INTJ Personality Type – Introverted Intuition with Extraverted Thinking
The INTJ personality type (as outlined by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® Assessment, or MBTI® Test) is the Introverted Intuition with Extraverted Thinking type. Individuals that exhibit the INTJ personality type are knowledgeable, inventive, and theoretical, whether they’re working on long-term personal goals or creative projects in their professions.
They are “big-picture” thinkers, creating constructive ambitions and planning for them accordingly. Myers-Briggs test INTJ types hold a clear idea of what they would like to accomplish in their future, and they use that vision as motivation to complete all of the necessary steps to obtain their dreams. This dedication to their visions and their ability to find ways to achieve them make INTJ types high-functioning employees:
- Their looking-towards-the-future mentality helps them to create original and inspiring ideas for companies, as well as a well-thought-out plans for achieving these goals
- Value the intellectual ability of themselves and those of others, and place a high importance on it
- Can be adamant and commanding when the professional environment requires a certain level of authority
- Because of their ability to think long-term, they are often placed in (or place themselves in) authoritative positions in business and groups
- Quick to find solutions to challenges, whether that requires basing their solutions on pre-conceived knowledge or finding new information to base their decisions off of
- Can relate newly gathered information to the bigger picture
- Enjoy complicated problems, utilizing both book and street smarts (logical and hypothetical ideas) to find solutions
Strong Planners With Great Follow-Through
MBTI Test -assessed INTJ personality types are long-term goal-setters, creating plans to bring their goals to completion, and then following this plan using thought-out approaches and procedures devised by the INTJ. They are self-reliant, individualistic, and self-secure. INTJ personality types have a large amount of faith in their own competence and intelligence, even if others openly disagree or the opposite proves true. This also makes Myers-Briggs Type Indicator-assessed INTJ types their own worst critics, as they hold themselves to the highest standards. They dislike turbulence, perplexity, clutter, and when others waste their time and/or energy on something unimportant. This MBTI type is also succinct, analytical, discerning, and definitive.
In their personal lives, Myers-Briggs test INTJ types exhibit many of the same behaviors that they do in their professional lives. They expect competence from their peers and are more than willing to share their intelligence or ideas with those around them. Occasionally, INTJ personality types may find it difficult to hold their own in social situations, whether that is due to their actions or their opinions. To others, MBTI Test -assessed INTJ types seem set in their ways or opinions because of their high respect for themselves, but oftentimes reality is just the opposite, with the INTJ type taking in new tidbits of information at all times, evaluating their own opinions and ideas accordingly. They are also often seen as a tad distant, closed off from others emotionally but not intellectually.
Sometimes INTJ Types Are Too Confident
This distance associated with this MBTI test-assessed personality type can occasionally progress to the point of negativity. INTJ personality types can close themselves off so much that they stop revealing what they are thinking/how they are coming to certain conclusions, which can make it seem as though they are simply rushing through a task. They can often do just that—jumping to underdeveloped endings without considering all new or present information. This flaw can also cause Myers-Briggs test assessed INTJ types to overlook important data and facts necessary to achieve their goals.
Their high level of competence coupled with their big-picture way of thinking can sometimes cause problems for this Myers-Briggs type. Because so many of their ideas are long-term, INTJ type ideas can occasionally lack the ability to fully come to fruition.
In their relationships with others, MBTI Test-assessed INTJ Personality Types may come off as judgmental, especially to those who aren’t as openly enthusiastic about the INTJ types ideas or intelligence. If they feel that others are not viewing them as highly as they view themselves, there is also a chance that they will not necessarily provide the level of feedback that that individual may need. However, by concentrating on developing their Sensing and Feeling, the INTJ type may fashion more intimate connections with their peers, spending less time in their heads and more time engaging with the world around them.[Personality type information was referenced from the following publication- (Isabel Briggs Myers, 1998, CPP Inc.)]
Career Outlook for INTJ Types
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator INTJ personality type uses their big-picture thinking along with their logical problem-solving skills to succeed in a variety of occupations, usually those requiring scientific reasoning/understanding and those that involve building or creating something scientifically tangible. For these reasons, Myers-Briggs Test assessed INTJ types often find themselves choosing careers such as plant scientist, engineer, medical scientist, internist, or architect. MBTI test INTJ types also find themselves leaning towards those professions that require them to hold an authoritative position or a leadership role, such as a management consultant or a top executive (Allen L. Hammer, 1993, CPP Inc.).
