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How to support INTJ personality types in the workplace


INTJs, or “Architects” are one of the only 16 Personality Types that bring both long-term vision and the ability to meticulously see it through. They have a deep-rooted desire for improvement—of processes, systems, and people, including themselves, and take great lengths to ensure efficiency and high-quality work. 

But this perfectionism can get in the way of progress, leading to slowdowns as they over-analyze a project or problem. Additionally, their high standards and confidence can come across as critical and dismissive, disrupting team dynamics. All this can be minimized with the right kind of support, though. 

In this article, we discuss the INTJ personality type and explain how to support, motivate, and engage them so you can unlock their full potential at work.

Overview of INTJs in the workplace

Here are the core characteristics of INTJs:

  • 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. 

  • Thinking (T): Make decisions rooted in rationality, logic, and objective analysis over personal feelings or societal expectations.

  • Judging (J): Prefer structured, planned, and organized work with clear direction over spontaneity. 

Strengths and contributions to the workplace 

Architects can add a ton of value to your company. Here’s how: 

  • Data-driven: INTJs make rational, well-founded decisions rooted in hard data and evidence rather than emotions and conjecture. This makes them well suited to making difficult, high-stakes decisions.

  • Highly knowledgable: Architects love to keep learning and can master anything they put their minds to, making them highly knowledgeable and well informed.

  • Innovative: They’re curious and approach challenges from unique and creative angles, meaning they come up with solutions others don’t see.

  • Goal orientated: INTJs are highly ambitious, results driven, and good at creating and achieving long-term plans, making them reliable delegators and project managers

  • Focused on productivity and efficiency: Always looking for ways to improve and optimize operations, INTJs are excellent at streamlining processes and implementing new technologies at work. 

Common challenges and pain points

On the flip side, Architects have some limitations that need to be carefully managed in the workplace.

  • Highly critical: INTJs set high standards for themselves and can be harsh on those who don’t possess the same level of precision and focus as them, making them potentially difficult to work with.  

  • Dismissive and arrogant: They can come across as arrogant “know-it-alls” who are unwilling to see others’ points of view. They may needlessly challenge authority and waste time arguing about irrelevant details in their quest to understand the reason for everything.

  • Overthinking: Their perfectionism can slow them down and hinder progress at work. 

  • Problems with teamwork Architects’ highly independent and private nature means they may struggle with teamwork and collaboration. 

Below, we discuss various strategies you can use to address these challenges and get the best out of your Architects.

Consider the following strategies to help your INTJs communicate effectively, feel heard, and work seamlessly within team settings. 

Tailor communications to their needs 

INTJs look for the underlying reason or purpose in what they do, so this should be at the core of your communication with them. For instance, establish meeting agendas beforehand and let them know what’s expected of them so they can prepare accordingly.

Where possible, share information in written formats such as reports or emails rather than verbally. This is a great way to give them time to process information and formulate a well-thought-out response. 

As INTJs can come across as direct or overly critical, coach them in understanding different communication styles, framing feedback positively, and practising active listening. 

Harness their strengths in team settings 

When integrating INTJs into teams, provide them with tasks that allow for independent work. This way, they’re not constantly overwhelmed and can channel their energy better when they work with others. 

Further, provide them with opportunities where their strengths can shine.  For example, let them create long-term plans and flesh out the path for the team to achieve its objectives. This can help them see the team as one entity that needs to work together to achieve company goals.

Finally, engage them in team-building activities, for instance, sessions where they share the results of their 16 Personality Types test or other personality assessments such as the Enneagram test. This can help INTJs develop patience and empathy with coworkers and understand how diverse team dynamics can contribute to a positive workplace and better business outcomes. 

Encourage conflict prevention and resolution

Helping these individuals consider other people’s perspectives and feelings is essential to preventing and managing conflict. 

Encourage your Architects to clarify their intention when delivering feedback or critique. This can prevent misunderstanding and ensure that their inputs are perceived as constructive rather than critical. 

Furthermore, provide conflict resolution training that focuses on active listening, developing emotional intelligence, finding common ground, and handling disagreements through role-play and other exercises. 

How to motivate INTJ employees and keep them engaged

The below strategies can help you create a tailored approach to engaging and motivating your INTJ employees and INTJ candidates who may join your company. 

What motivates INTJ personality types at work

Consider the below techniques to inspire and motivate your Architects. 

