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In this episode Joel and Antonia dive deep into the needs and desires of the ISTJ personality type.

In this podcast on the ISTJ personality type you’ll find:

We recommend listening to the ISFJ podcast and the Sensing podcast as a reference.

We also use the Car Model to go through the Cognitive Function stack – These are the parts of our minds that influence our personality the most.

The ISTJ driver process is Introverted Sensing, which we have nicknamed “Memory.”

  • Memory is a learning sensing process. It’s about what has been proven to be reliable based on past experiences and post processing information. Absorbing info then figuring out what that info means over time. It involves comparing and contrasting internal and external experiences and creating metrics.
  • Unlike ISFJs that pair memory with a Feeling process, ISTJs pair it with a Thinking process. Where ISFJs think about how people are impacting their experience, ISTJs think about how systems are affecting them.

The co-pilot process is Extraverted Thinking, which we have nicknamed “Effectiveness.”

  • Effectiveness helps ISTJs get things done in a set order. It helps them see the steps that will put them on the right trajectory in the external world.
  • The strength of an ISTJ is project management, understanding the sequence of steps to make things happen from start to finish. Their strength is building a system and procedures that will keep that system running efficiently.
  • Their superpower is bringing order to chaos. They need a lot of lead time to think things through, but once they get something they want to be left alone to implement their ideas. They want to be reliable and want to rely on other people.
  • Initially they are very careful and go by the book when learning a process or job. Then after they are more comfortable with the process, they tend to bend the rules to optimize the outcome.

ISTJs 10-year-old process is Introverted Feeling, which we have nicknamed “Authenticity.”

  • As an Introvert, ISTJs can skip past Effectiveness and go to their less developed function of Authenticity.
  • If ISTJs use Authenticity in a defensive position, they stop thinking about what is efficient and start obsessing about how things are impacting them and their ego.
  • In a defensive position, an ISTJ can go overboard on perfectionism and be sensitive to criticism. Their actions will show they don’t want to be questioned or receive feedback that they are doing something wrong. (ISTJs are among the most Introverted of all the Introverted types.)
  • To overcome this, an ISTJ can think about where they can become better skilled at communicating ideas to other people and not impute wrong motives to others. Ask “Where did the system fail?”
  • Authenticity for an ISTJ can show up as only wanting to deal or do business with people who share similar ideals, thereby excluding those who are considered outsiders.
  • Get out of the 10-year-old process and back into Effectiveness, which will allow the ISTJ to open up to new ideas and hold space for what’s working, instead of getting hung up over what is different.

ISTJs 3-year-old process is Extraverted Intuition, which we have nicknamed “Exploration.”

  • Exploration requires an openness to novelty. Anyone using Exploration in a healthy way will hold more space for what’s new.
  • For anyone who wants to feel in control of the world, novelty can be an easy place to feel threatened and react defensively.
  • A better way to feel empowered is to ask “What works?” in any given situation. It allows the Effectiveness user to take back their power by affecting change and creating the world they want to live in.
  • Going to Effectiveness will help the ISTJ feel like they have a container of safety that will allow them to relax and have fun.
  • ISTJs can express quirky sense of humor and feel free to banter and be playful.

Female ISTJs are in a unique situation because they aren’t the typical Feeler female. They still need to rely upon that Effectiveness process to control their world.

If we are developing our co-pilot we can bring the 10-year-old into the equation in a healthy way. Use Authenticity to express kindness or support when in the service of the co-pilot.

In this episode Joel and Antonia dive deep into the needs and desires of the ISTJ personality type. #podcast #ISTJ #MBTI

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  • Karen Godin
    • Karen Godin
    • May 1, 2022 at 2:19 am

    Thanks for the podcast. Most of it was spot on for me. I think because my Dad was so direct, I am not like that because I see how it hurts others. I do struggle with wanting friendships but then hate all the work it takes so I just have a few close friends. I also relate to being a rule follower then improving the rules as I learn the process. It does make me crazy when people ignore the rules.

  • Karen
    • Karen
    • November 26, 2020 at 8:22 pm

    This is me!!! I am often perceived as cold and aloof when in reality I am assessing a situation or surroundings. My feelings have been hurt so many times because people don’t “get me.” I was always very efficient at my job to the point that when I retired they hired 3 people to do the job I had done by myself for 10 years. Thank you for the podcast

  • C. L.
    • C. L.
    • October 4, 2020 at 3:21 pm

    Listening to this podcast was a fantastic experience. I recognized myself – strengths as well as weaknesses. And I laughed out loud at the ISTJ Aunt Chris who was called “Frank” by other family members due to her directness. I identified with that 100%. Also appreciated the explanation re: how INFJ and INTJ host and plan events differently, events that are equally memorable and enjoyable for their guests.

  • Clare
    • Clare
    • July 29, 2020 at 1:39 pm

    I loved this podcast – thanks so much Antonia and Joel.
    Everything you said resonated with me on a personal level. Particular the part about receiving criticism. I think this is the thing I struggle with the most as an ISTJ, because as you say it makes me feel personally attacked, even when I know it’s not.

  • Marian
    • Marian
    • May 10, 2020 at 11:10 pm

    This podcast was a real eye-opener for me. I was in the military for many years and my personality worked well the majority of the time! I was seen as efficient and someone who got the job done effectively. Promotions came in some instances quickly and I retired at the highest rank for an enlisted woman. However I have realized for many years that what worked well in the military has not been received well at times in private life. I am seen as cold, abrupt and unfriendly UNTIL a person gets to know me. Then their view of me and their attitude toward me changes. Now they think that my personality is a result of my time in the military. Friends have “explained” my personality to others as “she’s like that cause she was in the military for 20 years and then she was a teacher for years. Once you get to know her, you’ll like her.” Weird to me. Thanks for helping me see after all these years that I am not abnormal. I have always felt like I was misunderstood. Now I understand why. Again thanks to both of you!

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