To be successful in these problem-solving careers, Myers-Briggs test INTJ types must learn to consider short-term goals and opportunities as well as their already over-arching, long-term goals. This can include immediate priorities, career choices that the INTJ values but may not consider rational, and present values that INTJ type may be neglecting in favor of their long-term vision. Creating immediate and long-reaching goals for yourself can help you level your thinking and focus more on the moment.
Furthermore, this MBTI personality type may have a hard time dealing with sudden life changes or events. By allowing yourself time to think about immediate goals and surprising situations without focusing solely on the long-term outcome, you can be ready for unforeseen circumstances that may come their way.
One of the most important strategies that the Myers Briggs Type Indicator test INTJ type can implement to be successful in the workplace is to open themselves up to new people, new experiences, and new ideas. If you find yourself closed off or antisocial in the work environment, slowly opening yourself to other networks and creating personal relationships with those around you can help you become a more well-rounded employee.
Click on one of these corresponding popular INTJ Careers for detailed information including Career Stats, Income Stats, Daily Tasks and Required Education: Anesthesiologist, Electronics Engineers, Biochemist, Industrial Engineers, Biologist, Information Security Analysts, Chemical Engineers, Lawyer, Computer Programmer, Surgeon.
Further Understanding INTJs
Myers-Briggs ® INTJs love the challenge of getting the chance to solve complex problems. They are able to set long-term goals and dismantle them into smaller-term benchmarks along the way. This level of structure, organization, and linear thinking is highly evident both in their personal and professional lives. Because of this ability to think across multiple scales, from the local to the global, INTJs are able to perceive patterns as well as connections between local interactions and systemic change relatively intuitively. Their high degree of confidence sometimes makes them come across as being overly stern or intractable, but in reality, they are willing to change their position if they are presented with evidence that they have made a mistake.
While MBTI ® INTJs do tend towards leadership positions because of their self-assuredness and long-range vision, if their skills and innate qualities remain underdeveloped, they may become aloof, closing off others and become overly opinionated, directed, and single-minded. However, when they are in highly organized environments in which their contributions are recognized and appreciated, they can flourish and become formidable leaders and team members.
INTJs’ Learning Styles: Analytical and Innovative
Myers-Briggs ® INTJs are above all concerned with broadening their perspective and knowledge base so that they can more effectively meet future tasks or problems head on. They are highly analytical, and almost subconsciously dismantle problems. They are also able to identify the most efficient way of improving processes or systems, even as more information becomes available. While some personality types may find this constant change to be stressful, INTJs are motivated and invigorated by having a dynamic environment in which to learn and work. As a result, they enjoy learning environments that provide opportunities for complex problem solving, in which they can integrate information from multiple sources to develop a multidimensional product, plan, or campaign.
As learners, INTJs are very pragmatic – they have little interest in memorizing facts unless they can immediately see their relevance to solving particular problems. In other words, the power of knowledge, for an INTJ, is in its application. Facts are only useful in so far as they are applicable to real-world scenarios. That said, INTJs do need time to consider and process information independently. As a result, they may choose to spend time alone rather than constantly being required to interact in a large classroom setting. As such, it can be helpful for them to have the opportunity to read independently, review content before class, or brainstorm before doing some kind of group activity. However, unlike many introverted types, INTJs do not mind being singled out to answer questions in front of the class. In fact, they often enjoy the spotlight and being able to get immediate feedback on their thought processes.
INTJs are highly analytical, organized thinkers, and are drawn to instructors and trainers who have similar traits. They benefit most from those who are able to present multiple aspects of a given perspective in an organized and concise way, and who are able to have critical discussions about the topic. They have little patience with disorganized lectures or unclear directions, and quickly lose interest and motivation in such environments. In the same way, they enjoy building relationships with high-performing peers who are equally committed to analytical thinking and discovering new, innovative ways to engage with and apply the material. Metaphors and analogies, visual models, and debates, are all helpful for encouraging INTJs to build more and deeper connections between the material and the real world.
When it comes to feedback. INTJs tend to less prefer multiple choice exams and other settings in which there is only one correct answer, without considering the nuances of the real world. Instead, they prefer essays, projects, and presentations that are graded more holistically. However, they also do best with specific, one-on-one feedback that gives them specific information on how to improve themselves in an honest and straight-forward manner. They find it difficult to read between the lines of vague generalizations, and instead value specificity.
