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.

7 months ago
A bit creepy that it's accurate enough I could believe what I read as a rough estimate of myself.
1 year ago
I rarely ever use my phone. I only use it to play games. The last time I texted someone was 5 months ago. I would rather just not talk to them at all
1 year ago
Its just perfect. Just what I am. I thought i was the only one feeling like this. I felt my life was so complex and always scared to reveal myself. I am vocal about my general interests but very secretive about my trueself. Always i have faced this problem of multi personality where I think to outsiders i am something different and from inside i am completely different. This description is so like me. I am exactly what it says. And yes I do have hesitation to talk on phone. I just cant. The people i am close with and who i know would listen to me and wi kind of understand, i can go on hours talking with them but otherwise i am like very quite and know not what to talk about. And yes i am poet too. This article blew me off literally
INFP 101
3 years ago
I don't mind talking to a family member through the phone or a really close friend but otherwise I absolutely hate it. It's very awkward and I don't know how to react when there is silence. How to I say goodbye? Will they see it as me not wanting to talk? Ugh
1 year ago
Iknow. Its so difficult to figure out how to end a conversation without being rude.
2 months ago
I'm the same way...
3 years ago
I don't hate the phone as much as everyone here, but one thing surely gets on my nerves is facebook or other networks. I just can't understand why people can lose a whole evening in those sites. yes, I like some funny twitters, but I can't talk to someone by the net or email.
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