Monthly Archives: May 2016

Sixteen Months of Type – ISTP

This is the fifth post in our 16 Months of Type series and we focus here on ISTP. Things have changed since our April post and we are excited to be developing a new platform on which to release our material on managing life transitions with psychological type (formerly available through CPP as Introduction to Type® and Reintegration) so that it is more helpful, accessible and user friendly, in order to better reach those who could benefit.

As a result, we are in the process of getting this material to a wider audience and this blog will remain one of our methods. Stay tuned for news of our next move and read on to hear our thoughts on the self-discovery process that frequently accompanies life-changing events (LCEs).

ISTP, Introversion, Sensing, Thinking and Perceiving
When facing an LCE, ISTPs typically want an approach that is tactical and economical. If your preferences are for ISTP, you most likely want to evaluate plans in terms of their feasibility and need to have a reason to engage in new tasks or try out new behaviors, especially if these are unfamiliar. ISTPs generally require time to assess personally any new situation that presents itself. This time is essential for ISTPs in order to get their own, direct read on how things have changed and how things are. ISTPs may need others to be patient, understanding that outside reports are likely to seem irrelevant or unimportant until this first, individual survey is completed. If this internal review shows action is warranted, ISTPs can usually be counted on to get going on tackling the challenge at hand. ISTPs tend to be energized by troubleshooting; applying their problem-solving abilities to uncover which possibilities can most readily be made concrete and actionable.

When ISTP preferences are overdone, ISTPs may focus on what strategy seems easy and straightforward at the expense of what might be most meaningful to them and to others long term. If they can’t see a way to make an immediate impact, they may withdraw their participation. They may also get so caught up in the perceived inconsistencies or lack of logic of the new circumstances that they miss opportunities to connect and collaborate with others who could help them sift through the facts to determine what matters and what doesn’t. In stressful conditions such as these, isolated from corrective feedback, they may fail to acknowledge that life is full of situations that are frustratingly nonsensical. Opening up to outside input can help ISTPs regain their typically more pragmatic view of how the world operates and allow them to be more present for – and even enjoy – the help being offered and those offering it.

ISTPs typically need a matter-of-fact companion to mentor, guide and support them on their transition journey. Such a companion can encourage them to share thoughts and feelings by offering detailed stories and anecdotes drawn from personal experience. Honest and direct conversation like this can stimulate ISTPs to apply their adaptive approach to the emotional as well as the logistical demands of LCEs. These companions can also assist those who prefer ISTP to look at things from a standpoint of curiosity, awakening the creative and analytic skillfulness typically present in ISTPs approach to problem solving. Such companions also serve ISTPs by helping them to distinguish between areas where improvisation will be fruitful and those where a more considered, deliberate approach will be required.

When such a companion is not present in the life of people who prefer ISTP, they may see no other way forward than to go it alone. However, the solo activities they relied on in less demanding times may no longer be enough to help them relax and regain perspective. By their nature, LCES tend to create understandable concerns about competence, reduce confidence and bring up feelings of vulnerability. Without a trusted companion who can put things in matter-of-fact terms and normalize such feelings, emotions may overwhelm ISTPs to such an extent that fail to activate their typical interest in and expertise at puzzling their way out of dilemmas and challenges. A straight talking companion can remind them that these emotional impacts – on ISTPs and on the significant others in their lives – also have practical implications which, if attended to, can be managed for the benefit of all.

Self-Discovery Tool Number 76
If you prefer ISTP (or you have someone in your life with this four-letter type code), the following questions may help as you process a life-changing event.

  1. How can you find ways to enrich your experience by connecting with others and reaching out to share stories, time, and strategies?
  2. How can you find ways to see this transition as an opportunity to expand your perspective in order to approach things more optimistically and enthusiastically?
  3. How can you assess the impact of your behavior on those significant to you and what do you need to ask for from others?
  4. How can you create plans, schedules, or routines to help you manage your new way of living more easily?