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How to support INFP personality types in the workplace

How to support INFP personality types in the workplace featured image

Innovative, passionate, and flexible, INFPs or “Mediators” bring fresh perspectives and creative solutions to their work. At the same time, they’re focused on maintaining harmony, making them excellent agents of change. 

However, like the other types from the 16 Personalities test, INFPs have their own set of limitations. The wrong environment may lead to a lack of focus, haphazard working, and a fear of confrontation, hindering progress. 

In this article, we explain how to support your Mediator employees at work so you can leverage their key strengths and help them with their areas of improvement. 

Overview of INFPs in the workplace

INFPs are characterized by the following traits:

Introverted (I) - Focus on internal thoughts and ideas, enjoy solitude and deep thinking versus external stimulation, and tend to work best when alone.

Intuitive (N) - Look at the big picture and make sense of the world based on patterns, trends, and abstract concepts as opposed to concrete facts.

Feeling (F) - Make decisions based on empathy and consideration for others’ feelings, valuing harmony and emotional connection in their interactions.

Perceiving (P) - Enjoy flexibility in their jobs and life and dislike sticking to plans.

Strengths and contributions to the workplace

Here are some of INFPs’ core strengths at work:

  • Creativity and problem solving: Their knack for unconventional thinking makes INFPs great at generating unique ideas and innovative solutions to problems. 

  • Passion and drive: INFPs are extremely passionate about the work and projects they take on, especially when it appeals to their sense of curiosity and desire to learn or aligns with their personal values. 

  • Empathy: Despite their introverted tendencies, Mediators’ highly empathetic and non-judgmental disposition helps them form strong emotional bonds with others and foster a sense of cooperation within teams. 

  • Fairness: INFPs have a strong moral compass and care deeply about their personal values and business ethics, inspiring the same in others. They always express gratitude and credit where it’s due, creating a positive work culture. 

  • Flexibility and adaptability: Mediators are open-minded and comfortable with changing priorities, a major plus in today’s fast-evolving work landscapes. 

Common challenges and pain points

Look out for the below tendencies that can disrupt INFPs’ progress at work.  

  • Distraction: INFPs can get caught up and excited by many different projects and ideas, distracting them from the work they need to complete. 

  • People-pleasing: With a strong need for harmony and acceptance, Mediators struggle with conflict and confrontation, place others' needs above their own. They may spend too much time and energy fixating on seeking approval from those who disagree with them. 

  • Self-criticism: Mediator-type employees hold themselves to a very high standard in terms of work, values, and ideals. They’re quick to criticize themselves or take others’ feedback personally if they can’t meet expectations.

  • Disorganization: These employees don’t like to be bound by rigid work structures and rules. They struggle with routine tasks and detailed plans and are more prone to missing deadlines. 

These are some strategies to communicate with INFPs effectively and ensure they mesh well with team members. 

Understand their communication preferences 

Mediators prefer honest, empathetic, and meaningful communication. In emails, avoid engaging in inauthentic small talk while ensuring your tone doesn’t come across as impolite or too direct. Communicate the task clearly and where applicable, explain how it aligns with the company’s overall mission and values to boost their motivation. 

INFPs also appreciate written communication as it allows them to process and respond to messages thoughtfully. However, they also value face-to-face interactions, so long as they are sincere and personal.  

Set them up for success in team settings

INFP employees’ high empathy and need for cooperation make them good team players. But, they’re still introverts at their core, with a preference for deeper and more meaningful interaction. Consider putting INFPs in smaller, intimate teams or working groups rather than big teams. 

Further, assign them roles that offer a good balance between independent, autonomous work and collaborative efforts so they’re not overwhelmed by social interactions and can reserve their energy to do what they do best. 

Finally, leverage your INFPs’ strengths to provide them with added comfort in team settings. For instance, you can task them with leading a brainstorming session for a new project. This way, they can use their creativity and empathy to encourage contributions from all team members and foster a sense of unity and shared purpose.

Promote healthy confrontation and conflict management 

INFP employees tend to be afraid of and avoid confrontation and conflict at work. While this is a great way to maintain harmony, it can have downsides. For example, the lack of healthy debate can lead to poor business outcomes as INFPs may avoid challenging a decision, even if they know it’s the wrong one.  Provide INFPs with conflict management training that focuses on dealing with conflict positively. For example, highlighting that both parties in a conflict share the same goals and want what’s best for the business can appeal to their idealistic side and make conflict feel less stressful. 

How to motivate INFP employees and keep them engaged

Consider the below strategies to motivate and engage prospective INFP job candidates or INFP employees already in your company. 

