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Sixteen Months of Type — INFJ

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.

  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 your past experiences be a guide to what might help you manage things more successfully now?
  3. How can you take an objective inventory of which approaches to your new circumstances are working and which are not?
  4. How can you build flexibility into your goals and plans to take advantage of learning opportunities as they appear?

 

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Sixteen Months of Type – ESFJ

This is the thirteenth post in our 16 Months of Type series and we focus here on ESFJ. 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, more details coming soon!) 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!

ESFJ, Extraversion, Sensing, Feeling and Judging When facing an LCE, ESFJs typically want an approach that is appreciative and collaborative. If your preferences are for ESFJ, you most likely seek external engagement and the opportunity to talk about your experiences. This sort of dialogue allows people who prefer ESFJ to contribute their point of view and learn whether others feel similarly. The ultimate goal in these interactions for the ESFJ is to be able to anticipate the needs of each individual and to move forward with a sense that everyone’s interests are aligned. In addition, those who prefer ESFJ generally have strong core beliefs about the value of particular approaches to managing transitions. Thus it is important for them to feel that the actions they take are the proper ones; consistent with their values as well as those of their peer group, society and culture. During times of challenge ESFJs are motivated to take care of people and their everyday welfare, and in turn, others are motivated by the ESFJs’ upbeat, can-do attitude and willingness to help.

When ESFJ preferences are overdone, people who prefer ESFJ may over-interpret the hesitancy of those who are less comfortable with emotional self-disclosure, seeing their reticence as a lack of caring or commitment. ESFJs might not see that others may sincerely need more time to process events and their reactions to these events, and, given that time, will usually feel comfortable sharing their personal stories. With their natural gift for building a sense of community and relationship, people who prefer ESFJ typically place a high value on harmony. However, under stress, this emphasis on fostering agreement may lead ESFJs to view anything other than whole-hearted enthusiasm for their ideas as confrontational. This can stifle others’ efforts to explore the possible downsides of a plan. Exploring a strategy in depth and from all angles will nearly always produce a better solution for everyone involved, and those who prefer ESFJ can use their skills to facilitate an open and balanced discussion on how to move forward most effectively.

When facing an LCE, ESFJs typically need an accepting companion to mentor, guide, and support them on their transition journey. An accepting companion can affirm their worth and offer them specific and supportive feedback. Such a companion can also express appreciation for the ESFJ’s special, caring contributions to group welfare. This affirmative guidance can also help ESFJs explore and honor the unique contributions of others involved, as well as reassuring ESFJs that although peoples’ methods may be different, their goals are in common and there is unity beneath the surface differences. Because they want to get going on the steps needed to serve the common good, those who prefer ESFJ usually want to know exactly what they are authorized to do and when they can begin doing it. ESFJs seek companions who have made the journey before who can therefore offer this material expertise. Those who prefer ESFJ also value companions who can tell them, in concrete terms, what they can expect during transitions and advise them on what actions to take when challenges arise. A down to earth companion can also help them take a more detached look at the bigger picture, showing them how checking a plan against both the bottom line and people’s feelings will reduce conflict in the future.

When such a companion is not present in the life of people who prefer ESFJ, they may become so focused on the social norms defining what they are supposed to feel and do, that they neglect to evaluate how well these norms fit with their individual values and the unique situation. Indeed, they may be so concerned about disappointing significant others, that they may see their inability to conform to what (they believe) is expected of them as a personal failing. An accepting companion can help the ESFJ to see that community standards are just that—standard ways of operating, meant to be an approximation of what to do rather than the last word on the absolute best way for each individual to proceed in every single situation. Such a companion can help them to see that their own particular needs and desires matter, that they don’t have to be perfect (whatever that means), and finally that they do not have to and cannot be responsible for everyone’s satisfaction during confusing and tough circumstances. Incorporating these truths into any strategy will make implementation more pleasurable and successful for ESFJs and everyone involved.

