Assertive Architect (INTJ-A) vs. Turbulent Architect (INTJ-T)

The Architect – a personality type defined as a quiet individual who values organization, rationality, and imaginative solutions to problems. But what happens when we add one more characteristic to the mix: Identity? Both Assertive Architects (INTJ-A) and Turbulent Architects (INTJ-T) maintain their similarities and value the same things, but with a twist that adds important, functional nuance to their expression of Architect qualities.

This Identity difference probably influences every part of their lives in some way. For our purposes (and for brevity’s sake), we’ll explore a few of the more apparent areas where our research shows a gap between the two types of Architects.

Are you a Turbulent Architect? Check out “Turbulent Architect Superpowers” at the bottom of this article for the deepest insights into who you are.

Expressing Ambition Differently

Assertive Architects are likely to approach the things they do with a greater degree of self-assurance. These Architects feel more confident about handling the stressors that are inevitably a part of life. They are less likely to experience regret if things go wrong. So, stressors and past failures are less likely to be motivators.

However, confidence isn’t everything and may not always guarantee success. For Turbulent Architects, many of their best efforts come from concerns about real or perceived shortcomings. This may push them to work harder and be more meticulous in an attempt to do better or make things better. These personalities are more thorough – not despite the fact that they worry, but because they do worry. Turbulent Architects are likely to carry their diligent desire for improvement into any of their personal or professional endeavors.

93% of Assertive Architects trust themselves to overcome any challenges life can throw their way, compared to 71% of Turbulent Architects.

All Architect personalities feel fairly confident when facing challenges and regard rational problem-solving highly. But Turbulent Architects more typically find any imperfections in a system very early in the process. This is due to their more worrisome nature, which creates a kind of hypervigilance. Their analytical nature then helps them find useful solutions, sometimes even before others realize such a solution is needed. This foresight can create a solid reputation that elevates them at work and at home.

However, this doesn’t mean that Turbulent Architects always follow through on the solutions they develop. The same apprehension that allows these personalities to find problems early in the process might also prevent them from mentioning such flaws to others. “How can this go wrong?” might be replaced by, “What if I’m wrong?” This new question may stifle any impulse to share insights and solutions.

49% of Turbulent Architects are often afraid of making decisions, compared to 18% of Assertive Architects.

Both types of Architects lean toward being ambitious. But there’s a potential trap in thinking that Assertive Architects are less ambitious than their Turbulent counterparts because they come across as less intense. Their confidence may make them look like they are effortlessly and casually cruising along with few signs of visible stress. Some may interpret this relaxed demeanor as apathy.

Assertive Architects can care as much as Turbulent Architects – it’s just that their motivation comes from somewhere different. It comes more from within rather than from without and from a place of certainty rather than uncertainty. This allows for a steadier gait that’s less influenced by any fluctuations around them. Their confidence places a lot of faith in their logic and understanding, and that conviction glides Assertive Architect personalities toward their accomplishments.

Dealing with Change and the Unexpected

The slightly more adventurous Assertive Architects are likely to feel better equipped to handle whatever life throws at them – especially with strategies and decision-making. They are more likely than Turbulent Architects to report that they believe bad luck has a positive side. To these personalities, things are rarely so dire that they can’t handle them. While they prefer stability, they’re not likely to fear instability.

However, Assertive Architect personalities can be a little more rigid than their Turbulent counterparts with intentional change. While they can be forward-thinking and visionary, they may see more mundane things as being fine just as they are, with no need to alter anything on a practical level. They may not have the impetus of improvement behind their regard for change and may not feel as much of a need to apply smaller tweaks to a system.

But this is not so for Turbulent Architects. Though influenced by their stability-oriented Judging personality trait, they’re somewhat more likely than Assertive Architects to say they often change both their long- and short-term goals.

32% of Turbulent Architects say they often change their long-term goals, compared to 17% of Assertive Architects.

