ISTP in the Workplace

When it comes to the workplace, ISTPs’ top requirement is often a sense of unpredictability and excitement. This quality makes ISTP personalities’ personal relationships challenging enough, even among close friends and immediate family – for those they’ve only come to know in a professional environment, it can be downright frustrating.

Of course, this all comes down to knowing what makes them tick. With a little space and a hands-on problem to solve, ISTPs can be some of the most productive people around. As with anyone, forcing people with the ISTP personality type into a mold that doesn’t fit just doesn’t work. Recognizing their unique perspective and gifts can lead to extraordinary results.

ISTP workplace habits

ISTP Subordinates

As subordinates, what ISTPs crave most is a little wiggle room. Relaxed and easy-going, people with the ISTP personality type are happy to stick around with surprising loyalty, as long as their employers and managers don’t try to force them to commit to anything that can’t be undone the next day. Strict rules, guidelines and formal agreements make ISTPs feel cramped and bored. If their habits or methods come under criticism or are forced to change, ISTPs can also be surprisingly mulish.

Something that’s likely to make ISTPs’ day is a random list of things that need to be fixed or dealt with. ISTP personalities have a talent for conserving their energy for just such an occasion, and can tackle such a laundry list with surprising enthusiasm. Their tasks do need to be hands-on though – if the items all start with "Come up with a strategy to...", it’s probably better to find an Analyst type.

ISTP Colleagues

ISTPs are often much more liked by their colleagues than they would expect. Quiet and reserved, people with this personality type usually need a little physical space, but at the same time enjoy peeking in on others’ work to see if there’s anything interesting going on. Not naturally emotional or empathetic, ISTPs have a blunt way of communicating that can lead to misunderstandings or hurt feelings.

Yet, ISTPs combine this rationalism and reserve with a sense of spontaneity that, among other things, creates a lighthearted sense of "do unto others" fairness. Turnabout is always fair play, and the odd prank, and the retaliation, are usually enjoyed by all. ISTPs have a great sense of humor, if sometimes a little risqué, and are not only resistant to workplace conflicts, but are great at defusing them with a well-placed joke that puts it all into perspective.

ISTP Managers

ISTP managers treat their subordinates as they’d like to be treated: with minimal talking and loose boundaries. ISTPs aren’t big on chattiness or emotional expression, and strong Feeling (F) types may see them as cold and distant – effusive praise and back-slapping just isn’t in ISTPs’ nature. In fact, there isn’t likely to be a lot of feedback at all from ISTP managers, good or bad. But when problems do arise, they are great listeners who devise practical, fair, and impartial solutions.

Andrew
2 years ago
I have the same personality type as John McLane and MacGyver. That's awesome.
Sardonically
2 years ago
Ah, the personal space dillema. I honestly don't mind other people getting near me. I often retreat into myself, not even noticing people around, even in crowded bus, waiting room, etc. Interesting, how spot on is that description. I am indeed rather blunt, unemotional, and praising other peoples' work doesn't come easy to me. And, I enjoy messing about with other people work, even unasked, which can be pretty annoying, I guess.
Balakumar Ravichandran
2 years ago
Pretty cool stuff....the only point I wouldn't agree on would be the personal space thing...I really enjoy my personal space and let others enjoy theirs too....and I guess I was expecting you to describe me as being shy and philosophical. But the correct descriptions far outweigh these little, though significant points. Hats off!!
Li
2 years ago
So true on loathing strict rules and guidelines. This is why I'm discovering the hard way that government work is not a good fit for me. I totally disagree with the personal space though. I've got my bubble, you've got yours, and the two shall never meet.
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