This is the fifteenth post in our 16 Months of Type series and we focus here on INFJ. To remind you, we are using our material on managing life transitions with psychological type from Building Your Career Transition Strategy as the jumping off point for each piece and then connecting this material to the self-discovery process that frequently accompanies life-changing events (LCEs). Read on!
INFJ, Introversion, Intuition, Feeling and Judging
When facing an LCE, INFJs typically want an approach that is aimed at personal development and improvement. If your preferences are for INFJ, you tend to seek information on the latest theories and are quick to see connections between these theories and possible paths to improving your life circumstances. Having unhurried time to mull over all pertinent and compelling data is typically important to INFJs and is a crucial first step for them in coming to grips with unanticipated events. Given this time, people who prefer INFJ usually have a flair for developing well-structured plans for coping with LCEs that are uniquely tailored to their individual goals and aspirations. They are typically patient with complexity and willing to contemplate possibilities that may seem unfathomable to others. Using their imagination to envision a better future for themselves and their significant others energizes most INFJs. This typically drives them to do all they can to prepare for happier and more settled times ahead. INFJs can be tireless and passionate change agents when their ideas are respected and incorporated into whatever path is chosen.
When INFJ preferences are overdone, however, people who prefer INFJ may continue to research new ways to approach their reintegration journey long after they have discovered a “good enough” way to proceed. INFJs may be so determined to devise an elegant and novel strategy that they miss what can improve their lives immediately. They may overlook commonsense, practical methods that could be easily and conveniently implemented. INFJs can run the risk of being so captivated by their vision of the ideal solution that they may fail to recognize that its application cannot be made to work in reality. In fact, this search for perfection may be so alluring that those who prefer INFJ can lose track of the fact that reintegration is a process – one that has random components that cannot always be directed. They can exhaust themselves by taking on too much responsibility and may need to be reminded that delegation preserves their strength for the long haul as well as allows others the opportunity to contribute.
When facing an LCE, INFJs typically need an inspired companion to mentor, guide, and support them on their transition journey. An encouraging companion with whom they can discuss their values and their dreams can help those who prefer INFJ to pinpoint the outcome they most desire. A supportive companion can help INFJs feel comfortable delaying action until their insights feel more fully developed. A trusted companion can talk over ideas, helping INFJs turn complex concepts into more easily expressible forms, therefore eventually better utilized by others. Because INFJs can be conscientious to a fault, gentle reassurance that they will be able to make a difference goes a long way to putting them at ease when facing challenges. Such a companion can also help them channel their inquisitive nature toward experimenting with fun, (yes fun!) practical steps acted out straightaway to balance their tendency toward perfectionism and living in their imaginations. Caring, steady encouragement helps INFJs restrain their internal critic as they practice new behaviors. Furthermore, a calm and loyal companion can provide them with opportunities to withdraw and reflect. Such a companion knows that this time is important, even if on the surface the INFJ appears to have it all figured out.
When such a companion is not present in the life of people who prefer INFJ, they may struggle to communicate what is going on in their internal world. INFJs often need a breakthrough or “ah-a” moment to spur them to commit to a process. Sometimes a flash of insight doesn’t arrive when needed. The lack of a patient companion willing to help INFJs unpack and express their personal vision in down-to-earth language may result in indecision and/or inaction. Wanting an over-arching scheme that encompasses every potential possibility may distract INFJs from finding effective short-term solutions tailored to ease daily living. A wise companion can help them take a break from pondering long enough to try out an approach. This allows INFJs the chance to obtain concrete feedback on an idea’s suitability given the current situation. This also permits those involved to see how they might help or fine-tune things earlier, lessening the burden on INFJs and improving the process as well as the outcome for all. Such a companion can also remind INFJs that the ideal is just that and that pressuring themselves to have it all figured is a fool’s errand which discounts the richness and beauty of direct experience.
Self-Discovery Tool Number 85
If you prefer INFJ (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.
