Mediators (INFPs) want to feel a sense of purpose in their work. Wherever they find themselves on the job ladder, they try to cultivate an emotional and moral connection to what they do – looking for reassurance that their day-to-day efforts are helping other people in some shape or form. This desire to be of service colors how Mediator personalities respond to authority in the workplace as well as how they express it.
As employees, Mediators tend to be loyal, upbeat, and considerate. They take pride in being honest and doing the right thing in all circumstances. People with this personality type also feel gratified by pleasing others, from their bosses to their customers. Mediators feel most motivated when they’re thinking up ways to help others, not worrying about checklists or bottom lines.
This explains why praise and positive feedback can make them light up. On the flip side, criticism can lead these personalities to shut down. When faced with punishing expectations or a highly negative boss, they may find it hard to get things done. Add the distraction of a constantly ringing phone or an overflowing inbox, and you have a recipe for a seriously stressed out Mediator.
Mediator employees enjoy having freedom and latitude. Their creativity and insight enable them to shake up old, ineffective ways of doing things – as long as they’re given the chance to speak up and make changes. That said, they tend to benefit from deadlines and clear expectations to keep them on track. Otherwise, people with this personality type might get caught up in procrastination, bouncing from one idea to another rather than settling down and crossing tasks off their to-do list.
Mediators value equality and fairness, so it’s no surprise that they can feel stifled by workplace hierarchies. They prefer professional environments where everyone feels valued and is encouraged to share their ideas – no matter their job title. As colleagues, Mediators do what they can to make this ideal a reality.
In their quiet way, Mediators can become the glue that holds their workplace together. Although their voice might not be the loudest, they are often admired for their insight, with coworkers routinely coming to them for advice. Pleasant and kindhearted, Mediators don’t like conflict, drama, or workplace politics. Instead, they try to act in ways that foster harmony and cooperation. When someone needs help, Mediators tend to pitch in without any expectation of praise or recognition.
As managers, Mediators are among the personality types least likely to act as if they’re in charge. They respect their employees as full-fledged human beings, not just as workers. Rather than make all the decisions themselves, Mediators often ask to hear their employees’ thoughts and opinions.
In general, people with this personality type don’t micromanage. Instead, they keep their eyes on the big picture. They see it as their responsibility to support their employees, not to tell them exactly what to do and how to do it. Whenever possible, they encourage the people who work for them to develop their own ideas and use their own best judgment.
There is a downside to this management style. Sometimes Mediators may struggle to set boundaries, drill down on inefficiencies, or offer criticism, even when it’s necessary. This can slow down their team and create needless stress, both for Mediators and for their employees. At times, managers with this personality type may need to be strict for the good of their team – and the workplace as a whole.