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  1. #1
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    Default male ISFJs in executive roles

    I work with three male ISFJs in executive roles. Two are VPs and one is a PMO director.

    All three lie about stuff.

    If a problem is brought up they say they "Oh, well take care of that" and make promises to deal with the issue, then they dont deliver. They cant and couldnt ever have delivered as the things they promised were not possible-logistically they didnt have the time, resources of staff to do so. They make cracked out crazy person promises, like totally looney bin stuff.

    Are they lying on purpose to keep others happy or are they lying because they dont understand what is required logistically?

    They are all very hesitant to write anything down on paper-they only want to have verbal meetings. In different meetings with different people, they will make different promises. Then they will tend to deliver upon the promises made to the most senior executive without modifying the directives given previously based on early promises-so their people end up in loops of wasted time....

    If questioned-they seem confused about the different versions of promises-almost like they arent even aware they made different promises to different people...could this be possible?

    They selectively remove individuals who disagree with them, creating silos, but seem like genuinely kind people, who mean the best-is disagreement that difficult and disruptive to ISFJs?

    When told a task isnt possible, they will go "well that isnt acceptable, we just need to work on it". Like impossible timelines or seeking to have a product manufactured that requires other products-which arent made yet. They imply that other groups or individuals just arent working hard enough and they refuse to listen when presented with, well, timelines. The answer is that we just need to talk to the other person's boss and it will cause the work to be completed faster.

    Is this a default ISFJ stance? That if someone says they cant do something that they are making excuses

    In meetings-when asked about status-the updates they provide will be very optimistic or focus on data that doesnt really reflect the state of their group. They will omit things that are bad. Like ten month delays in projects or 500K spent researching project management software or 300% six month turnover in their department. So the departments fester from within, and the surrounding departments can sense it-but up the chain everything seems okay-until it collapses, then they blame other departments...

    Again, it seems they are afraid of disrupting the happiness of the boss??

    Man I dunno, maybe what I am hoping to hear is that this is abnormal behavior and that my guys are nuts.

  2. #2
    nee andante bechimo's Avatar
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    Can't speak for ISFJs but I've seen this management style. Very Peter Principle. Sooner or later, they're outted through budgetary reviews, a whistle blower or someone below them wants their job. Don't know how old these three men are but if they're getting close to retirement, they're just coasting until it's time and upper management is aware and also waiting, to save on any severance costs.

  3. #3
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    These guys are pretty young. They were pulled in from three different industries. Each has a nice pedigree and can look very like a really friendly ISTJ at first...but the two VPs have spent years exhibiting the above behaviors.

    The weirdest part I suppose is that an INTJ reviews them-he is the CEO. His other hires are ENFP executives. He seems to like feelers....and not be able to tell if they are competent or not. The other exec is an ESFJ. and an ESFP CFO.....dear god where are the TJs???????????????????

  4. #4
    nee andante bechimo's Avatar
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    Strange that an INTJ hires like this. Is the pattern feelers or possibly nepotism?

    Sounds like your corporate culture needs a serious revamp. It must be a large company generating substantial profits, in order for incompetence to be tolerated or hidden to these levels.

  5. #5
    Senior Member tinker683's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orobas View Post
    All three lie about stuff.
    I don't mean to sound snotty or to sound like I'm picking on you, but I have to confess a pet peeve of mine around here. It really irks me whenever someone expresses outrage or dismay over the fact that an ISFJ didn't act like a perfect little angel.

    "ZOMG, you mean he lied!?!! He said somewhat naughty things to the secretary? OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG WTF!!!"

    Guys, seriously, ISFJs are human too, complete with all the flaws of every human being. We're not all perfect. Get over it! :steam:

    Quote Originally Posted by Orobas View Post
    If a problem is brought up they say they "Oh, well take care of that" and make promises to deal with the issue, then they dont deliver. They cant and couldnt ever have delivered as the things they promised were not possible-logistically they didnt have the time, resources of staff to do so. They make cracked out crazy person promises, like totally looney bin stuff.

    Are they lying on purpose to keep others happy or are they lying because they dont understand what is required logistically?
    It's potentially true that they are just trying to keep others happy or keep from "rocking the boat" so to speak. I've found personally though, as a manager myself, that this behavior is grossly impractical. In fact, when it comes to making promises, I try to be as vague as possible in order to give myself as much wiggle room as I need as I try to plan out whatever timetable I need.

    Another irk of mine is when someone tries to rush me to complete my timetables or my work. Maybe this is my perfectionism rearing it's head but if I'm asked to do something, then I'll hunk down and throw a fit if I'm not given the time I know I need to get something finish. If I'm NOT given the time, then I'll inform the offending party that it's THEIR stupidity that's going to cause this particular project to get half assed.

