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« 4. EQ at work: INFJs at their best »

Written by Rachel Green. Director, The Emotional Intelligence Institute. MBTI coach with over 25 years MBTI experience, and author of the new book: "INFJ: What's it like to be one."

Emotional intelligence and personality are not the same and I feel wary of writing about them together in case it implies a link between the two that does not exist.

However, in addition to being an emotional intelligence coach, I have for over 25 years used the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI - 16 personality types inventory), and I am interested in being able to help the 16 different types to develop their EQ at work.

I have, therefore, decided to write this series of articles combining individual personality types and emotional intelligence. In this case, it is designed to help INFJs be at their absolute best. There is no one way for INFJs to develop themselves and their EQ at work. However, emotions are key to the effective functioning of an INFJ.

I talk a lot more about this and many other aspects of being an INFJ in my new and comprehensive book on INFJs. Click here for further details. Sometimes INFJs get lost in their own emotions and find it hard to work out how they are feeling, in the moment.

In contrast, INFJs are well known for their accuracy in reading other people's emotions and intentions.

The article will look at:

  • The emotions that may typically arise in an INFJ in particular situations.
  • Ways that an INFJ may manage these emotions.
  • Communication methods INFJs may adopt that suit their type.

What is an INFJ?

The I stands for Introversion, N for iNtuition, F for Feeling and J for Judging.

It is one of the rarest of the types.

Want a more in-depth understanding of what it's like to be an INFJ? Then Rachel Green's 2018 book "INFJ: What it's like to be one", is for you. Click here to get your copy.

Here are five ways an INFJ can use his or her EQ at work and get the best out of being an INFJ.


EQ at work - INFJ: 1. Do not be fazed if others are not like you

An INFJ can feel like an oddball, misunderstood, on the outer, or isolated.

There is a reason for this. INFJs form only about 1% of the population. This means that, as an INFJ, out of every 100 people you meet, 99 of them are not the same type as you. Many INFJs I know feel they don't fit in - this is why.

One way of managing your emotions is to know you are rare, and that it is not your imagination, or people treating you badly.

Another step towards feeling comfortable being an INFJ amongst non-INFJs is not to expect others to be the same. It is an expectation that will cause you problems.

Just accept that you are rare and different. 

Develop instead a complete confidence in the strengths that you have and use these strengths at work. Then your emotions will be far more likely to be positive.

Emotional intelligence involves being able to manage your own emotions and to build positive ones that can help you.


EQ at work - INFJ: 2. Champion your cause

INFJs are typically people who feel passionate about helping the community or following a passion or cause. They may be champions of the poor, persecuted or lonely and need meaning and purpose in their working lives.

Allow this part of your personality to be nurtured at work, it will help give your life the meaning it needs. It will also help our society.

For example, you might opt to belong to the social committee, you may persuade others at work to adopt a charity and raise funds for it, or you may help establish a community care program within your organisation.

If an INFJ works for an uncaring organisation, where people are treated poorly, they may suffer badly from feeling down, stressed or tense. These are unhealthy emotions, especially for INFJs, whose psychological health significantly impacts on their physical health, possibly more than other types.

Some of the famous INFJs are said to be Ghandi, Mother Teresa and Oprah Winfrey - they all had/have a cause.

One example of an Australian organisation that is not in the health or not-for-profit sectors, that does have a positive focus on community caring, is the accounting firm Ernst & Young. This is what they say about their charity work.

Our local focus charities

We select which charities to support by asking our people what social issues they are most concerned about, and then aligning with charities that work in these areas. We form strong and successful partnerships that focus on providing real outcomes. We also provide our people with the opportunity to support individual charities by matching their donations $ for $ via our workplace giving program – a difference that sets us apart from many other corporate foundations.

This could warm the heart of any INFJ. If caring for others helps you to feel good about yourself and feel fulfilled, then it is the emotionally intelligent thing to do, especially if you get paid for it as well!.

Want to develop a deeper understanding of being an INFJ? Then Rachel Green's 2018 book "INFJ: What it's like to be one", is for you. Click here to get your copy.


EQ at work - INFJ: 3. Break from the details

INFJs may feel tired, weary, overwhelmed, stressed, inadequate and worn-out if they spend too long focusing on details. While details may be a strength of other types, especially many Sensates, they can become stressful for an INFJ.

