People with ISFP preferences enjoy providing practical help or service to others, as well as holding firm to their values when bringing people together and facilitating and encouraging cooperation. Words or phrases that describe people with ISFP preferences at their best are highlighted in the MBTI® Type Head below:
People with ISFP preferences enjoy working at something that is personally meaningful. They like to work in an environment with supportive co-workers who care about one another and may shy away from outright competition. They hold strong values and prefer to work in an environment where these values have a practical outcomes. They enjoy working in a supportive environment where their attention to detail is valued and they have the opportunity to work independently. People who prefer ISFP are likely to be attracted to jobs or careers in healthcare, service industries, crafts, and technical and clerical professions.
Like INFP types, people who prefer ISFP tend to be motivated by a very personal set of inner values that will typically be expressed behind the scenes, and only by those close to them. Their choice of job or career reflects their desire to make a practical, immediate difference for important individuals in their life.
Jobs That Typically Appeal to ISFPs
Electrical power installer/repairer
General maintenance repairer
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One of the rarest of the leadership types, people who prefer ISFP make up only about 1.5% of leaders globally while representing almost 7% of the general population.* The fact that there are not a lot of people who prefer ISFP in leadership positions does not mean they cannot make outstanding leaders—we know that leaders often promote others who are just like them. Their preferences may help them stick to values that are important in leading an organization, as well as to understand the practical reality of new ideas.
*Note: Global leadership sample includes 960,000+ supervisors, managers, and executives; global sample representing the general population includes 21,000+ individuals. See Introduction to Myers-Briggs® Type and Leadership (2015).
Lean on Me
While STs tend to focus on the execution of objectives and problem-solving as their key strengths, SF leaders more often reported that building relationships (83%), developing others (77%), and promoting teamwork (75%) were among their major contributions. These findings were not surprising given what we know of the SFs' natural approach toward providing for others’ needs. From this, SFs in leadership positions may demonstrate a natural proclivity for:
People with ISFP preferences will typically become stressed by the factors highlighted in the MBTI® Stress Head above. During initial stress they might withdraw emotionally and sink into self-pity. During extreme stress they may become cynical, depressed, aggressive, and prone to acute self-doubt. Download and share the ISFP Stress Head to remind you (and your colleagues) about the things that stress you.
People with ISFP preferences often prize the freedom to follow their own path, and they enjoy having their own space and setting their own timetables, freedoms they will also allow their partner, peers, family members, and friends. People who prefer ISFP can be difficult to know well, but they can care deeply about others, although they often show their affection through actions rather than words.
Find out more about Types and Relationships
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For people who prefer ISFP it is important to be “included and listened to during any exploration of a conflict that affects them” (Introduction to Type® and Conflict, p. 29). This can work well for them when others see how their values-based approach recognizes the impact of conflict in the moment. However, it could backfire when others feel as though their values have not been acknowledged.
The FP conflict style of people who prefer ISFP works when the conflict needs to “breathe” just a bit. However, this approach could fail when the situation calls for a more direct and decisive approach.
Who are some famous ISFPs?
Unless they have taken the MBTI assessment and shared their personality type preferences, it’s impossible to know. Anything else is just speculation, and we call it “type-casting.”
Where do our data come from?
All figures and data are representative of our own assessment samples collected at the time users take the Myers-Briggs personality assessment.
Think you might have ISFP preferences?