The Defender personality type is quite unique, as many of their qualities defy the definition of their individual traits. Though sensitive, Defenders have excellent analytical abilities; though reserved, they have well-developed people skills and robust social relationships; and though they are generally a conservative type, Defenders are often receptive to change and new ideas. As with so many things, people with the Defender personality type are more than the sum of their parts, and it is the way they use these strengths that defines who they are.
There’s hardly a better type to make up such a large proportion of the population, nearly 13%. Combining the best of tradition and the desire to do good, Defenders are found in lines of work with a sense of history behind them, such as medicine, academics and charitable social work.
Defender personalities (especially Turbulent ones) are often meticulous to the point of perfectionism, and though they procrastinate, they can always be relied on to get the job done on time. Defenders take their responsibilities personally, consistently going above and beyond, doing everything they can to exceed expectations and delight others, at work and at home.
Supportive– Defenders are the universal helpers, sharing their knowledge, experience, time and energy with anyone who needs it, and all the more so with friends and family. People with this personality type strive for win-win situations, choosing empathy over judgment whenever possible.
Reliable and Patient – Rather than offering sporadic, excited rushes that leave things half finished, Defenders are meticulous and careful, taking a steady approach and bending with the needs of the situation just enough to accomplish their end goals. Defenders not only ensure that things are done to the highest standard, but often go well beyond what is required.
Imaginative and Observant – Defenders are very imaginative, and use this quality as an accessory to empathy, observing others’ emotional states and seeing things from their perspective. With their feet firmly planted on the ground, it is a very practical imagination, though they do find things quite fascinating and inspiring.
Enthusiastic – When the goal is right, Defenders take all this support, reliability and imagination and apply it to something they believe will make a difference in people’s lives – whether fighting poverty with a global initiative or simply making a customer’s day.
Loyal and Hard-Working – Given a little time, this enthusiasm grows into loyalty – Defender personalities often form an emotional attachment to the ideas and organizations they’ve dedicated themselves to. Anything short of meeting their obligations with good, hard work fails their own expectations.
Good Practical Skills – The best part is, Defenders have the practical sense to actually do something with all this altruism. If mundane, routine tasks are what need to be done, Defenders can see the beauty and harmony that they create, because they know that it helps them to care for their friends, family, and anyone else who needs it.
ISFJ – Defender in workplace
Whether subordinates, colleagues or managers, Defenders share the goal of putting good service and dedication above all else. Whether helping customers directly, helping coworkers get projects finished on time or helping teams keep organized and productive, people with the Defender personality type can always be relied on for their kindness and ability to listen to concerns, and to find ways to resolve them. Win-win situations are Defenders’ bread and butter, and no one takes quite the same pleasure in finding satisfying resolutions to day-to-day challenges.
ISFJ – Defender Subordinates
As subordinates, Defenders exemplify the strength of humble dedication. Relied on and respected for their patience and commitment, Defender personalities really only seek one reward for their work: the satisfaction of knowing that whoever they helped feels heartfelt thanks. On the other hand, this humbleness can hold them back – Defenders are quite unwilling to advertise their achievements, often for fear of creating unnecessary friction, which makes it too easy for them to be overlooked when opportunities come along.
Defenders are people of incredible loyalty, often trying to follow favored managers to new positions and locations. This contrasts with their usual feelings on change which, if it compromises their principles (as cutbacks to customer care might), is met with stress and unhappiness. Though perfectly capable of accepting change, Defenders must feel that it’s for the right reasons. If a policy change results in disappointed customers, Defenders take it very personally.
ISFJ – Defender Colleagues
Among their colleagues, people with this personality type seek a frictionless environment, a spirit of friends helping friends to get the job done. Close-knit and supportive teams are what Defenders enjoy most, allowing them to express their altruistic spirit among people who rely on their dedication and warmth. Defenders are natural networkers, but they use this skill to keep things running smoothly, not as a tool for professional advancement.
These qualities can be drawbacks though, as Defenders’ aversion to conflict and desire to help can be abused by less scrupulous colleagues. Instead of only asking help when they need it, some may ask for help when they just don’t feel like working hard, knowing that their Defender colleagues have a hard time saying no. The result is that Defenders can become overburdened and stressed, and it takes a few good workplace friends to put pressure on these less savory characters in order to maintain balance.
ISFJ – Defender Managers
While management isn’t necessarily at the top of Defenders’ list of goals, it is a natural progression as their hard work and good people skills are recognized over the years. Oftentimes they don’t actually enjoy managing others, but this can be one of their greatest strengths – as managers, Defenders are warm, approachable and great listeners. Having no real desire to issue authoritarian dictates from some high tower, Defender personalities prefer to work alongside their subordinates, organizing people and minimizing conflict.
This helps them to create personal relationships with their subordinates, to be friends in the workplace who simply have different sets of responsibilities. While they may be slow to accept some changes, they are great at helping their teams put them into practice once they’ve been agreed on. Defenders may be too sensitive to be fully executive material, but they make exemplary floor and office managers who know what it takes to satisfy their customers.