Self-Discovery Tool Number 83
If you prefer ESFJ (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 time to check-in with yourself and discover what matters most – in terms of the bottom line as well as in people terms?
  2. How can you explore the larger meaning of your experiences in order to discover new ways of proceeding that might help you to manage your transition more successfully?
  3. How can you take an objective inventory of which approaches to your new circumstances are working and which are not?
  4. How can you build flexibility into your goals and plans to take advantage of learning opportunities as they appear?

Sixteen Months of Type – INFP

This is the twelfth post in our 16 Months of Type series and we focus here on INFP. 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!

INFP, Introversion, Perceiving, Feeling and Perceiving
When facing an LCE, INFPs typically want an approach that is aimed at improving relationships and clarifying purpose. If your preferences are for INFP, you most likely require time to reflect on and explore your feelings before engaging in or adopting new behaviors. INFPs tend to seek strategies that are win-win and allow them to delve into the deeper meaning behind significant transitions. They prefer approaches that encourage creativity and empower them to do things in their own way as they work toward mutual goals. INFPs welcome information from a variety of sources and strive to find solutions that foster healing, hope, and harmony.

When INFP preferences are overdone, people who prefer INFP may fail to practice constructive self-interest, allowing the notions of others to override their own feelings. Their measured, diplomatic approach can mean that they fail to speak up immediately or forcefully about the problems that they see. INFPs also can fall into the trap of assuming that they are mistaken about their perceptions – and thus stay quiet – if others aren’t voicing similar concerns. This INFP tendency to underestimate their authority can mean that important issues go unaddressed. They may also assume that even more careful thought and introspection will uncover a better way, when in actuality, speaking up, or taking some small action now, no matter how imperfect, would be simpler and more effective.

INFPs typically need an empathetic companion to mentor, guide, and support them on their transition journey. Since those who prefer INFP don’t want to be pushed or given a one size fits all prescription for how they should react to life-changing events, they seek companions, who will honor their values and their careful, individual style. Utilizing a wise companion to explore philosophical viewpoints that promote resiliency, forgiveness and understanding of self and others helps INFPs put difficulties into perspective. Discussing how others came to grips with the emotional toll of transitions helps them move forward with confidence, arming them with the objective fact that that if others can make it through similar challenges, they can too. Further, with the supportive encouragement of a creative companion, INFPs can practice responding courageously and actively to tough situations, relying the inherent strength of their values – their best guide and motivator when times are uncertain.

When such a companion is not present in the life of people who prefer INFP, they may agonize about how people will be affected if no win-win solution is found and exhaust themselves in the search for an ideal solution where all are pleased. While it’s admirable that INFPs typically strive to make transitions as smooth and painless as possible, they may overdo it by saying yes to too many requests and rescuing those who do not need rescuing. Without a trusted companion to help them look at circumstances and relationships objectively, INFPs might sacrifice their own wellbeing or permit others to take advantage of them. Sound, caring advice helps INFPs recognize that emotional appeals do not always require a response and that others have the chance to grow when allowed to deal with problems on their own. With such empathetic, reasoned support, INFPs can see tough times and their role in them realistically, enabling them to move forward more swiftly and with greater self-assurance – reminding them that the best harmony to seek is harmony with their own INFP values.

Self-Discovery Tool Number 82
If you prefer INFP (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 activities?
  2. How can your past experiences be a guide to what might help you manage things more successfully now?
  3. How can you take an objective inventory of which approaches to your new circumstances are working and which are not?
  4. How can you create plans, schedules, or routines to help you manage your new way of living more easily?

Sixteen Months of Type – INTJ

This is the ninth post in our 16 Months of Type series and we focus here on INTJ. 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!

INTJ, Introversion, Intuition, Thinking and Judging
When facing an LCE, INTJs typically want an approach that is objective and universally applicable. If your preferences are for INTJ, you tend to suspend judgment while seeking additional pertinent information. Those who prefer INTJ also tend to be very independently minded, seeing meaningful connections between disparate ideas that others may overlook. If you prefer INTJ you most likely feel most at ease when you have the opportunity to examine an idea in its entirety before deciding whether to move forward with it, in part or in whole. As a rule, INTJs tend to guard their “processing time” carefully and will resist being rushed into action until they feel satisfied that they have constructed a complete and thorough plan that accounts for any and all possible negative consequences. INTJs tend to cautious and have as their ideal philosophy, “measure twice, cut once.” This tendency can be especially magnified during times of change. Those who want to learn by doing, trying things out as they go will need to be patient with the INTJs measured approach. INTJs prefer to avoid surprises and the necessity to retool their design midstream.

