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16 Reasons Why INFJs Are Very Likely To Be Highly Successful

16 Reasons Why INFJs Are Very Likely To Be Highly Successful

Learning I was an INFJ (the personality type—introverted intuitive feeling judging) was one of the biggest lessons I learned about myself last year. As the Greek saying goes: Know thyself. I found being aware of my personality type (and the specific traits that come with it) made a huge difference in terms of how I approached life, work, and relationships.

Did you recently find out you’re an INFJ, too? Or have you known all along? Either way, chances are that your very rare and special personality type will get you far in life.

Here are 16 reasons why INFJs are very likely to go on to be highly successful people.

1. They are great thinkers

I’m pretty sure most of the ancient Greek philosophers, like Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, were INFJs. They are great at contemplating and really think through everything from start to finish, considering every possible angle. In their mind, they leave no stone unturned before making a decision. Since they are great at thinking, they naturally spend a lot of time doing it (which probably explains the long discussions about the meaning of life I have every other day with my roommate), which puts them at an advantage in business as well.

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2. They are innovators

Their intuition is directed inwards, which means their mind makes a lot of mental connections and recognizes patterns and trends, even when they don’t realize it. This helps INFJs come up with new ideas and solutions to problems just by trusting their instinct of what applies in the real world, because they’re usually right.

3. They love helping people change

INFJs are a rare kind of personality type, which is sad, because they are always looking for ways to help the greater good. They want to see their work make real impacts and transform other people’s lives, which is also the reason why this personality type is often nicknamed counselor or confidant. Since INFJs are able to create an environment that supports sharing one’s feelings and have a knack for helping others through tough times by listening and offering advice, they encourage others to change for the better wherever they can.

4. They can settle disputes easily

Their diplomatic nature makes them shy away from conflicts and try to avoid them as much as possible. That doesn’t stop them from taking initiative though. INFJs shine when it comes to mediating between different parties and when they’re part of the equation, disputes are usually solved very quickly (and to the satisfaction of all parties involved).

5. They build strong connections with people

While they don’t like having lots of people around them, INFJs build much deeper connections than most of their peers. Since they are really picky when it comes to choosing friends and partners, they make sure they really get to know a person. Once they find someone who’s trustworthy and just as good of a confidant as they are, they form strong bonds  which usually last for a lifetime. As the old boy scout saying goes: Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, the other is gold.

6. They like to share their insights

INFJs have a strong desire to be heard. Ever since I started digital coaching, I noticed I get chills when one of my clients reports back to me that they implemented my advice and it worked. I love giving advice, but only to those I trust, sharing what I’ve learned and then seeing my lessons being applied by others. If you’re an INFJ, you’re probably addicted to this feeling too. This is surely one of the better addictions to have if you want to be successful.

7. They consider all possible options

They make decisions quickly, but never lightheartedly. Since INFJs are very strategic and tend to plan ahead a lot, they make sure to consider all possibilities and think of unconventional solutions before picking a path to move on with. This is crucial for success in life, because this helps them avoid opportunity cost (time lost due to choosing one option over the other) and pick better options than most people.

8. They do well at evaluating risks

INFJs do a tremendous job at evaluating risks beforehand. They are decision-makers, and therefore need to minimize risks wherever possible. Lucky for them, they gauge risks well, which means they neither underestimate big changes, nor blow tiny risks out of proportion. This helps them take enough risks to move forward and be innovative, but they don’t leap at every opportunity that might turn into the next horror story in the news.

9. They trust their gut

There is something about INFJs that lets them subconsciously pick up symbols, signs, and the forces at play. So when a time comes to instinctively decide what to do, they have already made up their mind — without even knowing it. Their gut tells what to do, to trust those signs and, good for them, they listen! A somewhat unfortunate side effect of this trait is that they often feel like they don’t belong in the corporate world, since they are always striving to follow their hearts.

10. They plan ahead

Whatever an INFJ takes into his or her hands, while it might not go perfectly, it’ll never fall flat on its face. Why? Planning. They always plan ahead. It makes perfect sense for INFJs to do so, since it lets them play out some of their other core strengths: creativity, considering options, thinking, and then making a decision.

11. Their working style is very structured

The desk is cluttered, the closet looks like a war zone, and the cat went right next to the litter box again? Nope, no way, not with an INFJ. They keep things organized, both at home and at work. They love to use to-do lists, some form of project management system, milestones, deadlines and other productivity tools, to make sure they focus on what matters.

12. They are creative

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying: “Think outside the box.” Well, INFJs think like there is no box. The sky’s the limit and when they dream, they dream big. They are not inhibited by limiting beliefs about what’s possible and that’s why they are able to challenge the status quo.

13. They love to read

Being introverts, most INFJs can think back to a childhood where they were surrounded by books. Packed bookshelves, Kindles, and several library passes are the norm rather than the exception. Have you ever met a successful person who didn’t read a lot? I haven’t. INFJs are definitely on the right track here.

14. They show empathy

Why do INFJs like books so much? Because they can really put themselves into the author’s shoes. Their empathy allows them to not only tolerate, but to really understand other peoples’ emotions and reactions, which is a trait known to be an important quality of successful people.

15. They finish what they start

INFJs are great at planning, but they also don’t fall short when it comes to executing that plan. When they believe what they are doing is the right thing to do, nothing can stop them from accomplishing it.

16. They defy the odds

Did you know that only 1% of the population are INFJs? With 1.5% of all women and 0.5% of all men being INFJs, this is by far the rarest personality type. This means they defy the odds in everything — and isn’t that something all of the world’s most successful people do?

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via 666a658c624a3c03a6b2-25cda059d975d2f318c03e90bcf17c40.r92.cf1.rackcdn.com

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Published on May 18, 2021

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

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Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

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Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

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Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

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This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

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Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

More Tips Improving Listening Skills

Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

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