This section INFP Communication is about how INFPs communicate.
This includes how they usually communicate with others, how you can reach an INFP through speaking their language, what are some possible conflict points when working with INFPs, and some pointers on how INFPs can improve their communication style.
How INFPs communicate
INFPs are considerate, encouraging and helpful individuals who are focused on bringing out potential in people. They are flexible, adaptable individuals who are future oriented and innovative problem solvers.
INFPs are calm, collected individuals who are good listeners. They are reserved in showing emotion, but they are very personal and prefer one-to-one interaction with people whom they trust.
In social interactions, they seek harmony in their relationships and are compassionate toward the plight of others, usually they play the role of peacekeepers in relationship, attempting to help parties reconcile in the event of a conflict.
How to reach an INFP
When you are communicating with an INFP:
- Be encouraging and affirming
INFPs work behind the scenes and are satisfied doing so. But when you appreciate the effort of INFPs, you show them you notice, and it motivates them to be more effective in the future as well.
Also, INFPs are more likely to open up when they are in a safe environment, in a one-to-one dialogue. When you want to have a good, in depth discussion with them, do it in a quiet place over a cup of coffee.
Even when corrective feedback is necessary, ensure that it is framed positively. INFPs are motivated by the desire to grow, but they sometimes can take negative feedback too personally.
- Share the big picture and share personal meaning
INFPs 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 INFP 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: INFPs prefer to figure it out along the way.
- Focus on how information can develop others
One of the INFPs desire is to make the world a better place by bringing out the full potential of each individual. When you share information with INFPs, ensure you link it back to how it can develop people.
Also, share personal stories and talk about how this development of people actually helps in the betterment of the world. Such language is inspiring to INFPs and is likely to bring out the best in them if they believe likewise.
That said; let’s look at what will possibly cause conflict with an INFP, and how you can avoid it.
- Compromising their values
INFPs though appearing flexible, deeply treasure their inner values and they want to see these values expressed outwardly in their world. If there are roles or decisions they have to make that compromises on what they believe, it will most probably lead to a conflict of some sort.
To avoid the conflict, always check back with the INFP in situations where the moral lines seem a little grey. Often, the INFP would have a clear stand on it but seldom do they vocalize it until absolutely necessary.
- Feeling they’ve been trampled on
INFPs are quiet supporters who are willing to work without recognition and sometimes be rewarded for less than what they deserve. However, if they feel that they are being exploited or used, a conflict may arise.
Although INFPs are quiet, always remember to appreciate and be thoughtful for the work they put in through word or deed. Kind words, gestures of kindness and a due reward will ensure that INFPs know they are valued.
- Hurting their cause or someone they value
Similarly, INFPs value deeply those close to them and the cause they believe in. Sometimes, a careless word made in jest that insults or undermines their cause or the people they are close to can spark a conflict.
Whatever the cause is and whoever the people are, learn about what is important to the INFP in your one to one dialogues with them. During the course of your work, avoid talking negatively about these topics and show support for what they believe in.
Tips for development
If you’re an INFP, consider these as avenues for development:
- Focus on meeting your needs as well
Your focus is most often on others and how you can meet others’ needs. While it makes you a great friend and communicator, you must also remember to think about your personal needs as well. Your tendency is to neglect what you need, and if you’re being asked to handle a lot of responsibilities, you will end up burned out.
Understand where you need to draw the line, and learn to be a little more selective of what and whom you give your time and effort to.
- Share your insights early
Sometimes you might face resistance towards your insights or ideas, and this is usually because you did not share them early when things are not firmed up yet. Learn to vocalize your thoughts from the start even though the idea is not perfect yet.
This will give room for people to make changes and adjustments should your insights be adopted.
- Deal with conflict as it comes
While it is normal for you to avoid confrontation for the sake of keeping the peace, understand that sometimes conflict naturally does happen.
If you have negative feelings toward something or someone, you must learn to confront and settle it as soon as you can. It may seem easier in the short run to leave it as it is, but its result is usually a workplace of disharmony and hidden grudges, all swept under the carpet… hardly your ideal kind of work environment.
- Learn to give negative feedback
Similarly, understand corrective feedback is not a bad thing and is necessary to help others develop their potential. You might be afraid of a potential conflict that might result, but in the long run, it’s going to help the person to become better.
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