When INTJ preferences are overdone, people who prefer INTJ may be so intent on pursuing a long term goal and crafting an overarching strategy to meet it that they fail to see small steps that could be taken today to improve their quality of life. The usual INTJ desire for all data to be examined from every angle and for the “right” target to be selected out of all the myriad possibilities can go into overdrive. This can mean they miss opportunities already present and available in their immediate environment. This drive for analytical perfection can keep them from simple, practical, and concrete strategies that could begin improving conditions immediately. When INTJs remain focused on outcomes that are theoretically possible but extremely unlikely, they can waste time and energy that might be better spent understanding and working with their new circumstances rather than trying to force reality into their vision of how things should or could be. During times of ambiguity, INTJs can become fixated on remaining detached to manage anxiety. When taken too far, this can cause them to neglect to consider the impact of their decisions on their own emotional well-being as well as on the well-being of their significant others.

When facing an LCE, INTJs typically need an insightful companion to mentor, guide, and support them on their transition journey. Since those who prefer INTJ enjoy debate, discussion and challenging the conventional wisdom, they seek companions who can spar with them and hold up under repeated rounds of questioning. They tend to see their situation as unique and therefore they want a companion who can inspire them to devise a far-reaching and innovative solution that is as individual as they are. A discriminating companion will respect the high standards to which people with preferences for INTJ hold themselves while assisting them in determining which are worthy holding onto with their usual tenacity. This guidance can also help them see which standards, if maintained, could actually prevent them from attaining that ideal future state that they seek to achieve. Finally, wise counsel can assist INTJs in remembering that life by definition is a mystery and not everything can be anticipated or planned. With encouragement, most INTJs will recall people, events, and occurrences from their past that although unexpected, were of tremendous benefit – assuming a curiosity mindset creates room for more such unforeseen gifts.

When such a companion is not present in the life of people who prefer INTJ, they may reject common sense plans and believe that there is little benefit to asking others for advice. Without reminders of their shared humanity — including possessing a physical body with physical needs — they may assume that their situation is somehow so exceptional that the wisdom and practical experience they might glean from others simply doesn’t apply. In addition, without a companion to help them avoid seeing any failures as their sole and personal responsibility, INTJs may struggle to take effective action in the here and now to alter their future for the better. This lone wolf tendency may cut them off from rewarding, interesting, and even fun experiences with those that are seeking to collaborate or help if only they would be allowed to do so. In the absence of a practically minded companion who reminds INTJs to utilize the knowledge and experience of others and helps them clarify their immediate priorities, people who prefer INTJ can get hung up on waiting for a flash of insight that signals the perfect plan and suffer unnecessarily without support. A perceptive companion can reassure them that getting going on implementing a “good enough” plan, that is, one that eases their suffering and allows trusted others to participate, will make them better off in both the short and the long term.

Self-Discovery Tool Number 79
If you prefer INTJ (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 your past experiences be a guide to what might help you manage things more successfully now?
  3. How can you assess the impact of your actions on those you care about?
  4. How can you build flexibility into your goals and plans to take advantage of learning opportunities as they appear?

Sixteen Months of Type — ISFJ

This is the seventh post in our 16 Months of Type series and we focus here on ISFJ. 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) 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!

