An extroverted intuitor talking with an introverted intuitor at work

Everyone uses intuition to some degree. People who use intuition pay attention to their impressions and are able to decipher meaning from patterns of information.

Someone who prefers iNtuition has learned to think through data and patterns in order to discover new possibilities for the future. Often, those with strong iNtuition enjoy working with symbols and abstract theories — even if they can’t immediately apply their understanding. A person who is high in iNtuition usually remembers general impressions of events rather than the specific details Sensors are able to recall. These individuals are great at seeing “big picture” implications and strategies for your business.

However, not all intuiting is the same. A person’s overall preference for Extroversion or Introversion makes a difference in the way iNtuition functions. Knowing the differences will enable you to unleash these team members’ full potential within your company.

Introverted iNtuition

A person who uses introverted intuition doesn’t need data to know what’s likely to happen next. This type of person can visualize the effects of change before your company or team has even made a pivot. A good manager will want to get these team members’ input before changing direction.

Internal World INtuition

Those who direct their iNtuition function inwardly are rare. While they make up 35% of the population, only 8% of the population use it as their primary or secondary preference. This means that only about 2 out of every 25 people you interact with will draw on this function frequently enough for it to be observed in their behavior.

The INFJ and INTJ choose Introverted iNtuition as their dominant preference, while the ENFJ and ENTJ use it to support their Feeling and Thinking functions respectively. The ISFP, ISTP, ESFP, and ESTP also possess Introverted iNtuition, but it does not often impact their behavior.

How Introverted iNtuition Functions on a Team

When a person introverts their iNtuition, they naturally drive toward a consistency of ideas or thoughts within their internal framework. They trust bursts of the unconscious. This is known as “going with your gut” or following a “gut feeling.” These bursts, however, are often hard for others to understand because they are connected to the person’s internal framework — their perspective and values — rather than tangible data from the environment or situation.

Introverted iNtuition frequently involves integrating ideas or concepts that may not initially seem to fit together. This integration opens the door to even more connections and possibilities.

You have probably experienced this yourself in a meeting. It’s that moment when someone gets very quiet. It may even seem that they have disengaged until suddenly there is a burst of “Aha! I’ve got it!”

Once they have connected their ideas to their internal framework, the person who exhibits Introverted iNtuition has confidence that demands action or application. This helps them focus on fulfilling their vision of the future and is often based on unforeseen trends or signs. This process can involve complex concepts or systems of thinking, or it may include creating symbolic ways of understanding vast, universal concepts. So it is probably no surprise to spot those who prefer introverted iNtuition as their dominant or auxiliary functions at the tops of organizations where the big picture, strategizing, problem-solving, out-of-the-box thinking, future-oriented direction setting takes place.

The key with those who display introverted iNtuition is to place them in roles where they can truly exercise their gifts – where their visionary, big-picture, futuristic planning is a benefit and not a frustration in the workplace.

Extroverted iNtuition

External World iNtuition

Those who direct their iNtuition function outwardly make up the other 65% of the population, with 19% using it as their primary or secondary preference. This means that roughly 1 out of every 5 people you interact with will draw on this function frequently enough for it to be observed in their behavior.

The ENFP and ENTP choose extroverted iNtuition as their dominant preference, while the INFP and INTP use it to support their Feeling and Thinking functions respectively. The ESTJ, ESFJ, ISFJ and ISTJ also possess extroverted iNtuition, but it does not often impact their behavior.

How Extroverted iNtuition Functions on a Team

Extroverted iNtuition helps people see the possibilities in the external world. These types also trust those bursts of unconscious — or “going with their gut” — but in a way that they can explain to others.

This is because extroverting iNtuitors are able to notice hidden meanings and interpret them. They entertain all sorts of possible interpretations that could come from just one idea and can see each interpretation as its own possible reality. Using this process, they are able to juggle different ideas, beliefs, or meanings and hold them all as “true” at the same time.

Once a common thought “thread” surfaces between these different interpretations of the same idea, the extroverted iNtuitor weaves them all together to form a strategy. When the strategy emerges, the extroverted iNtuitor runs with it.

People who direct their iNtuition outwardly appreciate and enjoy brainstorming. Therefore, they are very productive in these types of meetings. As children, they probably enjoyed imaginative play, and as adults in the workforce, they enjoy running scenarios and role-playing.

The thought process of extroverted iNtuition provides the ability to think and explore across multiple contexts. These team members excel at activating people and shaping situations. Often, you can find extroverted iNtuitors among authors, filmmakers, journalists, artists, philosophers, and inventors. Make sure you provide these types with a creative outlet to use their gifts.

What About Your Team?

Here are some key takeaways from this article:

  • If someone on your team uses introverted iNtuition in their thought process, they may not always be able to explain how they reached a conclusion because of their complicated internal framework — but this does not mean their conclusion can’t be trusted.
  • Your team members who use extroverted iNtuition might be better at explaining how they reached a certain conclusion and how their puzzle pieces fit together.
  • Both types excel at integrating ideas and fitting puzzle pieces together. They just have different ways of going about it.

Now that you understand the two basic ways of taking in information and the differences between applying the function outwardly or inwardly, you’re ready to look at the two basic ways everyone makes decisions.

Do you know which members of your team are introverted iNtuitors and extroverted iNtuitors? It only takes 15 minutes to find out with the MAP.