The longer an INFJ concentrates on them the more likely they are to become overwhelmed by them, especially if there are other stressful aspects of the situation, such as the high pressure of a looming deadline, anxiety about being challenged, the need to comply with detailed legislation, or the like.

Thus, it is best not to focus on them for long stretches at a time. Just deal with them in short bursts and then return to the big picture.

As an INFJ your inferior function (that part of you that is least well developed,) is extraverted Sensing. This means you may not have a good head for details in your external environment especially when you are tired.

Check your details. Do not gloss over them, especially the sort of details involved when you are tired and driving a car, for instance. Think about the road safety campaigns of recent years - they have placed a lot of emphasis on driver fatigue as a cause of crashes. I imagine an INFJ who is tired finds it even more difficult because they already have extraverted Sensing as their inferior.

Details are important. They can keep you safe. However, when INFJs are tired they may walk into doorways or bruise themselves on office desks, or stub their toes on chairs. This is because their Inferior function has taken over and it is always negative, so they misjudge the width of the door frame, or misjudge where the edge of the table is, and so on.

Emotional self-awareness is an important part of emotional intelligence. It is important that INFJs are aware of their emotions, so they can take precautionary steps to say safe within their external environment at work when they are tired or stressed.

Want to know more indepth information on the complexities of being an INFJ? This INFJ, 2018 book by Rachel Green, our Director, is a must read: "INFJ: What's it like to be one."


EQ at work - INFJ: 4. Chocolate cake is not the only answer

When INFJs feel stressed they may typically over-indulge in sensory pleasures such as overeating, blobbing for hours in front of the television, or shopping until they drop.

There are emotionally healthier ways an INFJ can manage these emotions at work instead of making repeated raids on the work canteen, tea room or lolly jar!

Watch out for signs of stress and if they are there, stop the stress rather than stuffing your face with comfort food. A gentle reminder on your screen saver, "Is this mind food or stomach food?" could be helpful. If it is mind food, do not eat; instead, do something more nurturing and less fattening for your type.

  1. You might go for a short walk and watch the clouds, a good way for an INFJ to go to a big picture relaxing scene.
  2. You might close your eyes and daydream for two minutes and let your introverted iNtuition take you on a wonderful journey.
  3. You might sit and meditate for a short while or do a Tai Chi or Feldenkrais sequence to calm and ease the stress.

Emotional intelligence activities are many - there is no one right way to manage your emotions; over eating is only one way; generate other options.


EQ at work - INFJ: 5. Take time out

INFJs can feel distressed, annoyed or bothered by noisy environments at work in which they are constantly having to interact with people or be interrupted. They are not alone; many Introverts feel like this to various extents.

Finding places to obtain peace and quiet at work can help restore a sense of equilibrium or calm. Take time out to be on your own, to reflect and daydream; for example in your lunch or tea break.

In addition to this, INFJs have the dominant characteristic of being Introverted iNtuitives. They need therefore to allow their minds to daydream, fantasize and create, to find the significance in things, to be in touch with their deeper selves, to explore their inner world and all the other things their type needs.

They may benefit from developing a quiet space at home where they can seek refuge after a busy day at work, and from the children.

Self-understanding is very important if you want to develop higher levels of emotional intelligence at work and home. Knowing your type is part of this and can help you develop your EQ at work. The different types have different emotional needs and ways of having these satisfied. 

What is your EQ at work? Could knowing your personality type help you develop it more?


EQ at work - INFJ: Get to know your type in depth, increase communication effectiveness and lower conflict

There is so much that you can learn about being an INFJ so that you develop greater understanding of, and skills with, your communication, personality and relationships at work and home.

  1. This INFJ, 2018 book by Rachel Green, our Director, is a must read: "INFJ: What's it like to be one."
  2. Meditation appeals to many INFJs and we have a very popular audio-download on meditation called: "Happy Not Hassled". A perfect way to get your energy back in the solitude you need and stay healthy. Made by another INFJ!
  3. There is superior 1-1 coaching; and the MBTI is included as part of our smart leadership coaching package. You can find out your MBTI type and develop the skills you need, with Rachel Green.

For more details or to make a booking e-mail us now or pick up the phone and call us.

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