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ISTP Communication Skills

ISTPs are open and straightforward in their communication. They tend to observe the rules and communication norms of their social milieu. However, they may have difficulty establishing a good relationship with people that they consider to be overly demanding.

ISTPs feel ill at ease in situations requiring finer people skills e.g. particular tactfulness and consideration. Some people may be offended by the ISTPs' direct manner of expressing their opinions.

ISTPs often find it hard to express themselves when it comes to finer feelings. So, for instance, the discussion of love, lyric poetry or subtleties of emotional experiences may not evoke a strong reaction from them.

ISTPs often have many friends and acquaintances, with whom they discuss practical measures and actions to address day-to-day issues.

An ISTP's business communication is likely to be focused on the solution of tangible, current issues, which often involve an exchange of opinions and practical solutions. Most of their contacts are people who belong to the same sensing/thinking typological group (ST).

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ISTP: Strategies for Successful Communication

ISTPs are often rather communicative with others of the sensing/thinking (ST) personality types, including ESTJ, ISTJ, ESTP, and ISTP. These types tend to keep to communication revolving around facts and their direct implications. ISTPs find it easy to share their experience and observations with such people, and are in turn receptive to the experiences and opinions of other STs.

ISTPs should communicate with intuitive/thinking (NT) personality types including ENTJ, INTJ, ENTP, and INTP somewhat differently. In their interaction with people of this group ISTPs should stick to conceptual and logic-based communication. ISTPs occasionally have to struggle to find reasoning that resonates well with the NTs, and will thus often either try to keep their communication brief, or restrict conversation topics to technical and practical matters, which both parties can understand.

There are also certain nuances to how ISTPs should communicate with sensing/feeling (SF) personality types, including ESFJ, ISFJ, ESFP, and ISFP. ISTPs should strive to keep their communication with people of this group to discussion of concrete experience. This kind of communication is easy to engage in for both parties. However, some individuals of the ISTP type find it difficult to discuss feelings, which is often exactly what those of the SF types wish to discuss.

ISTPs find it the most challenging to communicate with intuitive/feeling (NF) personality types, including ENFJ, INFJ, ENFP, and INFP. ISTPs should emphasize concepts, ideas, and feelings in their interaction with individuals of these types. However, ISTPs find it rather difficult to lead a conversation in this manner. They have to struggle to find reasoning that resonates well with the NFs, and thus often try to keep their communication brief. In order to establish a level of discussion that both parties will find acceptable, an ISTP has to tune into the communicative style compatible with the NF types in advance.

 How to determine which personality type group another person belongs to?

What helps successful communication for an ISTP:

  • the topic deals with aspects of practical solutions
  • the topic mostly deals with concrete, current issues
  • the discussion deals with functional specifics
  • the topic demands that effective measures be taken

What hinders successful communication for an ISTP:

  • the topic largely relates to abstract and theoretical issues
  • the discussion deals with finer feelings
  • the communication is with NF people

Read more about communication strategies »

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