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  1. #1
    yap yap yap xenaprincess's Avatar
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    Default INFP and leadership

    I am an uncomfortable leader (!) and was wondering how other INFP's handle positions that require the following:

    1. having to tell someone else what to do
    2. having to impact someone negatively or make someone else uncomfortable
    3. having to disagree with people, sometimes publicly
    4. setting a path and everyone following you down that path, even when you might not be sure that path is the right one
    5. delegating work

    I am sort-of ok with a committee-type situation where I lead or guide a committee, since this can be more 'group-like'. However even then, factions of the group can start heading down the wrong path and you have to go rein them in. Again, not so comfortable. What typically happens is, I delay the confrontation and think carefully about it, then I say something in a stern but polite way, then regret it and dwell on it for half a day.

    There is the option of simply being a follower who also does everything, while a more natural leader calls the shots. I'm considering quitting my volunteer position because of the stress. But I'm worried that the whole thing will fall apart.

    Edit: Just because I'm uncomfortable about leading doesn't mean I'm a bad leader. I think I do have a lot of good leadership qualities. I am super dedicated and am not in it for my ego. I am considerate with the people I work with and we function as a team. I rarely point fingers.

    I think it's the 'authority' part that makes me feel uncomfy and those times when you are forced to exert it.
    Last edited by xenaprincess; 02-22-2015 at 10:52 AM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by xenaprincess View Post
    I am an uncomfortable leader (!) and was wondering how other INFP's handle positions that require the following:
    1. having to tell someone else what to do
    I am quiet, and sometimes feel awkward giving orders to people I don't know. But dictating terms is not something I am strongly averse to doing. It is mainly a self-confidence issue.
    Quote Originally Posted by xenaprincess View Post
    2. having to impact someone negatively or make someone else uncomfortable
    This depends how close I am to said person. I am very conscious of how girlfriends and friends view me - I care for them, and want to please them. But I don't care how a stranger feels about me or my demeanour. People who are obsessed about fitting in irritate me.
    Quote Originally Posted by xenaprincess View Post
    3. having to disagree with people, sometimes publicly
    See (2.)
    Quote Originally Posted by xenaprincess View Post
    4. setting a path and everyone following you down that path, even when you might not be sure that path is the right one
    I see myself as having leadership potential as I am very decisive, however I don't really enjoy the responsibilities power brings. Working as a subordinate does not worry me if I respect whoever is in charge.
    Quote Originally Posted by xenaprincess View Post
    5. delegating work
    See (4.)
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Eluded_One's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xenaprincess View Post
    If I were to lead, my biggest obstacles would include:

    - attention to detail and prioritiy, as it's easy for me to get sidetracked on lesser issues
    - I prefer to listen than talk, as I'm very quiet when I *don't* have an opinion on certain subjects. Otherwise, I can be very expressive on topics I'm comfortable with.
    - delegating work doesn't seem to be an issue, as long as I see it as being entirely fair to the rest of the group. If my delegating results in less work for me as a whole and more work for a group member, then that would put some weight on me (on a moral stance).
    - indecision: fear of making the wrong decisions and not given enough time to cover all possibilities.
    - confidence: fearing failure in the eyes of my peers. Fear of being inadequate.
    - escapism: wanting to run away when faced with criticism, negativity, and impending pressure.

    On the flip side, my strongest assets would be:

    - honesty: as I say things as I see it. I'm typically not very PC, and have little to no pretension. In other words, I have no desire to make myself or others look good.
    - I'm usually lenient when others make the same mistakes I'm inclined to making.
    - being laid back: as I have a hard time pushing myself to do things.
    - open to new opinion and method of execution. There's always, and I mean always, a better way to solve any problem. I'm always up for crazy non-rational ideas.
    “If you worry about what might be, and wonder what might have been, you will ignore what is.” -anonymous
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  4. #4
    Senior Member great_bay's Avatar
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    I always thought leadership was J thing. I can see John of Arc leadership whereas they rally a group of people but not leadership doing administration for reasons listed above.

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    Senior Member great_bay's Avatar
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    I knew an INFP that acted like a type 8. He was the leader of his group of introverted friends. He would boss people around and tell people what to do as if he were ENTJ. He would use introverted sensing and extroverted thinking. I can see INFP's as leaders but I think leadership is usually think of administration. You're going to have a job that constantly wants you to use Si and Te for prolonged hours at end which might tire out INFP's.

  6. #6
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    I agree that EXTJs are the best fit for most leaderships. And INFPs are way more comfortable leading in quiet, non-crowded environments.

  7. #7
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Delegating is a strength of mine as long as I dont get too attached because I have some creative vision and dont trust anyone else to fulfill it. Otherwise, Im pretty good at seeing other people's strengths and am comfortable letting them do their thing. I am okay with giving constructive criticism, even if I may over do it on sandwiching criticism between praise (sometimes it is not taken seriously enough then).

    My weakness is holding back because I dont want to steam roll other people with my strong ideas and preferences. I want to allow others to contribute with their abilities and not just be tools in a project. My other weakness is when I do get stubborn and insist on a certain way. Finding that balance is not too hard, as long as I assert the main idea clearly enough and keep emphasizing it as things go.

    My other weakness is assuming people should just know what to do and not giving enough guidance. This may look like I want people to read my mind or that I am finicky because I gave the person lots of freedom, but they didnt live up to my expectations. I find I communicate a lot more than others (who drive me nuts with poor communication), but having to remind people of deadlines or expectations gets annoying to me.

    I am ultimately more of an independent worker and experience leadership as a boring handholding and organizing role. As a child, in school, I would often find myself leading group projects because I was the one to pipe up with ideas. I had "vision" when others were not sure what to do because they werent that imaginative. But I always hated the logistics part. It just seemed tedious to me.

    Ideally, for me, there is no leader, but instead group collaboration with individuals taking ownership of their niche. I also have more respect for those with the humility to yield and take some direction and who dont need to have all the credit, as this requires more maturity and vision in many ways.

    The emphasis on leadership and having qualities of a leader strike me as very egotistic. My cousin recently was praising her son for having the qualities of a "leader" and I wondered why that is so valued. In my view, leaders are often obnoxious people that everyone else has to appease or else they get increasingly obnoxious, and they take that role because they really dont have talent elsewhere.
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

    INFP | 4w5 sp/sx | RLUEI - Primary Inquisitive | Tritype is tripe

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