"ISTP" Themes and Relationships

By Linda V. Berens Ph.D. and Dario Nardi Ph.D.

Personality Type:    ISTP - Analyzer Operator
Temperament:   Improvisor (SP)
Interaction Style*:    Chart-the-Course
Likely Social Style: Analytic

How to use this Personality Type Description

ISTP Snapshot

  • Theme is action-driven problem solving.
  • Talents lie in operating all kinds of tools and instruments and using frameworks for solving problems.
  • Keen observers of the environment, they are a storehouse of data and facts relevant to analyzing and solving problems.
  • Thrive on challenging situations and having the freedom to craft clever solutions and do whatever it takes to fix things and make them work.
  • Take pride in their skill and virtuosity, which they seem to effortlessly acquire.

Themes and Relationships
for each Personality Type
by Linda V. Berens, Ph.D.
and Dario Nardi, Ph.D.**


ISTP Theme

For Analyzer Operators, life is a process of actively solving problems. They enjoy observing how things work, figuring out the best way to solve whatever problem is at hand. That problem might be as basic as fixing something broken or as extensive as heart surgery or starting a business. They have a talent for figuring out what tools to use and the best approach to take to accomplish something. They want to do it so it works the first time and hate having to rework something.

They need to be independent, to do things on their own or to be free to not do them. To not have the freedom to act on their hunches or intuitions is a fate worse than death since it means not using their tactical, problem-solving talent.

Naturally curious, they seek to understand a situation, frequently analyzing and taking things apart to figure out how they work. Then they quickly grasp the most expedient solution, one that will fix it. Once they figure out the immediate next step, they want to move on it, see what happens, and then move on to the next challenge. Others see the fearless, just-do-it attitude and miss the analysis behind the scenes.

Their thought processes tend to be analytical and observational. They quickly scan the environment for inconsistencies, changes, and new information. Then they adapt and work around whatever obstacles appear. And they rarely work on just one thing at a time. No theory or explanation is accepted as the “truth” as there are always more discoveries to make, ways to do it better. They enjoy sharing those discoveries, showing others the techniques that work and the shortcuts that keep things simple. They don’t like change just for change sake, but they do like variety.

In the interpersonal arena, they like to help people solve problems and frequently are called on for help in fixing things. They engage more by doing things with those they care about than by expressions of feeling.

For the most part, they go to great lengths to keep situations on an even keel, to not offend. They sometimes absorb emotional experiences that can often have a very powerful effect on them. This can be unsettling until they can detach enough to figure it all out.

ISTP Relationships

For Analyzer Operators, relationships are about taking action. Relationships often center on problem solving, and solving problems for others is how they show they care. They want to feel pride in doing something concrete for the other person, doing whatever uses their talents. They often feel a need to feel smart, and they admire people who are smart. Generally, they are very independent and will resist outside direction, wanting to do things the way they’ve figured out is the best way. They know how to do it, don’t want others to tell them how, and can be critical and sarcastic if overdirected. If they don’t feel trapped, they’ll stick with the relationship and can be very loyal. Unlike in other aspects of their lives, they like having a routine in relationships. Establishing a relationship can take a lot of energy, so once it’s done, it can take a lot of energy to change it. They want the other person to be straightforward with them in communication.

In their close relationships, they are generally good providers and helpmates. They prefer to be with people who share their interests or else allow them to “do their own thing.” They don’t like to talk through interpersonal problems in terms of their feelings. Displays of strong emotions can be taken very seriously and then overwhelm them. Sitting down and talking out their emotions makes them feel trapped. They show how they care more through their actions than their words.

This concludes "Themes and Relationships for ISTP,"
A Personality Type Description.

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**The Personality Type Description shown above is wholly owned and copyrighted by the authors Linda V. Berens Ph.D. and Dario Nardi Ph.D. and is used herein with their permission.

For a complete set of Personality Type Descriptions by Linda V. Berens and Dario Nardi please see: "The 16 Sixteen Personality Types - Descriptions for Self-Discovery"

*Interaction Styles as developed by Linda Berens, is a powerful lens with which to better understand people. For a complete understanding of Interaction Styles see:
"Understanding Yourself and Others, An Introduction to Interaction Styles"

Practitioners, Organizational Development Consultants, HR Managers, Leadership and Teamwork Trainers,
click here for professional level training by Linda Berens in:
Interaction Styles, Temperament, and Personality Type