INTJs’ Leadership Styles: Goal-Oriented and Confident
As leaders, INTJs are extremely goal-oriented. They have a crystal clear internal vision of their target, and are able to clearly articulate even the most complex plans in simple terms. Others tend to be enthusiastic about following INTJs because they keep everyone on the same page, using directive, specific language that helps others understand their role and how it fits into the larger-scale objective. As such, everyone on INTJs’ teams know what they are supposed to be doing at any given time, as well as how their individual part directly contributes to the overall project. INTJs are also well-known for doing careful research, and being able to present logical rationales for every decision. All of this said, INTJs can sometimes find it difficult to answer others’ questions or to understand that obedience and a willingness to carry out assigned tasks, is not necessarily the same as active engagement or motivation. INTJs may need to make a concerted effort to take a step back from time to time and welcome the contributions of others, even if they do not necessarily immediately see the benefit or value of their input. One strategy for getting more support in this area is to have a trusted person with a complementary personality make an effort to involve others in the decision making and implementation processes, as well as handle some of the practicalities of implementation. The goal should be to increase the productive, valuable contributions of others, while still maintaining a sharp focus on the end goal or project for the department.
One additional way in which INTJs can continue to grow are to consider how, as leaders they can support their team members or employees. For example, seemingly small compliments can go a long way towards making others feel like they are truly part of the team and that their contributions are noticed, valued, and appreciated. Furthermore, INTJs should make an effort to be more conscientious of how they ask and answer questions. Something as seemingly minor as a change in tone can turn a condescending answer or overbearing question into a concerned and caring one, which can lead to a profound change in the way that other employees see them as leaders, not to mention their investment in the company overall. All in all, while INTJs have the makings of strong leaders, if they can develop their interpersonal skills, they will become even stronger in the long run, and will have more productive, more loyal teams.
INTJs and Emotional Outlook: Controlled and Mature
INTJs tend to be acutely aware of their own motivations and reactions to changing situations. They also tend to be fairly adept at controlling their impulses and focusing on the task at hand. They are not often openly spontaneous in either a positive or a negative way, and they do not generally behave in a manner that they will regret later. That said, they do allow themselves to explore possibilities using their imagination before deciding whether or not to pursue a particular opportunity in the real world. In this way, they can conduct miniature thought experiments and explore implications or side-effects before taking a real-world action.
A key value for INTJs is their autonomy. While they are open to new ideas, innovative solutions, and changing organizational structures, it is always of the utmost importance for them to feel like they are still in control of a situation and that they have a choice in any given matter. They are generally self-sufficient and may be persistent, even through others’ objections or reservations and even if they encounter some evidence to the contrary. In other words, INTJs can come across almost as stubborn at times and may want to make an effort to carefully consider others’ opinions and positions, even though they may disagree with them. However, this perseverance can also be a very positive personal characteristic; at the end of the day, INTJs remain faithful to their beliefs, and will stop at nothing to achieve their goals.
In terms of their interpersonal and emotional intelligence, INTJs may not necessarily be particularly responsive to others’ emotional needs, unless it is in their own best interest to do so. It is likely that they tend to devalue others’ emotional needs because they have such strong control over their own emotions. That said, they are willing to energize and motivate others, and to include others to some extent in the implementation process. While they do have a strong preference for others who think in similar, analytical ways, and who they perceive as competent, they do tend to communicate a respect for fair-mindedness and justice more generally. In terms of conflict management, INTJs tend to be able to set overt ground rules for mediating conflict, and are comfortable expressing their own position candidly and clearly. They are able to express disagreement without necessarily commenting on others’ character and competence, and expect others to be able to interpret their statements in the same manner.
INTJ Personality Types in The Workplace
Individuals who assess as Introverted-Intuitive-Thinking-Judging (INTJ) personality types are focused, organized achievers. They value competence and knowledge, both in themselves and others, and they vehemently reject inefficiency and disorganization, especially if they consider it unnecessary or unjustified. INTJs are also visionaries and global thinkers. They love the complexity and detail of large-scale challenges, and thrive in environments where they can synthesize theoretical concepts and real-world data to draw conclusions or implement initiatives that lead to a tangible result. For example, INTJs might enjoy careers in which they are able to speak with many different people or draw on many different sources of information with the goal of creating a cohesive story or system.
That said, INTJs do not shy away from the logistics of acting based on their initiatives. They are strong planners and implementers who understand that action is key to their ideas and visions having an impact and changing the lives of others. They often become leaders in their organizations, and are trusted and even revered by their colleagues and co-workers. Their focus, high standards, and drive lead their organizations and teams to success.
