Navigating Your Blind Spots, Part 3: Introverts

In my last post, I discussed how the natural blind spots of extraverts can create conflict on teams. Here, I explore the blind spots of introverts based on the dominant function of their Myers-Briggs personality type.

Introverted thinking (INTP/ISTP) values knowledge. Dominant introverted thinking expects people to focus on objective data when making decisions. It views personal considerations as illogical and unpredictable, and therefore not a sound basis for reaching conclusions.

Introverted thinking types naturally assume
that logic-based insights can stand on their own, requiring no explanation or defense. By looking beyond this assumption, INTPs and ISTPs can learn the importance of getting buy-in from the group. The most logical decision may not always be the best decision when the cooperation of others is required for success. Team members with a stronger sense of empathy can offer insights about how actions are likely to be received by those outside the team.

Introverted feeling (INFP/ISFP) values harmony. Dominant introverted feeling expects people to maintain amicable relationships and to respect the needs and beliefs of others. It views loyalty to a set of principles as a guiding force behind human interaction.

Introverted feeling types naturally assume that a small-scale disagreement involving their core values threatens friendly relations. By looking beyond this assumption, INFPs and ISFPs can learn to confront these issues, using their talents for empathy and persuasion to help others understand their point of view. Introverted feeling types often perceive ripples of tension before others do. By verbalizing their concerns, rather than disengaging from the team, they can help head off a crisis before it occurs.

Introverted sensation (ISFJ/ISTJ) values stability. Dominant introverted sensation expects people to follow the rules. It views inattention to the group’s procedures and hierarchies as a threat to the group’s welfare.

Introverted sensing types naturally assume that questioning the status quo will undermine the smooth workings of the organization. By looking beyond this assumption, ISFJs and ISTJs will recognize that challenges to the current system can lead to innovation that improves team performance. Including change management principles can help alleviate pain during the implementation process.

Introverted intuition (INFJ/INTJ) values problem-solving. Dominant introverted intuition expects people to articulate potential obstacles to the team’s success. It views dissent as a vital form of information sharing.

Introverted intuitive types naturally assume that people are comfortable with the concept of critiquing one another’s ideas. By looking beyond this assumption, INFJs and INTJs can learn to invite others to disagree with them, and also to soften the way they express their own disagreement. Establishing ground rules up front can set expectations and help prevent people from taking disagreement personally.

Have you been in a situation where a natural blind spot created conflict? How did you handle the situation? What did you learn as a result?

Related posts:
Navigating Your Blind Spots, Part 1: Team Building
Navigating Your Blind Spots, Part 2: Extraverts
The Truth about the Myers-Briggs Personality Types


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