INFPs In The Real World
As an INFP in the real world I’d liken my experience to a firm forever stuck in Research and Development. The problem with firms who over-utilise resources with R&D is that the time spent perfecting a core process allow more result-oriented competitors to catch up and get ahead in taking the product to market leaving a process fixated INFP still stuck in the creative innovation lab asking why and how-to.
You’ll often find the true idealist is always looking for ways to iron out the kinks of an imperfect scorecard, which are never ending, with the not-too-far-off philosophical question of ‘why’ tagging close behind. And by philosophy, I don’t mean it’s a science. Admittedly, lost in a ‘deeper perspective’, would be an inflated view of the INFP when caught in a tunnel vision view, especially when with like-minded others.
Unable to accept tangibles for just what they are but rather, always questioning and doubting its logic and utility for more abstract phenomena, I’ve found on countless occasions I can retract into a ‘hermit’ mode far removed from the definitive. Often too convoluted from listening too much to multiple views, NFPs struggle with a revolving door process of why and how to’s while STJs eat, do, repeat and regurgitate.
While our more level-headed counterparts step up with clearly measurable processes right from the get-go, there are moments still where I toss coin over whether -2.5 and X Y B G can equal 101 despite how far-fetched it may be from tangibles.
Over the years, however, I’d say a need for ‘perfectionism’ or as close-as-you-can-possibly-get-to-it has wedged (and I must emphasise by brute force) itself out a fair way, with the looming time-cost-benefit of other needs and obvious deadlines taking precedent over the perfect meal, strategy or picture.
From experience, I’ve also learnt the need for conscious coupling. Organisational theory would have it that ‘the dreamer’ collaborate with ‘the implementer’ to project plan realistic outcomes. In real life, team efforts have played out often enough so that I’ve, for better, fine-tuned the task of delegating when it’s clear the project scope is made for two. In a one-stop-shop production line, though, as with the habitual practice of writing (still a newly reinstated pursuit), conscious coupling has been far more internalised. That is, to the extent where the idealist is forced to mirror and adapt a new set of skills to compensate for too much time spent on ‘driving’ factors of the project at hand.
So say, hypothetically, if Kane were -2.5, Finger X Y B, Siegel and Shuster G then an ideal perfect combination would probably be DC101. Results lend to the practice of either an explicitly complementary team or an internalised conscious coupling of an INFP who has grown well accustomed to mirroring compensatory needs to achieve a balance between judgement and perception and to make decisions in the real world.
Though still struggling to meet the resolves of this singular supercharged state of mind at times, I always lean in to ask now, is an incessant need for chasing pennies holding NFPs back from real progress? Or are we just still in wait of Siegel and Shuster to propel our minutely detailed project out into the world?
For that, there will always be a part of the NFP plagued with a child-like curiosity that verges on grandiosity, that is to say, from a psych perspective! But more eloquently put in business terms, pluraled with learned behaviours such as conscious coupling, a balanced INFP has the perfect temperament for high growth cultures.
As I shared today with a fellow NFP at a career plateau who had long before crossed off the checklist Van Gogh, occupational therapist and historian, I think I voice the thoughts of the larger business community when saying there’s always room for NFP traits in B&D. Hence, my penchant to this day for ‘problem children’, the starting point for most businesses and full of innovative growth potential.
Originally published at www.inkth.com.