- How can you find ways to enrich your experience by connecting with others and reaching out to share stories, time, and strategies?
- How can your past experiences be a guide to what might help you manage things more successfully now?
- How can you take an objective inventory of which approaches to your new circumstances are working and which are not?
- How can you build flexibility into your goals and plans to take advantage of learning opportunities as they appear?
This is the eighth post in our 16 Months of Type series and we focus here on ENTP. To remind you, we are using our material on managing life transitions with psychological type (formerly available through CPP as Introduction to Type® and Reintegration and soon to be available on CareerPlanner.com – stay tuned!) as the jumping off point for each piece and then connecting this material to the self-discovery process that frequently accompanies life-changing events (LCEs). Read on!
ENTP, Extraversion, Intuition, Thinking and Perceiving
When facing an LCE, ENTPs typically want an approach that that has few restrictions and allows for questions. If your preferences are for ENTP, you tend to do best in times of change when there are opportunities to ask probing questions, debate concepts, and explore multiple options for moving forward. You want to brainstorm with others as well as try things out. ENTPs tend to prefer to keep things fluid, allowing for improvisation and adaption as new data become available. Sticking to a plan just for the sake of it can be a recipe for frustration, boredom, and loss of energy for ENTPs. After all, who knows when new information will come along requiring a complete rethink from the ground up?!
When ENTP preferences are overdone, people who prefer ENTP may be so focused on what might coming up next and how they can make it happen more quickly, that they tend to overlook the present moment, both specific facts and their feelings about these facts. This future and action-oriented approach can mean that they fail to attend to important details — including practical necessities and their own and others’ current physical and emotional needs — and thus inadvertently create more work in the long term. When things are done in a less than careful manner, they will most likely need to be reworked or reexamined later. Those who prefer ENTP may also withdraw their participation if things seem too routine or mundane, not recognizing that a little time spent in the necessary “grunt work” of reviewing genuine limiting factors will add veracity and strength to their vision as well as engender the support of more cautious folks.
When facing an LCE, ENTPs typically need a creative companion to mentor, guide, and support them on their transition journey. Since those who prefer ENTP are usually curious and enthusiastic, they seek companions, whether friends, colleagues or helping professionals, who aren’t afraid to question the status quo, look at things critically as well as playfully, and enjoy robust banter. No topic should be off limits and spirited and vigorous discussion is paramount. ENTPs are usually open to all kinds of information and a source’s expert status due to rank or title holds little weight with them. Any companion helping ENTPs on their journey needs to be broad-minded as well – information has to be good in and of itself, and something that is traditionally seen as true is not enough to convince ENTPs of its value.
When such a companion is not present in the life of people who prefer ENTP, they may struggle to keep up their motivation when things feel slow, dull, or tedious. A clever companion can help ENTPs see that those around them might need things to evolve more slowly and judiciously and encourage the ENTP to be patient with those who are less action-oriented and spontaneous. Without this forthright and sage feedback, people who prefer ENTP may assume that others are trying to thwart the change process when instead they most likely just require a more measured approach. Having a companion who can challenge them to recognize the differing needs of others can also act as a springboard for ENTPs becoming better able to identify their own feelings and needs. Together they can brainstorm ways to get these needs met during the rough spots, stuck points and “doldrums” periods common to all transitions (and remind them that these will not last forever) while at the same time understanding that others may need more in the way of specifics or reflection time to the appreciate the future potential that ENTPs see so readily.
Self-Discovery Tool Number 79
If you prefer ENTP (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.
- How can you find time to check-in with yourself and discover what matters most – in people terms as well as in terms of the bottom line?
- How can your past experiences be a guide to what might help you manage things more successfully now?
- How can you assess the impact of your actions on those you care about?
- How can you create plans, schedules or routines to help you manage your new way of living more easily?
Let us know if you would like to be informed about the launch of our new reports for military personnel in career transition, soon to be available through CareerPlanner.com