Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging—even the labels don’t make you sound so friendly. And let’s be honest, you probably aren’t going to win any prizes for being the office joker anytime soon.
As an INTJ, you’re known as the Mastermind. Your quest is to understand your subject completely while exploring all the myriad of patterns and possibilities that go with it. You think logically, deeply and with razor-sharp, inward-facing focus. You solve problems like a boss. You’re decisive, ambitious and startlingly curious, but you also don't suffer fools gladly. Intellectual superiority comes with the territory when you’re such an expert in your field.
The problem is, your coworkers don’t know you most of the time. Worse, they perceive you as blunt, cold and arrogant.
Since your career success depends on your ability to build relationships, you’re going to have to prove your doubters wrong. Fortunately, you possess all the qualities you need to lubricate the wheels of social interaction and become thoroughly likeable in the eyes of your co-workers. Here’s how:
Vulnerability may seem completely at odds with an INTJ’s relentless pursuit of knowledge. But in fact, you are very aware of your own limitations and will openly admit when you don’t have an answer. It is only on those subjects that you have studied at great length that you, an INTJ, will express confidence in your views.
As an INTJ, you don’t engage in one-upmanship. You are willing to own up to your mistakes and this is a likeable quality. What’s more, you are so confident in the things you do know, you’re not afraid to look silly about the things you don’t (though you will try to plug those skills gaps, stat). While some of your colleagues will be temporarily dazzled by the self-aggrandizing bravado of the ESFPs or ENTJs in your team, they ultimately will come to appreciate your quiet self-confidence and genuine nature.
Give Your Sense of Humor Free Rein
The typical INTJ is drawn to dry, nihilistic humor— the sort Seinfeld threw out when he mused about the idiosyncrasies of life and perfectly captured the significance of the insignificant. But INTJs don’t just receive humor; they’re pretty good at dishing it out, too.
Humor is based on irony, and irony is based on viewing something from a unique and discordant angle, something that INTJs are particularly good at. It’s therefore likely that you possess a deadpan wit that coworkers may regard as quirky and appealing. Next time you’re talking with colleagues, inject a little ad-hoc humor into the conversation. You may be surprised at the power it has to win friends and influence people.
Ask Open-Ended Questions
While you hate idle gossip (it’s a waste of time), you instinctively ask open-ended questions that your conversation partner can answer in a thoughtful, introspective way. After all, you know what you know, but you also want to know what the other person knows. It’s all part of your desire to seek out new ideas and fresh perspectives, and on that particular quest, everything is open to debate.
Is asking open-ended questions a good thing? Absolutely. Open-ended questions get the other people to talk candidly about themselves. In doing so, they will feel like the most interesting person in the world—and they will like you better for making them feel that way.
Treat Everyone With Equal Respect
Treating everyone with respect comes instinctively to INTJs, who are very skeptical of titles, qualifications and any other type of unmerited authority. Because they reserve their respect for those that earn it, everyone starts on an equal footing.
The fact that you treat the intern the same as the CEO will go down well with most people. Simply use that amazing brain to recall the small details, like remembering the name of your coworker’s dog, and you instantly will make them feel a little prouder and a little better about themselves. And that, INTJ, makes them feel better about you.
So there you have it—four ways to boost your popularity with coworkers. What strategies have helped you connect with co-workers?