ISFJ, Introversion, Sensing, Feeling and Judging
When facing an LCE, ISTJs typically want an approach that is well established and supportive as they come to grips with their altered circumstances. If your preferences are for ISFJ, you most likely want to find peace and quiet to enable you to digest all that has been happening and to consider carefully how you can sequence any next steps so that they are most beneficial for all concerned. ISFJs tend to prefer plans that emphasize security and maintain predictability (as much as possible) and seek methods to assure them that what they are doing what is sensible and appropriate. People who prefer ISFJ often find that activities that produce a tangible or useful product – knitting, gardening or woodworking, for example – can help them feel more relaxed as they work through the ambiguities that usually accompany an LCE. Engaging in activities with specific steps and specific goals can help them regain a sense of stability and comfort when so much else feels uncertain.

When ISFJ preferences are overdone, people who prefer ISFJ may fail to recognize that their interest in preserving tradition is keeping them stuck in routines and processes that are no longer meeting their needs. This tendency may also keep them from utilizing and adapting to new data that could improve circumstances and create new and better practices and procedures. Moreover, in their desire to serve others, ISFJs may put their own concerns on the back burner. If they don’t get encouragement from significant others to make self-care a priority, they may see play or relaxation as a dereliction of duty rather than as an appropriate way to recharge that all of us need (even the highly dedicated ISFJ!). With their typically strong sense of loyalty and commitment, those who prefer ISFJ may shy away from expressing divergent views and postpone discussions about where views clash out of a fear of stirring up conflict. Counter to their intentions, this approach may increase the likelihood of misunderstandings and exhaust them as they try to do the impossible and keep all parties happy.

ISFJs typically need a kind companion to mentor, guide, and support them on their transition journey. By being available on a regular and consistent basis, a caring companion can provide the ISFJ with non-hurried, one-on-one time to discuss their hopes and fears. Such a companion can help them to sort through the facts and help make these more meaningful by connecting the personal specifics the ISFJ is dealing with to the larger picture. Since ISFJs are usually concerned with how they might be perceived by others, a sympathetic companion can gently nudge them to check the accuracy of these perceptions; reminding them to examine whether their beliefs about what others want or expect of them are accurate. Further, things have changed, therefore what’s expected or what’s appropriate is likely changing, too. Some confusion or awkwardness during the transition is normal and is not a character failing of others or of the ISFJ!

When such a companion is not present in the life of people who prefer ISFJ, they may be left staggered and adrift with all the new data coming at them and feel unable to sift through it in such a way as to create an outline of what’s happening and prioritize their actions. Similarly, if there is insufficient information, or the available data are vague, ISFJs may struggle to commit to any plans for the future, wanting to wait until they are certain of all the necessary steps. Caring companions who have “been there” can serve as role models and help the ISFJ get unstuck. Together they can list and clarify what is already or still working so that these things can become part of new plans and traditions. With this thoughtful help, ISFJs can be reassured that many current practices – albeit some requiring updates or tweaks – will continue to be usable, thereby creating a bridge from the past to the future. Through this support, people who prefer ISFJ can begin to evaluate their options more realistically, find solutions in line with their values, and perhaps even start to celebrate some of their successes – or at the very least their hard work – in forging a new way forward.

Self-Discovery Tool Number 78
If you prefer ISFJ (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 the ways to enrich your connections with others by reaching out to share stories, time, and activities?
  2. How can you explore the larger meaning of your experiences in order to discover new ways of proceeding that might help you to manage your transition more successfully?
  3. How can you take an objective inventory of which approaches to your new circumstances are working and which are not?
  4. How can you build flexibility into your goals and plans to take advantage of learning opportunities as they appear?

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?

 

Sixteen Months of Type — ISTJ

This is the fourth post in our 16 Months of Type series and we focus here on ISTJ. To remind you, we are using material in our booklet Introduction to Type® and Reintegration 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!

ISTJ, Introversion, Sensing, Thinking and Judging
When facing an LCE, ISTJs typically want an approach that is realistic, step-by-step and logical and makes sense within traditional frameworks they understand well. If your preferences are for ISTJ, you most likely require time alone to research and reflect on what is happening. Wherever possible, investigating connections between your current situation and what you already know can help fuel the desire to solve new problems. In order to move forward most effectively, ISTJs tend to prefer a plan that approaches change carefully and incrementally; rushing or pursuing change for change’s sake feels uncomfortable and can be a great source of stress. ISTJs need others to respect their need for a measured policy.