While neither Architect is typically big on changing their goals, a relative willingness to change is a true Turbulent difference. Turbulent personality types, with an eye always aimed at improvement, commonly deal with the moving targets and shifting methods that are often necessary to change something for the better. As much as Turbulent Architects value stability and consistency, they will shake things up – but only if doing so clearly paves the way to better results.

Responding to the People in Their Lives: The Same but Different

While both are sometimes uncomfortable expressing feelings, Turbulent Architects are relatively more likely to let their emotions play a role. These personalities consistently report, for example, that they are more easily provoked and more likely to feel fear – especially fear of uncertainty. More Turbulent Architects say they are emotionally expressive in general when compared to their Assertive counterparts.

81% of Assertive Architects say they are rarely or very rarely offended by someone, compared to 41% of Turbulent Architects.

Humans are emotional creatures. Turbulent Architects’ different levels of expressiveness and relative need for people may give them an advantage over Assertive Architects for connecting with others. Turbulent Architects may get more buy-in for their ideas from others because of their more approachable, open attitude. They are also more likely to feel the need to ask for advice – but then find it more difficult than Assertive personalities to make the request. Nonetheless, it shows that they value what others have to offer.

Assertive Architects are likely to take a somewhat more independent approach. A larger percentage of Assertive Architects report that they’re comfortable around authority figures than their Turbulent counterparts. These Assertive personality types may not be as held back by concern over how others might judge them – potentially creating a more independent attitude.

72% of Turbulent Architects feel pressured to live up to a certain standard (e.g., home, car, salary), compared to 45% of Assertive Architects.

There are certain advantages to this difference. More independent actors, like the Assertive Architects, may have greater autonomy and enjoy a more streamlined decision-making process. Depending on the task, a single person can often be agile in a way that a group cannot. But independence can also make them appear unwilling to listen to others or take their needs and wants seriously. This can make collaboration and teamwork difficult.

In Summary

  • Turbulent Architects are often fueled by their worries and concerns, and these can be used to make significant progress. They can often see problems (and sometimes find solutions) long before others.
  • Stress affects Assertive Architects less, but this should not be confused with their not caring.
  • Both types of Architects are often ambitious – but their motivations are different.
  • Assertive Architects are motivated more from within, and their inspiration to act is based on confidence in their rationality.
  • Turbulent Architects are moved forward in life to a greater degree by their concerns, worries, and how others might see them.
  • While neither personality type is likely to be very comfortable with their emotions, Turbulent Architects are more likely to express theirs and use them to connect with others by being more approachable.
  • Assertive Architects are less likely to be as concerned about the opinions of others. They relish their independence and make decisions on their own.
  • Both personality types need order and predictability, but Assertive Architects are slightly more adventurous than Turbulent Architects. They prefer stability but don’t necessarily fear instability.
  • However, Turbulent Architects are often more willing to change intentionally than their Assertive cousins.

Shared Foundations

When we focus on the Identity personality traits, it’s important to remember that one is not better or more legitimate than the other. A Turbulent Architect is no less of an Architect than an Assertive Architect, and vice versa. It’s like spice in a stew. All the main ingredients are there – but add some savory spices to increase its sweetness, sourness, or heat, and the stew is suddenly something a bit different.

The world needs confident Architects to boldly present their many ideas and insights. It also needs cautious Architects to anticipate problems and to care about and respond to opinions. Their unique differences, no matter how subtle or pronounced, can contribute to the world – each in their own ways.

Are you a Turbulent Architect (INTJ-T)?

Cover for the Turbulent Architect (INTJ-T) ebook, showing a male Architect standing in front of a large plan laid out on a table, late at night, with a glass of wine nearby.

Architects are famously critical thinkers, and the Turbulent trait tends to add layers of doubt, sensitivity, and cynicism to that mindset. But too much focus on negative potentials can limit your creativity, optimism, happiness, and accomplishments.

That’s why we made Turbulent Architect Superpowers: Capability to Create Your Future. This small but mighty book will give you the right knowledge and skills to achieve your goals in a way that works best for you.

Download Now