INTJs and Communication in The Workplace: Focused and Logical
When they communicate with others, INTJs express themselves clearly and logically. They reject appeals to human emotion and organizational politics, and instead support their statements with reason, observations, or empirical data. Their tendency to see issues from a global perspective allows them to quickly detect patterns and trends that others might not be aware of, and they do not hesitate to voice their findings and opinions, even if others find them unpopular. Their focus is on discovering and acting on the truth, rather than on pleasing others or furthering certain political ends. This focus leads to many of INTJs’ successes. However, it can also frustrate others if they jump to action too quickly, before expressing their ideas and getting approval or buy-in from others. Sometimes, it pays to work slow to work fast. That is, taking the time up front to get investment from other stakeholders as well as consider the issue at hand carefully from multiple perspectives, can save significant time, effort, and resources later.
INFJs can also contribute even more to their personal and professional relationships if they learn to value and share their creative insights as much as their logical conclusions. INFJs are uniquely gifted in attracting support and followers through the sharing of a cohesive, compelling vision. Making even a small effort to develop this natural proclivity can make an enormous impact. For example, an INFJ could learn to explain their vision to others simply and concisely, a strategy often referred to as an “elevator pitch.” Furthermore, while it may be frustrating, one must be willing to rephrase or repeat one’s position to ensure that others have an accurate understanding.
Those who work with INTJs should be aware that they need time alone to function efficiently and to reflect on their work and personal lives. If they ask you to give them some space or request time to analyze an issue, understand that they mean no offense and are simply trying to be respectful and give you the most accurate answer possible.
INTJs and Workplace Contributions: Macroscopic and Action-Oriented
INTJs are their office workhorses. They unify the ability to think about large-scale theoretical issues with the ability to design specific solutions and organize their ideas into action items. While many other personality types are particularly strong at macro-level or micro-level thinking independently, INTJs can see the interconnections and interactions between multiple implementational levels almost effortlessly, and they encourage others in their organization to develop the same depth and breadth of understanding that they have themselves. This large scale reasoning also allows them to detect challenges well in advance and develop strategies for how they can be mitigated or entirely eradicated before they disrupt progress.
INTJs also tend to be opinionated. They often have a vision for their organization and have specific ideas of how that vision can be made reality. They do not hesitate to share their perspectives, opinions, and insights, with others, and may unconsciously expect others to fall in step behind them. They may become critical or frustrated when their peers are skeptical or push back against their suggestions and may benefit from acknowledging the possibility that others may have a sound justification for their resistance.
Another way that INTJs contribute to the workplace is their uncanny ability to reduce team stress. Their honest, direct communication style means that others always know what is expected of them and how their production will be evaluated. Establishing expectations lays a solid foundation for workplace relationships, and therefore reduces workplace stress. INTJs also tend to seek out challenges, especially those that are complex or theoretical, which removes these responsibilities from other team members. While they may react negatively to new data or information that contradicts their current understanding of the world, they are generally willing to create alternative action plans that will have their intended impact.
INTJs and Workplace Culture: Efficient but Creative
INTJs thrive in efficient, organized work environments that are organized but flexible. They are often the decision makers on their teams, and guide their organizations in setting goals and working collaboratively to achieve them. While they have little patience with bureaucracy and hierarchy for their own sake, INTJs understand that sometimes organizational management is necessary in order to improve efficiency. Finding the answer to a question is much more challenging if one does not know who to ask, and establishing a course of action is nearly impossible if no single individual has the final say. Along the same lines, INTJs also prefer work environments that are task-focused and deliberate. They like being able to get down to business, and they value being surrounded by other people who challenge them intellectually and who are equally focused on implementing detailed, long-term visions.
That said, for INTJs, creativity is just as important as efficiency. They often find that the best and most efficient way to solve a problem or approach a challenge is unorthodox. They benefit greatly from being able to explore creative possibilities both collaboratively and autonomously. Flexible work environments are key to fostering their creativity, and they often do their best thinking while on walks or on long lunches. Nonetheless, INTJs are highly productive and focused, and expect others on their teams to be equally competent.
