“ISFJs are the people-centric doers, using their considerable organizational ability to make sure people are taken care of and protected. They are extremely conscientious, hardworking, loyal and dedicated – to people, organizations, groups. Once they are allied to the cause they take their roles very seriously.
It may be possible to overlook the value of an ISFJ as they are the behind-the-scenes ‘glue’ for organizations and groups. Unlike the ESFJ who will be more outspoken, the ISFJ will work steadily and quietly to ensure all the routine details are taken care of, and that people are happy. The ISFJ remembers specifics – details, names, faces and stores them in the pristine filing cabinet in their heads. Rarely will they share their own values, preferring to keep their own counsel and make their focus the needs of others.
The ISFJ is the quiet, shy, gentle individual yet a behind-the-scenes mover and shaker who will not seek the glory, indeed would prefer to remain understated, needing only stroking from those they
trust and value. Loyal, shy, devoted to the cause, the ISFJ has an intense need to belong and will work tirelessly for the cause and will channel their considerable energies into their work, or indeed anything which has been asked of them. They have incredibly clear and precise memories and are scarily accurate with facts, figures, names, faces – oh and any person who has slighted them! The
ISFJ gathers facts and data and are painstakingly accurate with incredible attention to detail, and methodical in their approach. They will tend to be proud of ‘being good with money,’ and can accurately recite names, milestones, anniversaries and birthdays.
Although generally shy and reserved the ISFJ takes work, indeed anything they do, seriously and much prefer it when others do the same. They are caring, sympathetic and want to help, but do not need the kudos, indeed they may be suspicious of those who try to confer compliments on them especially in the early stages of a relationship.”
• A sympathetic listener
• A real team player
Areas of Growth
• Taking more initiative
• Take care of personal needs
• Be open to the “big picture”
• Recognize the value of conflict
“The basic attitude of ISFJs is one of fatalism: things are what they are and little can be done to change them. It is not uncommon for ISFJs to carry the sins of the world on their shoulders; and they easily accept the blame for malfunctions and mistakes.”
• Organizing facts and details to accomplish a goal
• Reaching closure before moving to a new task
• Clear and stable structures
• Being in control of work schedule
• Being asked to make changes with no rationale reason
• Ineffective processes
• Being asked to ‘wing it’
To function at their best
“An orderly work environment with human interaction. Opportunities to respond to the needs of others. Harmonious relationships. Praise and appreciation.”
“Sensitive, kind and caring, (in a very practical way), their at times over-accommodating nature means that the ISFJ may be taken advantage of. It isn’t so much that the ISFJ is worried over confrontation because when a value is transgressed the perpetrator may get an uncharacteristic verbal lashing, surprising those who thought that quiet and shy meant weak and fragile. Values and feelings are at the heart of who the ISFJ is as such are not to be treated lightly. It is more about their need to give, to support and care for that means they may get taken for granted.
ISFJs are deep and caring with strong values and these will be held privately until the ISFJ allows people in. What others will perceive is a helpful, supportive, patient and detailed individual who is under the radar. The ISFJ is sociable but doesn’t like the spontaneity of crowds. The ISFJ is an emotional type, but may struggle at times to deal with these, as they are so private and reflective. It may be possible to deeply offend an ISFJ and not realize it, so private are they.
The ISFJ will initially close down on conflict as they prefer harmony and indeed will work hard at creating that. Indeed the ISFJ will be a superb diffuser of conflict but they themselves do not enjoy it. ISFJs are often called ‘the defender’ and this is because they will stand up for what is right and the rights of others. So whilst they may shun conflict personally, they will fight for other people. Naturally more quiet and low key, the ISFJ will be conciliatory and seek consensus preferring to see good in people and they will look to get to a resolution that makes everyone happy. Altercations and over interaction in general sucks the energy of the ISFJ and so they will need some private ‘me’ time to recharge their batteries and build up their energy levels.”
ISFJ at work
“ISFJs have a strong combination of strong work ethic and desire to help people. They move step-by-step towards and agreed conclusion, preferring order to chaos and in the absence of a plan will be happy to create one. The ISFJ is hardworking, organized, responsible and likes things done properly, and will demonstrate extremely high standards. They prefer clarity and if there is none, again they will create it. This means they will expect, and set, tangible goals that they will work steadily and methodically towards with no deviation or shortcuts. They are efficient, reliable and although they may take time to understand what is required, this is simply so that they grasp all the facts to ensure they are clear and will not get it wrong, then they are best left alone to complete, on time, as agreed.
Risk-averse, traditional, factual and detailed the ISFJ is best suited to more established, stable and traditional organizations that
value hard work, attention to detail and adherence to known rules and protocols with a strong people element as, although quite quiet, ISFJs really do care, seriously care. So they will need a more people-centric environment, which is team, focused where their efforts, often understated, are appreciated. Their traditional nature and desire for clarity and fact means the ISFJ will fit best where the norms are clear, the culture is people driven and where there is a place for everything and everything is in its place. Deviation from the norm is not for the ISFJ. They prefer working with facts, details and the known, where the product or service is tangible rather than conceptual and there are clear lines of responsibility and a planning process. They do not like to ‘wing it’ or take risks without being in possession of the facts and having thought things through so that they are clear. They do not like ambiguity or harsh environments, wanting to make sure people are supported.”