    If however I do make a promise that I'm not sure I can fulfill, then I make sure I can deal with the consequences of my own failure as best I can.

    Quote Originally Posted by Orobas View Post
    They are all very hesitant to write anything down on paper-they only want to have verbal meetings. In different meetings with different people, they will make different promises. Then they will tend to deliver upon the promises made to the most senior executive without modifying the directives given previously based on early promises-so their people end up in loops of wasted time....
    See, this to me is bat-shit insane. I would *LOVE* it if EVERYONE I did business with did SOLELY did correspondence to me via email because then I could catalog any conservation or decisions made away in my BCM database. Not to mention, as an introvert, sending off an email is MUCH easier for me than actually talking to someone.

    If I didn't write things down, my ability to do my job would be *severely* crippled. People who don't write anything down scare me

    Quote Originally Posted by Orobas View Post
    If questioned-they seem confused about the different versions of promises-almost like they arent even aware they made different promises to different people...could this be possible?
    I would surmise this has to do with the above. Your brain can only store so many things consciously and if you're bouncing around booping-and-beeping without making a note of anything, you're going to forget shit - unless you're some genius with a godlike eidetic memory.

    Quote Originally Posted by Orobas View Post
    They selectively remove individuals who disagree with them, creating silos, but seem like genuinely kind people, who mean the best-is disagreement that difficult and disruptive to ISFJs?
    Disgareement and disruption is difficult for me, yes, if only because it buggers up my timetables and causes me to endlessly second guess my decisions. If an employee continues to become disruptive for me then, yeah, I'll boot their ass to another department or out the door if I can.

    I'll be the first to admit, when I'm put in charge of something and it really really REALLY needs to get done, I will be the first to become an iron-fisted tyrant and lord over my employees until they get the shit I need done. I really don't like doing this at all (which is why I don't care for upper management positions in the slightest) but I've been yelled at/accused of fucking up/taken the blame SO. MANY. GOD DAMN TIMES for the incompetence of lesser human beings that I simply won't tolerate this shit anymore.

    That being said...I don't want to work around a bunch of yes-men and I especially dislike it when someone tries to coddle me and refrain from saying something that really does need to be addressed for fear of upsetting me. Guys, I know I'm sensitive and that I can get emotional, but I can't help but take it as a grievous insult when I find out I'm being babied. Man the fuck up already and just tell me. Yes, I may get upset and yes I may even cry...but god damn it, TELL ME ANYWAY! You're not doing me any favors being holding out on me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Orobas View Post
    When told a task isnt possible, they will go "well that isnt acceptable, we just need to work on it". Like impossible timelines or seeking to have a product manufactured that requires other products-which arent made yet. They imply that other groups or individuals just arent working hard enough and they refuse to listen when presented with, well, timelines. The answer is that we just need to talk to the other person's boss and it will cause the work to be completed faster

    Is this a default ISFJ stance? That if someone says they cant do something that they are making excuses
    Fuck and no, at least not for me. If I go to a contractor and they tell me that they need X amount of time to finish a task, I kick that back to the owner. If the owner wants it done sooner, I ask the contractor if he can. If he says he can, then I ask him to do his best and we proceed forward. I do however try to caution the owner that something may happen.

    If he says he can't, I relay that back to the owner and if the owner has a problem with it then I either have to find someone who can or tell the owner to pull their head out of their ass and accept reality.

    Quote Originally Posted by Orobas View Post
    In meetings-when asked about status-the updates they provide will be very optimistic or focus on data that doesnt really reflect the state of their group. They will omit things that are bad. Like ten month delays in projects or 500K spent researching project management software or 300% six month turnover in their department. So the departments fester from within, and the surrounding departments can sense it-but up the chain everything seems okay-until it collapses, then they blame other departments...

    Again, it seems they are afraid of disrupting the happiness of the boss??
    Possibly. Again though, this is incredibly stupid and self defeating. I personally would rather have people underestimate me than over estimate me as I'd rather pleasantly surprise someone with my higher than expected standards than disappointment someone with puffed up, unreasonable expectations of me. It serves no productive purpose for me to oversell myself at all and frankly it boggles me when people do this to themselves.

    Quote Originally Posted by Orobas View Post
    Man I dunno, maybe what I am hoping to hear is that this is abnormal behavior and that my guys are nuts.
    How in the hell they managed to wind up as far as they did amazes me. Assuming everything your saying is correct (and please don't take offense but I/m only hearing your side of this story) and then they are certainly acting like REALLY bad managers and your company needs to shift gears fast or it's going to be up the creek without a paddle very quickly.