INTJs and Leadership in The Workplace: Decisive and Action-Oriented
INTJs are strong, decisive individuals who often find themselves rising to leadership positions within their organizations. They are enthusiastic in theorizing, creating, and building new models, and do not hesitate to reorganize entire approaches or organizational systems if they feel that doing so will improve their team’s performance outcomes in the future. While some of their peers might think they are too focused on outcomes and metrics, for example they might neglect to provide praise or show appreciation for the efforts of their team members, INTJs instead see themselves as focused and driven. They have high standards for themselves and for others, and are confident in asserting themselves if they feel that doing so is necessary to achieve their goals. INTJs are also uniquely talented in their ability to articulate even complex or nuanced visions concisely and coherently. They justify their position with research, and are able to inspire others to follow based on their considerable knowledge and understanding not only of the specific task at hand but also of other related issues.
However, as INTJs continue to grow and develop as leaders, they should be conscious of their tendency to gloss over others’ accomplishments and instead make a concerted effort to recognize that a bit of praise or reassurance can go a long way towards maintaining team morale and even increasing performance. Furthermore, INTJs perfectionism can make them reluctant to share responsibilities, delegate, or ask for help from other team members. Their concern about quality control is not unjustified. However, load leveling is critical for maintaining and scaling production. No one can do everything on their own. Relying on one’s teams and colleagues is often a sign of maturity and strength rather than shirking one’s responsibilities.
INTJs and Problem Solving in The Workplace: Confrontational and Creative
INTJs naturally understand the world around them from a macroscopic, global perspective. They unconsciously process information around them, and detect trends and overall patterns, which they then use to draw conclusions about other contexts. They use their intuition and thinking in a balanced way. Their intuition allows them to develop complex concepts and visions for future possibilities, and their thinking allows them to use these insights to make logical decisions and take action. They also use their analytical ability to triage challenges. That is, to determine what problems will be difficult or time consuming to solve, and what problems might be resolved more smoothly.
Another major strength of INTJs is their creative approach to problem solving. They are often known for presenting innovative and even unusual solutions to common problems. However, they welcome the opportunity for debate and discussion. They are of the philosophy that the only way to make an idea or initiative stronger is to consider how it might fail and then planning for those contingencies. For this reason, INTJs may become frustrated if their peers or co-workers are threatened or uncomfortable by debates. Those who work with INTJs should bear in mind that questions are not meant as personal attacks, but rather are meant to enable the team to produce the best solutions and quality of work possible. Nonetheless, INTJs can come across as being overly harsh or confrontational, and should make an effort to persuade others to support them rather than beat them into submission, metaphorically speaking.
INTJs and Areas of Growth in The Workplace: Interpersonal Skills and Sustainment
Like all of us, INTJs have several areas they should take the time to grow and develop.
First, INTJs should make an effort to develop their interpersonal and emotional skills. If you are an INTJ, keep in mind that people matter as much as outcomes. After all, people produce those outcomes. If your team members are not fulfilled personally, they may not be able to produce high quality professional content. You can support your team members by taking the time to praise them on a specific contribution, or even by striking up a simple conversation. If a team member makes an especially valuable suggestion, for instance, you might praise them in front of your team. This will build personal connections with your team members, which can benefit you in surprising ways. For example, oftentimes your team members will be willing to work harder and follow you farther if they feel a personal as well as a professional connection.
Second, INTJs have a tendency to overindulge their senses, especially when they are stressed. Such overindulgence might include overeating, watching hours or even days of television or movies, or obsessing about minor details in their home or workplace, for example organizing cupboards or shuffling papers on a desk. If you find yourself caught in such a rut, take a step back and remind yourself of a few concrete goals you have for the immediate future, even for the next few minutes or for the end of the day. Then, identify one small step you can take towards that goal, and take it. Every little bit helps.
Finally, INFJs might benefit from pursuing moderation and sustainment rather than excellence all the time. Quality matters, but so does consistency. Constantly driving your team and even yourself can be exhausting and frustrating. On the other hand, identifying times when 90 percent effort will suffice can improve your team’s overall performance in the long run and even increase spirits and morale.
If you are an INTJ, a few seemingly small changes can go a long way towards making a big difference not just in your own performance, but also in how you relate to your teams, co-workers, and clients.
Learn More About the MBTI INTJ Personality Type
Explore additional information that delves deeper into the INTJ Personality Type by examining various personality and career based subjects:
- How the MBTI INTJ Type relates to Innovation
- How the MBTI INTJ Type relates to Project Management
- How the MBTI INTJ Type relates to Emotional Intelligence
- How the MBTI INTJ Type relates to Leadership
- How the MBTI INTJ Type Communicates
- The INTJ 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)