What motivates INFP personality types at work

Here’s how to specifically inspire and motivate Mediator-type employees in the workplace. 

  • Pay: A competitive base salary is important for INFPs. But high pay may not be their primary motivator. Be transparent about how pay is calculated and how it aligns with their contributions at work. As individuals focused on purpose and fairness, this matters. 

  • Monetary benefits: Healthcare benefits matter to these employees because they care deeply about the well-being of themselves and others. Retirement benefits can also help offer financial security. 

  • Non-monetary benefits: Consider offering paid volunteering days off or a sabbatical for them to pursue their personal projects and passions. Bike-to-work schemes might also speak to a potential focus on health and the environment. 

  • Goals: Set clear goals that give direction but avoid being overly prescriptive about how your INFP employees should achieve them. You could, for example, consider breaking larger goals into milestones, helping them stay on track while giving them space to adapt their approach to goal completion. 

  • Management: INFPs’ managers should be approachable and considerate of their employees’ feelings and ideas. It’s also best to provide INFPs with autonomy and avoid micromanagement to motivate them. 

Strategies for engaging INFP types

Here are some powerful techniques to improve INFPs’ engagement levels and foster a sense of commitment and loyalty at work.   

  • Meaningful work: Assign projects that have a clear connection to company success. Further, give them opportunities to contribute creatively to projects through brainstorming sessions, design thinking workshops, and more.  

  • Value-based activities: Involve them in company sustainability projects, employee resource groups, mentorship, and other activities that appeal to their ideals. 

  • Private feedback: Deliver feedback sensitively, ideally in a one-to-one setting. Furthermore, ensure that it’s delivered constructively, focusing on growth opportunities and positively reinforcing the contributions they’ve made. 

  • Recognition: offer genuine and private recognition that clearly acknowledges INFPs’ specific contributions at work. Additionally, provide rewards that align with their values or interests—for instance, books or gift cards for sustainable brands. 

Ideal working environment and arrangements for INFPs

Create the right work environment, arrangements, and culture for INFPs in the below ways: 

  • Offer flexible working or hybrid work structures: These provide INFPs with quiet time to focus and ideate but also opportunities to build deep in-person relationships. 

  • Adjust workspaces: Offer a comfortable workspace, ideally with a fixed desk that Mediators can decorate and personalize with art, plants, or other interests. For onsite roles, create quiet areas where they can retreat to recharge. 

  • Build the right culture: Create a culture that INFPs can resonate with, for instance, by focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Also run community engagement initiatives, charity days, and more, and get INFPs involved. 

  • Tools and technologies: Offer access to organizational apps such as Notion, encouraging INFPs to structure their tasks and stay on track. Also, provide access to creative software such as Canva for brainstorming and ideation.

Guidance on personal development and career growth for INFPs 

Here are some ways to support your INFP employees through their professional journeys. 

Offer personalized training and development  

Provide employees with training on topics they need to improve in—such as conflict management—or on topics that cater to their values or interests—for instance, unconscious bias training. TestGorilla’s personality tests are a great way to identify their strengths and limitations. 

Personalized coaching is an excellent way to help your senior INFP employees with confidence-building, networking, and other areas of concern. A Leadership and People Management test is a great way to identify exactly what they struggle with.   

Support internal mobility and relocations

Where possible, provide Mediators with opportunities to move within the company where they can learn and contribute to new roles. Additionally, consider them for domestic and international transfer opportunities. This way, they can explore different projects, keep learning about different topics, and live spontaneously.  

Promote well-being 

INFPs are prone to stress and emotional burnout due to their deep empathy and tendency to internalize others’ emotions. Provide access to employee resource programs, stress management workshops, and mental health days to promote emotional well-being. 

Additionally, check in on them regularly, especially those who work remotely, to ensure they’re not over-isolating in their quest for deep thinking and solitude. 

Understand and retain your INFP employees with TestGorilla

Once you can identify INFP types in your team, you’ll understand how they play a unique role as both disruptors and peacekeepers in a company. But, in the wrong culture and environment, their strengths can manifest negatively, leading to distraction, disorganization, and people-pleasing. 

Provide them with meaningful projects, opportunities for creative thinking, and autonomy in work to harness their strengths. Further, offering flexible working or on-site quiet spaces also helps them recharge when needed. 

Finally, use TestGorilla’s personality tests to identify their weaknesses so you can create personalized training and coaching programs to draw out only their best qualities at work. 

Create a free account or sign up for a live demo to explore TestGorilla today. 


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