    I have been guilty personally of many of the things these individuals are doing or have done but I learned through experience VERY QUICKLY how stupid, self-destructive, and/or grossly impractical such behaviors are. Maybe they aren't ISFJs or maybe I'm mistyped...I dunno.

    Also, I apologize if any anger came into this post, but after being on the receiving end of an ass chewing because I tried to pick up the slack for someone else's stupidity more times than I care to count, I have an exceedingly low tolerance for such displays of stupidity in my workplace, particularly from my superiors and most especially from myself.
    "The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it."
    ― Woodrow Wilson

  6. #6
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    hey tinker-I will reply later in more depth-but that's awesome and exactly what I was looking for! No wrries about tone-I enjoy directness and getting insight. thanks

  7. #7
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    how do you know they are isfj?

  8. #8
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ehastin1 View Post
    how do you know they are isfj?
    that was my question

    I have seen ISFJs overpromise. I've wonderwed why and have speculated that it has something to do with 1) telling someone what they want to hear in that moment or 2) maybe they're just not thinking through the logistics of what it's going to take to get something done. I don't have a lot of exposure to ISFJ executives but the ones I know can be a little hard to read.

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  9. #9
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    Meh.

    ISFJ's are whatever they are seen as here, but I often see them in Marketing. And they often have the reprised role of Snake Oil ----. Not always, but I see it often. They (when sucky) are very good at making their actions/intentions appear ethically sound (unlike OP's problem), and it goes from there.

    Meh....

  10. #10
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mysavior View Post
    Meh.

    ISFJ's are whatever they are seen as here, but I often see them in Marketing. And they often have the reprised role of Snake Oil ----. Not always, but I see it often. They (when sucky) are very good at making their actions/intentions appear ethically sound (unlike OP's problem), and it goes from there.

    Meh....
    Well, that may be part of the problem-they really do belive that what they are doing is ethically sound-almost like they cant see that it isnt. That is the really weird part.

    I have been watching two of these guys for about five years. The third joined our company about two years back. They are reporting to a very succinct INTJ with fairly poor people skills-thus everyone fears him a great deal. As in terror. I suspect this plays a huge role in some of the ISFJs behavioral patterns-they are in a defensive mode where they fear being the messenger. It is very sad as if they would just be the messenger the INTJ would respect them enormously. Te/Fe FTW.

    I am 95% certain two of them are ISFJs and about 85% certain regarding the third. They come across as ISXJ very strongly-no question. But they were always sweeter than the standard ISTJ. My company is in a heavily regulated industry thus I have about thirty ISTJs spread across QA. QC, manufacturing and even one in marketing. They can be whiny and goofy but they arent really what I would call sweet? So these guys-with a handful of other guys, were sort of a weird "sweet ISTJ" for the longest time. My ENTP friend was the one who pointed out the use of Fe in these guys-suddenly it was obvious that our "sweet ISTJs" were really ISFJ men using Ti and morphing Fe into a faux Te, to fit in with the STJs.

    They tend to really be good hearted and display very good business accumen and I suspect could do a reasonably good job-but in a high stress, screwed up company like mine, the ISFJs are one of the first types to buckle and start exhibiting some of the traits discussed in the OP. If you hear me complain of Fe-these guys are the ones who are killing me. To be honest for me it a hard situation as my Fi goes-this person is a good person, but my Te goes-they are not good at what they are doing.

    My entp and I started plotting out our company and the ISFJs in general are a bit of a break point. They are typically placed as communication points between NTPs and ISTJs. The NTPs make fun of them, thus silencing their input, and the STJs get angry because the ISFJs keep trying to nice. The STJs also perceive the ISFJs to not be pulling their fair share of work or not be decisive enough or able to work in isolation to complete tasks. They dont understand that the iSFJ is seeking Fe buy-in-thus will keep coming back to the ISTJ until they seem "happy"-which makes the ISTJ more and more annoyed, thus they become more angry. The ISFJ eventually freezes up and will not make any decisions as nothing they do will make anyone "happy". The ISTJs also tend to take on huge amounts of extra work. The ISFJs seem very hesitant to do so-instead trying to functioning in delegation or group mode-thus again emphasizing to the ISTJs that they dont seem able to work independently.

    The ISFJ women can fall into this mode as well, but often they are mixed with ESTPs and ENTPs so dont suffer to the same extent.

    however these guys in executive roles are particularly problematic as they seek to please the INTJ-and I think the INTJ reads them as Fi users-thus he assumes the Fe pleasentness is actually Fi authenticity-so he never questions deeper? He keeps hiring ENFPs as executives (n=3) oddly, so I dunno, he may have some need for emo trust.

    (and yes, I work in what appears to be the third ring of hell, but it does allow for observation of types at their worst. By seeing the worst case scenario interactions, you can track backwards and see much more subtle effects in more healthy relationships)

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