INFP in the Workplace

In the workplace, INFPs face the challenge of taking their work and their profession personally. To INFPs, if it isn’t worth doing, it isn’t really worth doing, and this sense of moral purpose in their work colors everything from how they respond to authority to how they express it. Though the way the INFP personality type shows through depends on the position, there are a few basic truths about what INFPs seek in the workplace: they value harmony, need an emotional and moral connection to their work, and loathe bureaucratic tedium.

INFP workplace habits

INFP Subordinates

As subordinates, INFPs prefer latitude, and would much rather immerse themselves in a project, alone or with a close team, than simply be told what task to do and move on. People with the INFP personality type aren’t looking for easy, forgettable work that pays the bills, they’re looking for meaningful work that they actually want to think about, and it helps for their managers to frame responsibilities in terms of emotional merit rather than cold rationalization or business for its own sake. INFPs would rather know that their work will help to deliver a service they believe in than to know that the bottom line has been boosted by 3%.

If these standards are met, managers will find an extremely dedicated and considerate employee in INFPs. As idealistic opportunity-seekers INFPs may not always work well in technical applications, where the facts and logic really matter and critique is often necessary, but they work beautifully in more human and creative endeavors. While some types, especially Analysts, respond favorably to negative feedback, taking criticism as an opportunity to not make the same mistake twice, people with the INFP personality type would much rather hear what they did right and focus on what to do, rather than what not to.

INFP Colleagues

INFPs feel most comfortable among colleagues – they aren’t interested in controlling others, and have a similar distaste for being controlled. Among their colleagues, INFPs will feel freer to share their ideas, and while they may maintain some psychological distance, they will make every effort to be pleasant, friendly and supportive – so long as their coworkers reciprocate. INFPs don’t like conflict or picking sides, and will do everything they can to maintain harmony and cooperation.

Most of this comes down to good communication, which INFPs prefer to conduct in person, for that personal touch, or in writing, where they can compose and perfect their statements. People with the INFP personality type avoid using phones if they can, having the worst of both worlds, being both detached and uncomposed. INFPs also like to feel like their conversations are meaningful, and while they enjoy exploring philosophy more than most, their patience for arbitrary hypothetical brainstorming or dense technical discussions is limited.

INFP Managers

As managers, INFPs are among the least likely to seem like managers – their egalitarian attitudes lend respect to every subordinate, preferring communication as human beings than as a boss/employee opposition. People with the INFP personality type are flexible, open-minded and give their subordinates the tools they need, be they responsible delegation or an intuitive and receptive sounding board, to get the job done. Keeping their eyes on the horizon, INFPs set goals that achieve a desirable end, and help the people working under them to make that happen.

There is a downside to this style, as sometimes the boss just needs to be the boss. INFPs know how they feel about criticism, and are reluctant to subject others to that same experience, whether it’s needed or even welcome. Further complicating this role, when INFPs are under stress, as when someone really does warrant criticism, they can become extremely emotional – they may not show it, but it can affect their judgment, or even cause them to withdraw inwards, in ways that can really hold back their team.

2 days ago
I never really got why I hated phone calls so much until now- I've hated them all my life and no one (not even me) understood it. This is honestly so accurate for me
2 weeks ago
Lol, it’s crazy how accurate this stuff is! Actually though, texting tends to be my main form of communication because I love that I can write something out and have the other person see it and know what I was thinking and respond immediately and without the need to be a detached voice. I also love how accurate this is about how we feel about control, whether about controlling others, or being controlled. Actually, I had an interaction today that displays this perfectly! My XC team had a meet today and I happen to be the unofficial-official JV girls team captain. There’re only four of us, so we stick together, we went out on our warmup and I had us heading back after five minutes, so we’d have a ten minute warmup run, but one of the girls wanted a longer warmup run, so I took the other two girls back to start stretching. One of the Varsity girls, of whom there are eight, came and yelled at me and my team for not going on the longer warmup as the other girl had wanted, “because,” she said, “[the other girl] is a senior, you three need to listen to her and you all know that your warmup should not be shorter than eight minutes!” Well honey, let me tell you! You are not my captain, the only authority you hold is that you are a senior, and that means nothing when you’re taking my team and undermining my authority within my team. She might be a senior, but this is only her first year running and she doesn’t show up to half the practices, so why are you putting her in charge of MY team? Ugh.... I hate seniors....
1 month ago
It was very helpful and amazing.
1 month ago
Very accurate. I have a really hard time with talking to people on the phone. With role plays on my apps I have no issues though because I'm not actually speaking. I do daydream a lot though, it gets kinda weird but it's okay.
5 months ago
To Mediators, “If it isn’t worth doing, it isn’t really worth doing.” Never heard something so accurate...
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