ISFP Communication

This section ISFP Communication is about how ISFPs communicate.

This includes how they usually communicate with others, how you can reach an ISFP through speaking their language, what are some possible conflict points when working with ISFPs, and some pointers on how ISFPs can improve their communication style.

How ISFPs communicate

ISFPs are quiet, unassuming, observant people who make great listeners. They are kind, considerate, supportive and appreciative of people around them, and they think of ways to help others practically. 

They are non-judgmental people who have no desire to control or organize others, and would rather appreciate individual differences.

They seek harmony in their relationships and will usually speak up only if their values are threatened.

ISFPs prefer one-to-one interaction, and in social interactions, they prefer to common ground with other people so that there will be harmony. They do not like to talk about themselves, preferring the focus of the conversation on the other party.

How to reach an ISFP

When you are communicating with an ISFP:

  • Be encouraging and affirming

    ISFPs work behind the scenes and are satisfied doing so. But when you appreciate the effort of ISFPs, you show them you notice, and it motivates them to be more effective in the future as well. 

    Also, ISFPs 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. ISFPs are motivated by the desire to grow, but they sometimes can take negative feedback too personally. 

  • Provide specific, clear instructions to complete tasks

    ISFPs appreciate direct and clear instructions on how they can complete their task well. Keep your information precise, factual and allow them to work independently to achieve their goals. 

    Avoid vague, abstract ideas or theories when communicating with them, but when you do use them to share an organizational vision, remember to break that vision down into small, realistic steps for the ISFP to digest. 

  • Show how information can help others practically and immediately

    One of the key motivating factors for the ISFP is offering practical help to others. Besides giving the ISFP generic information, showing them how their work can help others in a practical and immediate manner will be a key motivator to help them become more effective in their work. 

    Conversely, when making a decision or communication information that hurt or bring detriment to people will cause ISFPs to be highly demotivated. When doing so, explain yourself and show how it ultimately benefits the parties involved.

Conflict Points

That said; let’s look at what will possibly cause conflict with an ISFP, and how you can avoid it.

  • Compromising their values

    ISFPs 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 ISFP in situations where the moral lines seem a little grey. Often, the ISFP would have a clear stand on it but seldom do they vocalize it until absolutely necessary. 

  • Not giving them time to discuss important issues

    ISFPs are usually silent about what’s important to them because they focus on meeting the needs of others most of the time. However, that doesn’t mean that they do not have personal values or needs, as may be misunderstood by the quiet and casual nature. If something important to them is neglected in a decision, conflict with the ISFP may result.

    Once again, always give some time for the ISFP to raise up any issues that they feel are important and give hear to it. You may not agree, but at least show your appreciation and respect for what is important to them.

  • Setting unnecessary boundaries for them

    ISFPs value their independence and freedom. They like the freedom to set their schedules and execute their tasks in their own time. Also, they like to try new things out and experience it for themselves.

    Hence, they dislike people setting boundaries or being told they cannot do certain things. If ISFPs feels constrained or restricted in their action, conflict will result.

    Once you give the ISFP an assignment, trust the ISFP to complete the task well in their own way, and in a reasonable amount of time; only checking in once in a while; ISFPs will appreciate and enjoy that independence you give to them.

Tips for development

If you’re an ISFP, 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. 

  • 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.

    In the same way, do not take corrective feedback personally. People who correct you give you an opportunity to develop yourself, and it’s seldom because they have something against you personally.


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