When ISTJ preferences are overdone, there can be a tendency toward delaying action to avoid change and an undervaluing of new data or methods in favor of what’s customary because it’s customary rather than due to its inherent superiority. In addition, people who prefer ISTJ may be unable to envision positive outcomes and therefore imagine a worst-case scenario because they are facing a situation with which they have no prior experience. Furthermore when stressed, their tendency to turn inward, which usually serves them well, may cause them to fail to share their concerns with others. In such cases their private thoughts may get the better of them, allowing their worries to multiply unchecked.

ISTJs typically need an experienced companion to mentor, guide, and support them on their transition journey. By sharing his/her knowledge in plain language and in specific, commonsense terms, the support of such a mentor can ease confusion. These companions can provide the benefit of their experience, offering useful examples of related and relevant situations that can give the ISTJ a better sense of what to expect. They can furnish an outline of what has worked for others in similar circumstances and what milestones to look for to feel more certain that they are on the right track. Someone who has “been there” can remind them that transitions are hard for everyone and that everyone handles change a little differently. Experienced companions can also remind ISTJs that when things settle into a “new normal,” their typical style of carefully thinking things through can be of great help in crafting useful, new, fresh traditions, standards, and procedures.

When such a companion is not present in the life of people who prefer ISTJ, they may fail to see the big picture, get mired in details, and cling to notions from the past that are no longer relevant, and without realizing it, frustrate those around them. Left to their own devices, ISTJs may also fail to recognize that their pace and the pace of others during change may be different. Thus they may shy away from temporary compromises in speed and accuracy believing that the only good solution is one that can be made permanent. A seasoned companion can encourage them check in with others to benefit from their experience and to learn how they are seeing things. With this help and additional information, ISTJs can then employ their keen data gathering and data analysis skills. Thus prepared, they can more confidently determine where compromises may need to be made and if their private worries are warranted or are more related to a fear of the unknown than to objective facts.

Self-Discovery Tool Number 75
If you prefer ISTJ (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?
  4. How can you build flexibility into your goals and plans to take advantage of learning opportunities as they appear?

 


Lines in italics adapted from pp. 18-19 Hirsh, E., Hirsh, K. W., & Peak, J. (2011). Introduction to type® and reintegration: A framework for managing the transition home. Mountain View, CA: CPP, Inc.

Sixteen Months of Type — ENFJ

This is the third post in our 16 Months of Type series and we focus here on ENFJ. To remind you, we are using material in our booklet Introduction to Type® and Reintegration 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!

ENFJ, Extraversion, Intuition, Feeling and Judging
When facing an LCE, ENFJs typically want an approach that highlights people’s strengths and is aligned with values. If your preferences are for ENFJ, you most likely see a life-changing event as an opportunity to involve others and find a solution that enhances your relationships. People who prefer ENFJ often use their own transitions as the inspiration to become leaders of community organizations or groups that support others facing similar challenges. ENFJs seek to balance the need for immediate action and a desire for group harmony, so they typically strive to craft plans that promote the greatest common good in the hope that such plans will be embraced readily by all concerned so that good will can restored as quickly as possible.

When ENFJ preferences are overdone, there can be a tendency overcommit to helping others, often at the expense of self-care. Moreover, in their drive for action and interaction, people who prefer ENFJ may not take the time to examine their motives and as a result may substitute keeping busy for a careful investigation of their own and others’ true needs and values. In addition, because they generally want to be agreeable, when ENFJs are in a position of needing care and validation, they can find it challenging to express anger or disappointment at a significant other’s inability to provide support during an LCE. Further, the ENFJ’s desire to see the best in people can also mean that even after this sort of distressing experience they may fail to prune such relationships even when they are no longer sustaining, thus leaving themselves open to be hurt again.

