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INTPs are logical, analytical, objective, independent individuals who are focused on exploring possibilities. They can come across as detached and indifferent initially, but once you get to know them, you will see their easy-going and casual side.
INTPs are quick to identify root issues, problems, inconsistencies, flaws and can conceptualise and initiate long-term strategic, innovative plans and solutions to solve these problems.
They are comfortable with complexity and can create theories and frameworks to make sense of the world around them. They are curious and sceptical individuals who do not like to take things at face value but love an intellectual debate about ideas and theories, critiquing and questioning the perspectives of others.
When you are communicating with an INTP:
USE LOGIC AND REASON
INTPs need to be convinced with logical analysis and sound reasoning. Besides using an objective, logical process, you need to be precise with your information when expressing your thoughts.
PRESENT IDEAS IN A BIG PICTURE AND GLOBAL FASHION
INTPs dislike talking about routine or straightforward tasks; they also do not like going into specifics of issues. They believe that the discussions of issues, in general, would suffice because everyone would have grasped the big picture.
When you are discussing with INTPs, don’t provide details of the task until you have given them the overarching objective or principle. When they are convinced of the necessity of the big picture objective, they will understand the rationale behind the specific tasks naturally.
GIVE THEM TIME TO ANALYSE AND CONSIDER INFORMATION
INTPs need time to consider new information and how it fits into their existing perspective.
In a meeting, don’t expect a response immediately from an INTP, but give time for them to think and reflect upon it. Either give them agendas before meetings or move on to someone else before returning to the INTP for the response.
In the making of decisions, don’t take their silence to mean that they have no comment. Give them a while to consider, and you will get an insightful response from the INTP.
BE PREPARED FOR CRITIQUE AND CHALLENGE
INTPs are independent thinkers and will challenge or critique what they do not agree with. As such, be prepared for debate and challenge of your ideas; and do not take their words personally. Sometimes, their deep insights will offer you a new perspective on the situation as well.
ALLOW FOR OPEN-ENDED BRAINSTORMING
INTPs love to brainstorm possibilities and implications of certain decisions. While it may seem impractical to some, allow time for the INTP to do so; it might just bring about new and innovative solutions to existing problems.
That said; let’s look at what will possibly cause conflict with an INTP, and how you can avoid it.
TAKING THE INTP’S CRITIQUE PERSONALLY
Because of the INTP critique and objective analysis, this might leave others becoming overly emotional or take their analysis too personally. INTPs critique a situation without the intention of offending or hurting anyone, but sometimes it can come across like that.
When this happens, the INTP is often surprised by the overreaction of others to their words and may cause possible destructive conflict.
Learn to accept the INTP’s words at face value and not take it personally; they’re not meant to hurt anyone, but rather often an honest evaluation of a particular situation.
INTPs are brilliant and insightful individuals, and they may not be able to tolerate others who are not as fast. This is especially true if they are working in a team and the INTP’s progress is hindered because of a slower member.
Allow the INTP to work independently or give him a role that requires less participation or input from others so that he may not be hindered in this manner.
ILLOGICAL OR UNPRINCIPLED ACTIONS
INTPs believe strongly in fairness and justice, and they believe every decision should be according to logic and principle. Hence, irrational or unprincipled acts, especially those that affect them personally can become a source of frustration for the INTP and eventually lead to conflict.
If you’re making a decision, especially if it seems illogical or overly emotional, make sure you explain its rationale to an INTP.
If you’re an INTP, consider these as avenues for development:
OFFER POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT AND LEARN TO DEAL WITH PERSONAL ISSUES AT WORK
For others, encouragement and positive feedback can be motivation for them to excel in their work. Learn to offer words of praise for small accomplishments or small gestures of kindness. You may feel it’s not significant, but these small acts of kindness can go a long way in building a strong working relationship.
Also, realise that for some people, there is no such thing as a work-life divide. If they are going through personal issues, they will find it hard to focus or excel at work. Be ready and willing to help others with their personal issues, and also learn to share a more personal side of yourself.
BE WILLING TO LOOK AT IMMEDIATE IMPLICATIONS OF YOUR ACTIONS
You are a long-range thinker with global ideas, but sometimes it means you might not consider the immediate implications or consequences of your actions. To you, having the big picture is inspiring enough to move people into action. However, it is not the case for everyone.
When you are sharing your perspectives, make sure you break it down into detailed, practical realities so that others can join you in the planning process.
NOT EVERYONE LIKES A DEBATE
Understand that for some people, having harmony in their working relationships is very important for them to be effective in their jobs. To them, a debate or critique of ideas is akin to a personal rejection of their perspectives.
You may be surprised or puzzled by a reaction from your colleagues’ hostility to you, but it usually is because of a word of critique that has hurt them personally.
Unless you’re brainstorming with a group for solutions or having an open discussion, refrain from critiquing situations when you see them.