ISTJ - Introverted Sensing with Extraverted Thinking

(Exercerpted from YOU - Being More Effective In Your MBTI® Type.)

11.6% of Population; 17% of Managers

Typical Strengths: Orderly, persevering, responsible, task oriented, honest, fair-minded and loyal, business oriented, interested in trends.

ISTJs seek precision and clarity in information - spoken or written and these two qualities promote a thorough and practical concentration on the task at hand. The Extraverted Thinking portion of their type causes them to appear as focused, orderly, critical and decisive people who trust facts and structure. Their Extraverted Feeling and Extraverted Intuiting often show in their sense of mission and the intensity they display when tackling problems. Unfortunately, these qualities are sometimes misinterpreted as demanding, rigid and stubborn.

Typical Communication Patterns

Carefully share tested and verifiable data.

Decisive, predictable and realistic in expression of information.

Logical, mater-of-fact and detailed presentation.

When overplayed, ISTJs may appear to be too mechanical and not take people’s needs into account.

General Learning Strategy

ISTJs usually learn best with clearly stated objectives and procedures; prefer to analyze, examine, and think it through before telling others.

Their preferred learning strategies are likely to be analyzing, identifying the facts first, label, then categorizing information.

Their learning is helped by clear directions, prework with “doing” activities included such as answering questions and engaging in some competitive challenge.

Interpersonal Qualities Related to Motivation

They generally attempt to motivate others with precise, accurate and timely information.

ISTJs are concise and analytical, figuring that logic and order will engage others.

Blind Spots

Others may see their deliberate analytical behavior as manipulating, demanding and impatient.

They can often be seen as pressuring and blunt.

Their commitment to careful precision is interpreted by some as guarded dogmatism.

Stress Related Behavior

As an initial response to stress, ISTJs usually increase their efforts at thorough methodical strategies. This can look exaggerated, that they insist on control and heavy conformance to expectations.

Under enough stress, their natural attention to precision can lead to anticipation of failure and seeing the incompetence of people and processes around them, for which they may find abundant evidence!

Potential Barriers to Effectiveness

Typical needs for ISTJs are to create a more developmental climate and express more compassion for those who work with them. Both of these can cause career stumbles.

Having a low tolerance for ambiguity, they may find it difficult to advance in organizations where teamwork orientation and strategic agility are essential.

(Note from Pam: All of us use the four functions - Intuitiion, Sensing, Thinking, Feeling - even though our type letters represent only two of them. Depending upon whether or not you’re energy is focused as an extravert or an introvert and whether you take action as judging or perceiving, determines the attitude and order in which we use these functions.)

On our next post we will discuss: Being a More Effective ISTJ

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