Based on the work of Myers-Briggs (Isabel Briggs Myers and Katherine Briggs) and on the personality classifications formulated by Carl Jung, personality style profiles (PSP) help us understand how our personality type affects the way we approach situations and how we may respond or behave and interact with others.
There are no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ profiles, it is completely non-judgmental, but understanding how personalities are simply ‘different’ to our own, rather than inconsiderate or wrong, can help us to work together.
INTP – The Thinker in the room
An INTP personality is characterised by introvert thinking coupled with extravert intuition.
A person with INTP personality traits is an internally focussed thinker, who takes a logical, rational approach to problems. The secondary mode of behaviour is external, driven primarily by intuition.
INTP behaviour characteristics
INTP types are constantly weighing things up in their minds, probing the ways in which things can be improved, modified or altered. They are the “absent minded professors” of the world, able to analyse complex and difficult problems and apply theory and logic to solve them. Endlessly fascinated by new things, if they are not busy working on new theories of their own, they are trying to prove or disprove existing ones.
An INTP is a deep thinker, constantly seeking lucid explanations, and placing a high value on knowledge. Faced with a problem, he or she will explore the crevasses of their mind until they find a solution, which may make them appear dreamy and distant. However, the enthusiasm with which an INTP tackles problems makes them a valuable member of our team.
INTPs are usually highly intelligent workers who shine when faced with a challenge. Able to balance enthusiasm with objective criticism when analysing a problem, they are often sceptical of existing methods and opinions, preferring to identify patterns and come up with logical solutions of their own.
The one thing INTPs hate is being stuck in a routine. Rather than be part of the team implementing a system, they would rather be involved with the complex theoretical groundwork which goes before.
Interaction and leadership skills
As INTPs are happiest musing in their own thoughts, other workers may consider them withdrawn and detached, especially given their shyness with new encounters. However, INTPs love talking about the things that interest them and can be very self-confident when discussing new ideas and concepts, especially in a room with people they are familiar with.
INTPs do not like controlling people and are not natural leaders, although they are generally flexible and tolerant and can work well as part of a team. However, they may make a stand if they feel someone has challenged their ideas or way of doing things.
The “feeling side” of INTPs is their least developed trait, meaning they can be sarcastic, critical or unsupportive of others, which can create friction in the workplace. They tend to see problems in terms of pattern solving and logic, and can’t understand arguments based on personal emotions and subjectivity. Therefore they are ill equipped to deal with work situations in which some subjective emotional input is required.
They also have a restless temperament, and may neglect to do maintenance-type chores which are expected of them as part of their job. In order to overcome these areas, INTPs need to find a niche which allows them to exercise their strongest traits.
Conveying information to others
INTPs believe in getting their facts absolutely right, and in conveying them in a concise manner. However, while they may have an in-depth understanding of the subject, it may not be quite as understandable to their colleagues, something INTPs often fail to realise. Another trait is that once they’ve figured out how to do a project, they abandon it in favour of the next big challenge. INTPs need to understand the importance of conveying their theories to others, in a way that’s understandable, and in seeing projects through to their conclusion.
INTPs are unconventional, independent and complex personalities who place little score on things like popularity in the workplace. However, their different way of thinking has made them responsible for many scientific or technological discoveries. Provided they can work independently on their theories, with colleagues who can appreciate their eccentricities, INTPs are the pioneers of new ideas.