  • Pay: Ensure that salaries are reflective of the high strategic value that these team members bring to the workplace and the strong knowledge and expertise they’ve developed in their field. 

  • Benefits: Offer benefits such as continuous learning opportunities, subscriptions to professional journals, or industry association memberships that align with INTJs’ desire for growth and development. 

  • Goals: Set clear goals and expectations for your INTJ employees. Being explicit about their objectives and desired outcomes is a great way to maximize their results orientation. 

  • Autonomy: Give INTJs the freedom to plan and execute their tasks. They thrive in companies that give them autonomy and trust them to manage their workloads. 

Strategies for engaging INTJ types

Here are some actionable strategies for fostering long-term engagement and commitment in INTJs. 

  • Work: Long-term strategic projects with clear milestones keeps Architect types highly driven and engaged. Provide them with challenging tasks that intellectually stimulate them and allow them to solve complex problems. 

  • Feedback:  Architect types are more responsive to well-reasoned, factual feedback rather than subjective opinions. Also, as individuals who are driven by a desire to grow, they’ll be more receptive to feedback that shows concretely how they can them improve. 

  • Recognition: These employees appreciate personalized acknowledgments of their specific contributions to the team and company overall rather than generic praise. They also tend to be motivated by merit-based rewards such as incentive bonuses.

Setup and resources for INTJs

Providing your Architects with the right set-up and resources can help keep them focused and productive. Here are some ways to do this.

  • Work environment: INTJs perform best in quiet and interruption-free workspaces that allow for deep concentration. It might be worth letting them work remotely or in a hybrid setting where possible. When they’re in the office, provide them with as much predictability as possible, for instance, with fixed desks. 

  • Tools and technologies: Provide access to project management tools such as Asana, Trello, etc., and mind-mapping software like XMind that allows INTJs to plan and execute their tasks effectively. 

How to prevent burnout in INTJs

Keep an eye on your INTJs’ workloads as they have a tendency to overcommit and may not vocalize when they’re overwhelmed. Encourage time off for rest and provide access to mental health resources to ensure they’re not isolating themselves when working independently. 

Guidance on personal development and career growth for INTJs 

Architects place a high value on their personal growth and development. To enhance their engagement, satisfaction, and retention, look at ways you can fulfill this need.

Online testing and personalized training 

Create tailored development plans that align with their career goals and interests. The best way to do this is to understand your INTJ employees’ strengths and limitations through online testing, and then create a personalized plan of action for them. 

For example, your INTJ product manager may want to broaden their horizons and learn programming. Use a Coding assessment to evaluate their current level of expertise and put them on a learning path to upskill them accordingly. This could involve specialized training, certification courses, or workshops. 

Access to resources 

Provide your INTJs with access to plenty of learning resources such as subscriptions to industry journals, opportunities to attend seminars and conferences, or memberships in industry forums. Also, consider sponsoring or subsidizing online courses on platforms like Coursera or Udemy.

This supports their desire for self-directed learning and strengthens their expertise, also giving your company a competitive advantage in the field. 

Stretch assignments

Challenge these individuals with projects that push them beyond their comfort zones and help them grow. Ensure these assignments align with their interests and career goals. 

Leadership opportunities 

Encourage your INTJ employees to take on leadership responsibilities. However, do this carefully. We know INTJs may find it challenging to work with others, so it may be best to test their leadership and management skills first and provide them with the right coaching to strengthen this. 

Mentorship and peer support 

Pair your architects with mentors who intellectually challenge them and provide guidance on some of their pain points. Additionally, form peer learning groups where INTJs can exchange ideas with like-minded colleagues. This helps them feel supported and understood within the company. 

Understand and retain your INTJ employees with TestGorilla 

INTJ or Architect personalities are some of the greatest thinkers and innovators. However, they may succumb to weaknesses such as arrogance and dismissiveness, making them difficult to work with. Therefore, it’s essential to have a robust strategy in place to harness their best qualities.

Place your INTJ employees in roles that foster independent work, intellectual stimulation, and long-term strategic planning. Also, providing them with specific constructive feedback and recognition is a great way to keep them engaged. 

Finally, use online skills and personality testing with TestGorilla to fully understand their strengths and limitations so you can create personalized learning, development, and coaching plans to help them grow as individual contributors and company leaders. 

Sign up for a free account or schedule a live demo with a member of our team today.


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