At my internship, my boss gave me a personality test program that he gives to everyone on the team.
There was only one other INFJ and he no longer works in our team. From an MBTI perspective, I was excited to meet certain personalities on the team.
Today I pondered the differences between my team member’s dominant functions. I studied two managers (and one other worker): One manager is ISTJ, and the other manager/worker are ENTJ (both women).
I did not like the ISTJ on day one. His way of being bothered me (immature/stressed INFJ). He is the stereotypical middle manager; he knows corporate policy better than anyone, he communicates to the uppers for a group of lower ranked people.
He’s not quite part of the c-suite, but they communicate through him. He does things for them that they don’t want to do; talking to the subordinates being one of those things.
This is corporate. Everything big in business is corporate. These are the ball-players of the business economy.
Titles are everything in corporate. Two people have the same title? Equal powers. The rest defaults to the hierarchy.
These (some) people work hard in a time-giving way. They sacrifice life for that extra meeting or that extra project.
And in the morning they roll up in their Tesla’s, Mercedes’, Range Rovers – you name it.
In at 7 out at 7. They hustle and it’s inspiring to your average business student.
My boss is one title below these types of corporate.
I realized on the first day what little authority he actually has. His biggest authority is clicking through the team meeting PowerPoint. His other big power? Determining bonuses.
So he’s got the power of expectation over you. He calls you into his office –
“Reader, what are your expectations for yourself over the next quarter? Tell me what standard to hold you to – and I will hold you to it.”
Anyways, I didn’t like him. He had authority and he flexed it in micro-managy ways. Teaching you something on the computer and barking out windows commands to do functions faster, even though it’s way easier for me to click my way around…(Si)
I thought this was mildly annoying. I wasn’t quite hating him yet (first day, aren’t I terrible?). But then he went over corporate policy.
A 80 page PowerPoint, packed with facts and details about the company. I do not CARE. I’m terribly sorry, but this means nothing to me.
I had been there 5 hours and realized the corporate world was far more than a mission statement and a vision. (Ni)
I am fighting yawn after yawn during this brutal information session and he can tell. He starts dropping pop quizzes.
What does this mean to you?
Gives a nervously thought, but honest idea of the mission statement.
Yeeaaah, not really…Usually we try not to use big words to discuss something simple.
(Si) He’s far more concerned with the literal meaning of the statement and not amused by my attempt at a deeper meaning. As an Ni, unknowing of his personality (Day One), I was lost in the woods with this guy. At the time I was an unhealthy INFJ with weaker functions.
Then he pulls up to the various products types we make. And he says, Do you think you can name all our products?
Obvious Si. I failed to meet the defined expectation of studying the industry before starting. I didn’t think it would be important and that I’d learn everything on the job; I should’ve been right, dammit.
I paused a moment, giving him a chance to say he’s joking only realizing he was serious when he said “Try it.”
I listed off some terms I’d heard throughout the day. He laughed at my lack of knowledge and Ivy League’d all over my public school face.
How does dominant Si relate to all of this? And how does it react with my Ni?
They are polar ways of focusing on the world. He is more concerned with facts, rules, and results. I am more concerned with big picture, ideas, and individuality.
His Si directs him to traditions, facts, and past experiences. This particular “Guardian” type is a career go-getter, and uses his experiences to become better at his job.
My theory on this clash is that as an unhealthy INFJ, I was not equipped to deal with the stunning maturity of this fully grown ISTJ. I was threatened by his dominant Si; it is my demon function as INFJ.
My first step in growth was realizing that I was intimidated by his personality. Fortunately, I maintain a healthy INFJ at work because I am at least mature enough to be this way.
Second step in growth is realizing I need to be the one that gets around this. I’m not going to invalidate my own feelings, but I need to accept them and move past. Skip the NiFe and move onto Ti. Think about itttt….
Then I come up with brilliant solutions and live happily ever after.
I have already grown to respect his meticulousness and impressive memory. I find myself complimenting people I don’t like in my head in an attempt to like them better.
We’re just different in our main ways. We share various traits and tendencies and can definitely grow to be good coworkers (had I even been a real employee).
I had a bad first impression with him. I continue to struggle meeting his standards because my main efforts have a different direction than his.
He would likely have a very different review of me than my ENTJ manager (going in a different post now).
If you are working for a boss whose focus is not aligned with your own, things can be dangerously misinterpreted.
Our personalities clash. Some people are okay living with personality clashes. They don’t care if they get along with the person.
For people like myself, it’s difficult to live and experience a clash. The agony of seeing the person and the pain of communication, being weakly numbed from the feelings, then bearing the heaviness of your mask as they walk away.
It makes positive living difficult by constantly dragging on your mood and bugging your conscience.
Update from today:
I went into work in a positive mood today and ate lunch with ISTJ. We had fantastic conversation about the corona virus, he asked ice breaking questions to the other interns and opened dialogue at the table, and really made the hour lunch break (usually take 20 minutes) last.
I completed some tasks for him today on time and with proper procedure/protocol and I trusted my work better. I felt more confident in my approach and results by paying keeping Si close in mind.
We INFJ (and all other types) should not let our demon functions run wild. Trusting your weakest function builds foundation for the rest.
If your best is my worst…