they are aware of their reactions themselves. INFJs place little importance on logistics or implementational details that detract from their macroscopic and symbolic way of understanding and interacting with the world. Instead, they are highly creative, metaphorical, and visionary individuals who engage in deep and emotional ways. They make decisions and understand others through the lens of their personal values and empathy, and are deeply and truly loyal to those kindred spirits who mirror their values. In the workplace, INFJs enjoy working alone or working in small groups with other similarly inclined peers with the shared goal of nurturing their own and others’ growth and development.
INFJs and Communication in The Workplace: Reserved and Considerate
INFJs are passionate, creative people who value harmony and building relationships. They tend to be reserved, preferring to let others be the center of attention and at the head of the pack. They also tend to keep to themselves, more due to their reluctance to intrude upon others than a preference for solitude. However, if they feel their values are violated, they can be assertive, insistent, and even invasive.
At the outset of any project or undertaking, INFJs take the time to consider and articulate their team’s values and goals, as well as what meaningful change they envision making in the future. When they work in groups with others, they present abstract, innovative ideas that they believe will have a significant positive effect on those whose lives they are striving to improve. While these comments and contributions can be motivating and can start a project out on the right foot, their lack of specificity may irritate some of INFJs’ colleagues who may be focused on the details or logistics of implementation. On the other hand, INFJs might themselves become irritated by other team members diminishing the importance of significant issues or being thoughtless, inconsiderate, or even outright rude. They value building up others’ morale and self-esteem, and such negative actions run counter to that goal.
Others’ opinions and esteem are so important to INFJs that they may refrain from voicing certain controversial opinions, positions, or suggestions in the interest of maintaining others’ morale. While a bit of self-awareness is greatly beneficial, as INFJs strive to improve their communication skills, they should make an effort to express their thoughts and feelings, even if there is a risk to harmony. Often the benefits of a healthy, respectful discussion or debate greatly outweigh its costs. Another strategy which may help INFJs communicate more effectively and persuasively is to integrate specific suggestions, data, or a realistic justification for their positions. Doing so will help INFJs reach their more detail-oriented team members, peers, and co-workers.
INFJs and Workplace Contributions: Stress Relieving and Relational
INFJs have a way of becoming the glue that holds their organizations together. They are fiercely loyal to people and organizations that they consider valuable or important, and they carefully follow through on any commitment they make. If they make a promise or sign a contract, they will do everything in their power to ensure that they fulfill their obligations to the best of their ability. INFJs approach their work with dedication, integrity, and consistency. They strive to produce products of the highest quality and build close relationships with their coworkers and clients along the way. INFJs are particularly skilled at organizing complex events and interactions, from conferences and parties to business negotiations. They bring people together in fulfilling and mutually beneficial ways, and seek to work with others for the improvement of all.
INFJs are also team players, and make the time and effort to look after the personal and emotional well-being of other people on their teams. If they notice that one of their team members is stressed or is having a difficult time, they do not hesitate to take action to alleviate that stress. They might leave a note or small gift on their desk, or even arrange a surprise of some kind. INFJs also help reduce the stress levels of their teams overall by anticipating problems and developing detailed contingency plans for possible scenarios that might come up. For instance, an INFJ might develop multiple project schedules or timelines to ensure that a team can continue to make progress despite certain delays or new information. However, INFJs may get stressed themselves if others expect them to manage project specifics or logistical details, or if others push or even force them to go too far beyond their comfort zone, especially in terms of social interaction. Nonetheless, if they make a small effort to ask for help before they get overwhelmed, they can reduce their crises and improve their contributions to the workplace even more.
INFJs and Workplace Culture: Organized and Flexible
INFJs thrive in workplace environments where they can work closely with others who are as dedicated and focused as they are on ideals that significantly impact human well-being. INFJs are often creative individuals with a passion for literature, the visual and performing arts, and other forms of self-expression. They thrive in work environments that provide opportunities and outlets for them to express their values and share them with others. In the same vein, they reject rigid organizational structures that require a strict dress code, chain of command, or working hours. To be effective, INFJs need the flexibility to think creatively, work passionately, and foster quiet time and space for reflection and communication. They cultivate harmony and consideration in their workplaces, and work to establish smooth processes that respect and incorporate others’ needs. However, INFJs should be aware that more introverted individuals might become exasperated by INFJs’ apparent obsession in others’ personal growth and may even interpret it as meddling. In these cases, it may be more effective to lay a foundation for growth and then manage it from a distance rather than being overly hands on in one’s approach.
Perhaps counter-intuitively, INFJs also need their workplace to be organized and planned. They benefit from a level of reliability and resent frequent changes or a lack of certainty in the expectations that others have of them. INFJs have high standards for their own performance, and frequent changes make them very difficult to maintain. At times, other members of their teams might become irritated by INFJs’ high standards. On the other hand, INFJs may themselves become irritated by others performing below their expected level. In order to contribute even more effectively in the workplace, INFJs should become a bit more relaxed and understanding of accidents. While lofty standards are not a bad thing, INFJs must come to terms with the reality that accidents happen and achieving ideals on a regular basis may not be possible.
