This section INFJ Communication is about how INFJs communicate.
This includes how they usually communicate with others, how you can reach an INFJ through speaking their language, what are some possible conflict points when working with INFJs, and some pointers on how INFJs can improve their communication style.
How INFJs communicate
INFJs are quiet, supportive and encouraging people who seek harmony in their relationships. They are sensitive individuals who appreciate and want to bring out the best in other people’s talents and abilities.
They are insightful into human relations and consider long term possibilities for developing human potential. In whatever they do, they want to find a greater purpose in it that serves their fellow man.
However, they are perfectionists and prefer to keep their thoughts to themselves rather than sharing with others until they believe it is ready.
They are also private people, needing quiet time for reflection and processing their thoughts. They prefer one-to-one interaction and will usually share their deep insights to those whom they trust.
Generally good with words, they like to think innovatively with symbols, metaphors, parables and other language nuances.
How to reach an INFJ
When you are communicating with an INFJ:
- Be encouraging and affirming
INFJs value greatly harmony in their relationships, be it work or personal. Spending time to build a good relationship with INFJs will help them be more effective in their work.
Be sincere when you approach INFJs for help, and be supportive of the work INFJs are doing. Show that you appreciate their contribution and listen carefully to their insights to show your consideration and respect.
- Share the big picture and share personal meaning
INFJs want the work they do to have a personal meaning and of humanistic value to the world. In order for them to be truly effective, they must believe that whatever they’re putting their hands to is making the world a better place.
When you give them a task, talk about the big picture and what it means personally to you. When you bring personal meaning and values into a work task, it becomes far more important for the INFJ to complete and accomplish well.
Also, don’t focus on too much detail about the task required or spend too much time on immediate realities.
- Give them time to process their thoughts
INFJs need time to consider new information, data and to make mental connections. When you share new information with them, don’t ask for an immediate buy-in or response to them.
Give them some time alone after you feed them the new information. If you’re in a meeting, move on to someone else first before coming back to the INFJ. If you’re in a one-to-one meeting, take one meeting to give them the new information, and another to hear their thoughts about it.
- Offer feedback or make changes early
Being organized people, INFJs dislike last minute changes, and it can be a source of stress for them. As much as it is in your control, notify INFJs early when making plans or changes. Ensure that you give INFJs enough time to consider and react to the information.
That said; let’s look at what will possibly cause conflict with an INFJ, and how you can avoid it.
- Having to work with incompetent or ‘slow’ people continually
INFJs are competent and insightful people who are quick to understand complex situations or concepts, and they find working with people who are slow or stubborn people whom they deem to be incompetent to be tedious. And if they have to do so continually , it may become a cause for conflict.
- Being given too much detailed information to digest constantly
INFJs are most driven and inspired by a big humanistic vision. If they are placed in a role where a lot of detailed information needs to be digested and processed constantly, it is frustrating to them and may become a cause of conflict.
When you are communicating information to them, keep it big-picture, general and brief.
- Criticism and Judgement
As much as INFJs are motivated by affirmation and encouragement, they are averse to critical or judging words, even though they’re spoken with good intentions.
When you are debating or discussing with INFJs, learn to frame your words in a positive manner. Use the sandwich principle in your delivery by stating the positive and points of agreement first before the points of disagreements.
Tips for development
If you’re an INFJ, consider these as avenues for development:
- Learn to delegate
Your tendency is to take everything upon yourself to do, including your own responsibilities and that of those around you. You may think that in order for the job to be done best, you should just do everything yourself.
Learn to trust and delegate work to other people, and avoid taking responsibilities of those around you. Set clear limits and boundaries to what you can do, and what you can’t.
- Share your insights with others
Keeping insights to yourself and working independently will often mean that you will face surprising opposition to your ideas. While you have already considered situations or decisions in depth in your mind already, understand that others have not made the ‘connections’ you have made.
In order to reduce resistance to your ideas, attempt to share them as you are forming these ideas and ‘baking’ them inside your head. As you include more people in this process, you will find more agreement toward your decisions.
- Provide concrete evidence and data when sharing your ideas
Understand that it is normal for people to ask for concrete data or evidence in response to your ideas or decisions, and they need to be convinced by these rather than to be inspired by a big vision.
Though it may seem troublesome for you to find information to support your case, you will find that it is often effective in winning people over.
- Learn to offer and receive corrective feedback
You are a natural affirmer and encourager, but you probably have a challenge when it comes to offering corrective feedback to other people for fear of conflict.
Understand that people do need corrective feedback from time to time so that they can improve themselves, and by withholding it you are also denying them an opportunity for growth.
In the same way, you have to learn to receive corrective feedback and remember that when people do so, they are not against you personally, but giving you a chance to develop as well.
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More about the INFJs