I recently met with a Life Coach named Lisa who specializes in leadership development, and she challenged my perception that I am an INTJ. Although a person’s Myers-Briggs personality type supposedly doesn’t change over time, Lisa pointed out that we may or may not develop according to our natural preferences based on how we were raised. We learn adaptive behaviors according to our environment and may forsake our core preferences.
Although plenty of people have claimed I have no heart or feelings, Lisa believes I may actually be an INFJ – someone who makes decisions based on emotions and how people would be affected. “INFJs find it easy to make connections with others, and have a talent for warm, sensitive language, speaking in human terms, rather than with pure logic and fact.” She thinks I could naturally be an INFJ at my core who developed coping mechanisms as an INTJ due to my military upbringing and chosen career path of engineering.
Lisa wrote to me last week:
You are very quick to make distinctions and identify aspects of yourself. I am leaning with the possibility that you are most naturally INTJ, with a keen self-awareness that there’s value for you to develop your ‘F’ side… If NT is your dominant temperament, you are waaayy ahead of the curve compared to other NTs. Most of my clients are NT, and they don’t appreciate this until they’re well into their late 40s and early 50s… Give yourself some bonus points for your high level of self-awareness and your commitment to be the best you can be.
Lisa also partners with another woman who does Brain Dominance assessments, examining whether we are more Right-brained or Left-brained, as well as differentiating between Frontal and Basal quadrants. Her assessment of me:
Although I believe your natural preference is most likely Frontal Right [which is the pattern of an artist]… you are quite capable in all of the four thinking styles – unusual, especially for someone your age.
Nice to have it confirmed that I don’t fit the mold… and also that my decision to switch careers is well founded, based on my potentially suppressed natural preferences and talents. I have the heart of an artist and the brain of an engineer – a double-edged sword, to be sure.