ENFJs typically need an encouraging companion to mentor, guide, and support them on their transition journey. The support of such a mentor is particularly important when it comes to exploring the emotional impacts of an LCE. Since people who prefer ENFJ typically feel comfortable sharing thoughts and feelings openly, they desire companions who will validate their displays of emotions, both positive and negative. These companions can also assist those who prefer ENFJ to use their insights into emotional states to discern which relationships feel reciprocal, which might be better dissolved and when they might require downtime to regroup and re-energize.

When such a companion is not present in the life of people who prefer ENFJ, they may fail to grapple with the conflict between how they actually feel and how they believe that someone in their position should be feeling. Without the benefit of a reassuring companion, they may avoid or repress what they deem to be socially unacceptable feelings, inadvertently adding more stress to what is already a tough situation. In addition to the loss of integrity this creates, suppression of such thoughts and feelings can create a snowball effect, turning what were initially small concerns into bigger issues. An uplifting companion can get them back on track by helping them to look inside for the sources of their worth and value; reminding them that strong character is built upon grappling with difficult emotions.

Self-Discovery Tool Number 74
If you prefer ENFJ (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 time to check-in with yourself and discover what matters most – in terms of the bottom line as well as in people terms?
  2. How can you explore the larger meaning of your experiences in order to discover new ways of proceeding that might help you to manage your transition more successfully?
  3. How can your past experiences be a guide to what might help you manage things more successfully now?
  4. How can you build flexibility into your action plan to take advantage of learning opportunities as they appear?

 


 

Lines in italics adapted from pp. 40-41 Hirsh, E., Hirsh, K. W., & Peak, J. (2011). Introduction to type® and reintegration: A framework for managing the transition home. Mountain View, CA: CPP, Inc.

Sixteen Months of Type – ISFP

This is the second post in our 16 Months of Type series and we focus here on ISFP. To remind you, we are using material in our booklet Introduction to Type® and Reintegration 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!

ISFP, Introversion, Sensing, Feeling and Perceiving

When facing an LCE, ISFPs typically want an approach that is friendly and flexible to their individual needs. If your preferences are for ISFP, you most likely want to get a read on your new situation before taking action and will need others to be tolerant of your internal, private search for emotional clarity. ISFPs tend to prefer a plan that feels supportive and gives them time to make sense of disconcerting or unusual experiences. If they are rushed or forced into a “one-size fits all” approach, they may tune out or reject the process altogether – they want to consider things carefully in order to find methods that foster the wellbeing of those they care about and increase their personal sense of peace.

When ISFP preferences are overdone, people who prefer ISFP may fail to consider the logical implications of an approach and instead base their choices on the drive to preserve harmony or protect feelings. Their temperate, careful approach can mean that they delay action, or fail to ask for what they need, if doing so could cultivate conflict. They may also assume that things will get better on their own if they simply leave them as they are. If they were instead to take a more active role, by envisioning where they would like things to end up – in both bottom-line and personal terms –and then trying out a few things to move them along this path, this could be much more beneficial.

ISFPs typically need a sympathetic companion to mentor, guide, and support them on their transition journey. Since those who prefer ISFP are often self-effacing, they seek companions, whether friends, colleagues or helping professionals, who are caring, low-key and able to remind them of their strengths and talents when they forget. Providing gentle, open-minded encouragement, tailored to them specifically, is crucial for people who prefer ISFP. They seek practical help delivered in a flexible way that enables them to improve connections with their significant others. In short, this help should be from someone whom ISFPs feel will champion them in a personl and sincere fashion and also be attentive to the demands of their day-to-day lives.

When such a companion is not present in the life of people who prefer ISFP, they may struggle with the ambiguity that accompanies LCEs and interpret this confusion as incompetence on their part. A savvy companion can help them to see that it’s OK to participate more fully, even if the steps taken are experimental or tentative. Due to the careful consideration ISFPs typically put into all they do, any actions taken will often improve the situation for all concerned regardless of how imperfect they might seem to the ISFP. Without friendly but firm encouragement, people who prefer ISFP may devalue the good they could do for themselves and others due to their modest self-assessment. Having a consistent companion cheering them on helps remind ISFPs of their unique strengths; including their tendency to pursue solutions that benefit all involved, in useful, hands-on ways. Having support that reinforces the value of their unique approach allows ISFPs to feel more confident voicing their opinions and taking action – often exactly what is needed to make things better for all concerned.

