Thursday, May 3

Hey Fletch … You are certified in the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, so let me ask this. As the Senior Pastor, I have an assistant who is an ISTJ. He often says that my instructions are not clear. How can I give better direction?

DRF—In MBTI lingo, the ISTJ is a logical, quiet, hard working, duty fulfiller. At they introduce the person:

The ISTJ personality type is thought to be the most abundant, making up around 13% of the population. Their defining characteristics of integrity, practical logic and tireless dedication to duty make ISTJs a vital core to many families, as well as organizations that uphold traditions, rules and standards, such as law offices, regulatory bodies and military. 

Remember that each person is unique, and yet people share characteristics. The characteristics of most ISTJs make them ideal for guarding traditions, standard operating procedures and following the rules. 

Your strengths are intuition and feelings-values. You are a vision caster and deeply in touch with values. Those are admired by the ISTJ, but not their primary language. Be as concrete and detail-driven as possible with your ISTJ assistant. Spell out what you want and when. Give this person significant work that is standardized, i.e. “every Monday do this, Tuesday I need that done, schedule these meetings every ten days.” ISTJs excel in standard operating procedure. 

Your tendency is to give more abstract directives. For example, you might say “We need a way to make visitors at home in our church.” In your preferred language, that is clear, but not to the ISTJ. What you need to say is, “please research five other churches, get the details and “how to’s” of their hospitality programs, prepare a 5 page report and we will talk about it next Wednesday.” 

By doing this you are speaking the language that the ISTJ understands. You are giving direction that works well with their personality. When you set the “tradition” of what needs to be done, the ISTJ can embody and fulfill your vision.