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  1. #1

    Default help with an ISFP?

    I'd really appreciate some insight/advice/whatever. I recently started on a new grant and I am having a bit of a hard time with my one and only co-worker (I'm the manager here, so I guess "co-worker" isn't the right term...). I'm an INFJ and he's an ISFP. He's absolutely great at talking to people one-on-one, which is a large part of his job (doing phone interviews), but anything that involves organizational skills, independent thinking, or problem solving seems to require a lot of direction. I think it may be that I'm just not explaining it well...but, of course, what's in my head makes perfect sense to me! I would love some input as to what types of explanations work best for an ISFP...how can I make what needs to be done clear?
    LD

  2. #2
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by laughing dolphin View Post
    I'd really appreciate some insight/advice/whatever. I recently started on a new grant and I am having a bit of a hard time with my one and only co-worker (I'm the manager here, so I guess "co-worker" isn't the right term...). I'm an INFJ and he's an ISFP. He's absolutely great at talking to people one-on-one, which is a large part of his job (doing phone interviews), but anything that involves organizational skills, independent thinking, or problem solving seems to require a lot of direction.
    Oh, gee. Well, you can toss "organizational skills" straight out the window, as a matter of course. Don't expect a lot -- the same phlegmatic, unruffled center of being that makes the ISFP so wonderful to deal with as a human being is the same thing that very much kills their desire and ability to organize. They aren't interested in it, and they don't generally even see a need for it... except to appease someone else who is putting pressure on them to comply.

    Independent thinking and problem-solving are a little better, depending on what sort of problems and thinking you are imagining here. An ISFP will be pragmatic and usually take the path of least resistance and least conflict in solving a problem. That is the preferred solution style -- they want things to remain as low-key and easy-going as possible, with as little energy expenditure and/or rush as possible.

    They can be creative problem solvers but mostly with hands-on things. There seem to be an awful lot of mechanics who are ISFPs, for example. They love to work on their own, they like to fiddle, and they like to tinker and get things up and running. So any time you can sort of "tailor" a problem for them to solve in concrete terms that they can explore and resolve themselves, well, that will help them.

    In terms of independent thinking, well, I am not sure what you are referring to (are you frustrated that he is not adhering to a schedule on his own, or seeing all the things that need to be done and then making sure he does them, or what exactly?) Again, ISFPs often take the past of least resistance and also deal best with what is in front of them. The abstract things are (1) not immediate to them and (2) not able to be manipulated tangibly. They like to react to things and amble along, dealing with problems as they come up; they are not very good planners or anticipators, nor do they generally like to work that way. They like to react to situations.

    If you can clarify anything about the specific problems you are facing with him, that might help a bit.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  3. #3

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    You haven't really given any specifics on the situation, so just in general terms, before you give a directive, think it through; all the relevent points in linear fashion, and make sure it meshes with the 'official' procedures (if there are none, make some) - and be sure that you yourself stick to them. Nothing more annoying to be following a process only to have some scattered-brained higher-up going about the task willy-nilly.

  4. #4
    Senior Member darlets's Avatar
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    Interpretive dance?
    "The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time."
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    They can be creative problem solvers but mostly with hands-on things. There seem to be an awful lot of mechanics who are ISFPs, for example. They love to work on their own, they like to fiddle, and they like to tinker and get things up and running. So any time you can sort of "tailor" a problem for them to solve in concrete terms that they can explore and resolve themselves, well, that will help them.
    Oh, wow...that bit about the hands-on problem-solving is exactly him. He talks all the time about how he is buying old bicycles, taking them apart, refurbishing them and putting them back together. He's very much mechanically inclined...and he seems quite skilled at it.

    I gather that previous research jobs he's had (that's what I do - clinical research) have had him doing just one thing - interviewing. And again, he's really great at that. Thing is, in this job he needs to be able to do what might be considered administrative tasks as well and handle a lot of tasks at once. And that's just not happening.

    And, sundowning, I completely understand what you are saying about having linear, official procedures...I'm trying to figure out how to make things more clear for him... Then again, I work on a government grant at a university - there is no such thing as linear!
    LD

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    shoshaku jushaku rivercrow's Avatar
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    I think Sundowning and Jennifer are bang on. The S:N makes communication very interesting.

    You might also check out the thread on persuading SFs--like this post and this one--for specific suggestions.
    Who rises in the morning, looks in the mirror and says, "I think I will do something stupid today?" -- James Hollis
    If people never did silly things nothing intelligent would ever get done. -- Ludwig Wittgenstein
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  7. #7
    Senior Member darlets's Avatar
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    I take it getting an SJ to do that for him is out of the question?
    Can you get someone else involved? Maybe someone will trade you some SJness of one of their staff for his cool interviewing ability.

    People have tried to make me more "structured" but it only last a few days and I end up doing it my way regardless.
    "The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time."
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    http://rayofsolar.blogspot.com/
    http://zeropointseven.blogspot.com/

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by darlets View Post
    I take it getting an SJ to do that for him is out of the question?
    Can you get someone else involved? Maybe someone will trade you some SJness of one of their staff for his cool interviewing ability.

    People have tried to make me more "structured" but it only last a few days and I end up doing it my way regardless.
    I wish there was someone else to help out - but it's just the two of us working on this study. The tasks I thought I would be able to just hand over seem to be too much for him...and I'm really trying to avoid a situation where I just do it myself and feel resentful (I'm pretty much there now, to be honest, and he's such a nice guy, I really don't want to get to the point where he drives me nuts and I misplace my mind...)
    LD

  9. #9
    Senior Member darlets's Avatar
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    suckage.

    What research are you doing?

    My only suggestion would be, a little off the wall, but find out if his a morning/evening person. Typically people have "prime" work hours and are more willing to do what they precieve as secondary tasks outside of them.

    I do most of my work in the morning and my admin crap in the afternoon.
    my night owl friend does the opposite. (Actually he peaks at about 7:30 pm which means his work misses out on his brains peak performance)

    Maybe even attempt to do some of the admin work together as a pair to start.

    Failing that, bribe him with Choc Chips muffins.
    "The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time."
    Bertrand Russell

    http://rayofsolar.blogspot.com/
    http://zeropointseven.blogspot.com/

  10. #10

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    This project is a study of long-term outcomes in pediatric epilepsy patients. It had already been going for 13 years by the time my co-worker and I stepped onboard a few months ago. There was no overlap between the previous research team and us, so we're basically having to figure things out as we go. Fun! I think that's a big part of my problem here - I know I need to try to structure things for my co-worker, but I'm still trying to figure everything out myself!

    As far as the morning/evening person thing goes, we're lucky in that this job has a flexible schedule. It has to be flexible because our study patient contact is all over the phone and we are to call people at their convenience. (And while that sounds great in theory, personally I find it maddening because it seems like work is never done. We always have a stack of calls we each have to make, people it's hard to reach and who just stay in the ever-present to-do pile... I think you can imagine that, having pretty strong J, this drives me nuts...)

    My co-worker and I did have a good talk today though. We talked about some of the difficulties we've been having doing the patient calls (and shared some particularly positive interactions we'd had as well), I spelled out what I see us needing to accomplish next week and exactly on which day I see us doing what, and I asked him what I could do to help him. He did say that he finds it really helpful when I give him lists and tell him exactly what I need, so I will do that.

    I still hold out hope that, once we've been doing this for a while, it will all be second nature and we will work like a well-oiled research machine!

    LD

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