When does an ISTP look like an INTP or INTJ?
What would make the difference?
Of all the Artisan types, ISTPs most look like and most often identify with the Rational temperament, often reporting preferences for INTP or for INTJ on assessments.
Interaction Styles. ISTPs have a Chart-the-Course™ Interaction Style, which goes with a desire to enter a situation with some sort of course of action in mind. It doesn’t have to be a detailed plan and ISTPs often seem planful as they analyze a situation in anticipation of what is likely to happen. ISTPs and INTJs share this Interaction Style and so would look alike in that way.
The Chart-the-Course™ style often seems like the Strategic intelligence that is an important aspect of the Rational temperament pattern and ISTPs often relate to the description of the Rational temperament over the Artisan temperament. This is especially true when the Artisan description focuses too much on freedom and spontaneity.
Temperament. Differentiating Artisan versus Rational is key. Artisan desire for skillful performance often leads ISTPs to identify with the Rational’s core need for competence. In presenting the two temperaments, it helps to contrast the difference between skillful performance as a value and competence as a core need. For the
Artisan skill often comes from the drive to action and they hate being clumsy or awkward. They get involved in an activity, get caught up in the pure joy of doing, and thus become skilled. Rationals need to feel competent and often want a measure of competence before they even do something. To practice or “do” means failure and that often can strike at the core need.
Roles. ISTPs, INTPs, and INTJs share a desire to act independently and tend to take pragmatic roles with others, seeking autonomy. This makes the differentiation harder to discover.
Language. It helps to listen for the concrete language of the ISTP, which often creates a picture in the listener’s mind. Such language is likely to be full of specific examples and stories. INTP and INTJ language tends to reference abstract concepts with a focus on precision. ISTPs often get at the essence of something rather succinctly, whereas, INTPs and INTJ go into more depth.
Interest. ISTPs are more likely to zero in on someone’s motives than INTPs or INTJs (unless in the business of understanding people!)
Similar Cognitive Dynamics. ISTPs and INTPs have the same Leading Role process (dominant) of introverted Thinking and are likely to approach situations with an analytical perspective and like to know the principles of how things work. The difference shows up in their Supporting Role processes (auxiliary). An INTP described his preferred work style as exploring problems and sub-problems (Ne), while his ISTP colleague described a tactical trouble shooting approach with a focus on getting the task done (Se).
Also, ISTP’s frequently engage their Relief Role process (tertiary) of introverted iNtuiting and enjoy looking at whole systems and patterns and getting a sense of what will happen in the future.