INFJs and Leadership in The Workplace: Passionate and Cooperative
INFJs lead by winning cooperation from their team members and peers. They lead by example and by the strength of their vision rather than by demanding obedience. They value maintaining interpersonal relationships more than gaining power, and they find that others follow them willingly because they truly believe that INFJs will be able to improve their organizations and the situations of others. INFJs’ quiet, reserved determinism inspires their team members and followers to work hard to achieve long-range goals, again with the ultimate goal of improving heir own lives and the lives of others. They tend think of long-term and big-picture goals that may take a long time and a lot of effort to achieve, but which will be well worth the effort when the time comes.
While INFJs do seek additional information as needed to ensure the success of their initiatives, they can also be overly idealistic and have the unfortunate tendency to discount or even ignore present facts and details if they do not align with their current outlook or perspective. They may find it even more difficult to acknowledge realities that may render their current goals impossible or irrelevant. On the other hand, they may become even more irritated themselves if others expect them to compromise their values, standards, or ethical principles. To an INFJ, one’s character and principles are indispensable and irreplaceable. INFJs may also become distraught if others fail to contribute to the task at hand, especially if they had previously committed to participating. Nonetheless, their optimism and passion are contagious, inspiring others to work hard and act, making progress slowly but surely towards promised results.
INFJs and Problem Solving in The Workplace: Nontraditional and Creative
INFJs take a macroscopic yet interpersonal approach to problem solving. They approach an issue by first developing an overview of the situation, often by integrating objective research and resources with interpersonal conversations and others’ opinions. Then, they weigh the different possibilities and options for action against the human impact, that is, how different courses of action might affect different people or groups both inside and outside their organization. INFJs often value nontraditional approaches to problems, and use long periods of solitude to concentrate, brainstorm, and refine creative solutions. While they may need support working through the details necessary to realize their visions, INFJs ideas are often well thought out and well researched within the parameters of the challenge at hand.
At times, INFJs may irritate other members of their teams either by seeming to adhere stubbornly to an idea despite having been presented with evidence to the contrary, or by seeing even the smallest detail as being loaded with significance. On the other hand, they may themselves become irritated if others are unwilling to consider issues in sufficient detail or if they focus too narrowly on the financial implications of a decision without also acknowledging the people or ideals which may be caught in the crossfire. As they continue to grow and develop and solve more problems, INFJs should make an effort to become more open minded, broaden their horizons, and be willing to revise their initial approach when they are presented with new facts or changes in the real world. Any intervention must be relevant and appropriate to be effective in its current context; even a small delay can render a suggestion useless. Being able to adapt is key to being effective and catalyzing change.
INFJs and Areas of Growth in The Workplace: Constructive Feedback and Political Awareness
As INFJs continue to develop in their professional and personal lives, they will find that a few small changes can lead to an enormous change in their effectiveness and productivity. First, they should make an effort to give constructive criticism before a situation escalates beyond repair. If you are an INFJ, you might find the “hamburger method” of giving feedback effective. To give feedback using the hamburger method, start the conversation with a small praise or acknowledgment of effort, then point out the area of improvement as well as a specific change that the recipient should make, finally, close the conversation with another word of encouragement. In this way, you can give others a concrete strategy for improvement while staying positive and improving their morale rather than dismantling it.
INFJs may also need to develop an awareness of political or social dynamics when presenting their own ideas to others. If you are an INFJ, you might find out what motivates your listeners, who they relate to, and what they care about before you present your ideas. You can also subtly incorporate their comments and feedback into your proposal, which will increase their investment and interest in your proposal.
Last but far from least, INFJs may need to learn to relax and just enjoy their current situation, whatever it may be. While scheduling and developing contingency plans can help mitigate many challenges, at the end of the day there is only so much one can do to ensure the success of an initiative.
Learn More About the MBTI INFJ Personality Type
Explore additional information that delves deeper into the INFJ Personality Type by examining various personality and career based subjects:
- How the MBTI INFJ Type relates to Innovation
- How the MBTI INFJ Type relates to Project Management
- How the MBTI INFJ Type relates to Emotional Intelligence
- How the MBTI INFJ Type relates to Leadership
- The INFJ Celebrity Personality Types
Click on a link below to read more about different MBTI Personality Types
Introduction to Type (Isabel Briggs Myers, 1998, CPP Inc.)
Introduction to Type and Careers (Allen L. Hammer, 2007, CPP Inc.)
Introduction to Type and Leadership (Richmond, S. CPP. 2008)
Introduction to Type and Learning (Dunning, D. CPP. 2008)
Introduction To Type® and Emotional Intelligence. (Pearman, R. CPP, 2002)
Introduction To Type in Organizations (Hirsh, S. & Kummerow, J. CPP Inc., 1998)