Self-Discovery Tool Number 73
If you prefer ISFP (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 the ways to enrich your connections with others by reaching out to share stories, time, and activities?
  2. How can you explore the larger meaning of your experiences in order to discover new ways of proceeding that might help you to manage your transition more successfully?
  3. How can you take an objective inventory of which approaches to your new circumstances are working and which are not?
  4. How can you create plans, schedules, or routines to help you manage your new way of living more easily?

 


Lines in italics adapted from p. 28-29 Hirsh, E., Hirsh, K. W., & Peak, J. (2011). Introduction to type® and reintegration: A framework for managing the transition home. Mountain View, CA: CPP, Inc.

Sixteen Months of Type — ENTJ

It’s 2016 and it struck us that the sixteenth year of the decade might be a time to look at the sixteen types captured in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®. We will focus on one type each month, starting with ENTJ, and as there are sixteen types, the process will take a year and four months to complete. We will use material in our booklet Introduction to Type® and Reintegration as the jumping off point for each piece and endeavor to connect this material to the self-discovery process that frequently accompanies life-changing events (LCEs).

ENTJ, Extraversion, Intuition, Thinking and Judging
When facing an LCE, ENTJs typically want an approach that is groundbreaking and action-oriented. If your preferences are for ENTJ, you most likely don’t want to sit around and wait for things to change. You want to make things happen. ENTJs tend to prefer that a decision be made (they don’t always need to be the decider) so that they can get going. If it doesn’t work out the first time around, their usual approach is to learn from what went wrong and try again as soon as it is practical – the goal is to DO something, preferably something that breaks new ground.

When ENTJ preferences are overdone, for example, people who prefer ENTJ may fail to attend to current realities and their own values and feelings. This action-oriented approach can mean that they head off in a new direction without paying much heed to how the changes will impact them and/or their significant others in the near term. They may also assume that more action will make the difference, when instead time could be better spent reviewing current constraints and potential consequences – in both personal and bottom-line terms – and building these into their approach BEFORE continuing.

When facing an LCE, ENTJs typically need a self-assured companion to mentor, guide, and support them on their transition journey. Since those who prefer ENTJ are usually brimming with self-confidence, they seek companions, whether friends, colleagues or helping professionals, who aren’t afraid to share opinions, respond to questioning robustly, and perhaps, on occasion, even spar with them. This self-assurance should be an aspect of the companion’s general demeanor and also be rooted in competence, as people who prefer ENTJ seek not just someone who is confident, but someone who can back this up with real ability. In short, they should be someone who can “walk the talk” and hold themselves and the person with ENTJ preferences accountable.

When such a companion is not present in the life of people who prefer ENTJ, they may struggle with the ambiguity that accompanies LCEs and interpret this confusion as incompetence on their part. A savvy companion can help them to see that waiting until they have more clarity around an issue instead of rushing to make further changes can be a strength. Without forthright or even blunt feedback, people who prefer ENTJ may believe that all is well simply because they have heard nothing to the contrary from others. Having an outspoken companion helps because this person can challenge them directly and also remind them to assess others’ level of discomfort through observation; does the person with whom they are interacting seem to be stalling, absenting themselves or maintaining a determined silence. If so, perhaps examining the situation further, before acting, is the best choice.

Self-Discovery Tool Number 72
If you prefer ENTJ (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 time to check-in with yourself and discover what matters most – in people terms as well as in terms of the bottom line?
  2. How can your past experiences be a guide to what might help you manage things more successfully now?
  3. How can you assess the impact of your actions on those you care about?
  4. How can you build flexibility into your action plan to take advantage of learning opportunities as they appear?

 


Lines in italics adapted from p. 48 and the four questions from p. 49 of Hirsh, E., Hirsh, K. W., & Peak, J. (2011). Introduction to type® and reintegration: A framework for managing the transition home. Mountain View, CA: CPP, Inc.