Over the years, I have taken the Myers-Briggs Type Indictor test several times and I continually come up with an INTJ personality type. Successful projects need good communication and teamwork to make things happen, but sometimes that is not an INTJ’s strong suit. Today I am going to give some insight into this INTJ developer’s thoughts about small talk and perhaps some tips for managers on how you might be able to get more out of an INTJ developer like me.
What an INTJ developer wants
As an INTJ developer, in most communications, I want to get to the goal as efficiently and quickly as possible. I want to get to the point. My initial instinct is to get through all of the niceties, side talk, and nonsense to get what I need to accomplish things. I think there is great value in this. Give me a goal, the tools I need and let me get there, because I will… or at least I will try my darndest.
INTJ developer challenges
I think I have recognized as an INTJ developer, it is one of my responsibilities (and challenges) to do my best to understand that sometimes good results can come from interactions that I might see as unnecessary at the time. I might need to slow down and allow something to take shape. Sometimes, small talk ends up being something more. My idea of getting from point A to point B is a straight line, but the very best solution sometimes, not always, will come from things that lead us off the beaten path.
In most groups, I don’t think it will ever be easy for me, or many INTJ developers, to not try to drive a meeting forward so that I can get back to the tasks at hand. I sometimes tend to zone out of a meeting and disappear into what I might consider more important work. I also actively recognize this as a flaw and work to engage in discussions more, as some really great things can come from organic discovery.
How can you get more out of us
If you are working with an INTJ developer, one way that you can help get the most out of me is to give us the efficiency we want. As an example, if I go to an Agile stand up, I don’t want it to be a willy nilly, unstructured, stare fest that lasts 30 minutes and accomplishes what could be accomplished in 10 minutes. I want it to be a stand up. Standing up. What I did… what I am doing… any obstacles. Brief conversation if needed, but anything of bulk should be discussed afterwards with the appropriate people. Help keep the small talk to before and after a meeting. If you are running a meeting, help make it move forward.
Small talk is not an INTJ developers’ friend, but sometimes it can lead to interesting, and useful, discussions or revelations. We, as INTJ developers, tend to want to get to the goal with the best solution as efficiently as possible. I believe if INTJ developers worked a little harder to embrace small talk and managers worked a bit harder to be efficient in small talk, we can get to a better place.