IAF: Synergizing with Other Gifts

The most effective way to synergize with IAFs is to accept that they do not think like any other MDNA gift. The IAF thinks intuitively and circularly. This means that the IAF will have more “gut feelings” and arrive at decisions in a manner that they may not be able to articulate. Do not write this off. The sense of an IAF, although difficult to track at times, can be highly beneficial. Be patient, answer the questions and learn to trust their vision.

One special technique we have learned from others that a particularly adept with this MDNA is a methodology of questioning that facilitates the IAF’s communication and decision-making process. This involves asking “binary” questions that simplifies the IAF's ability to articulate what they are feeling. To do this, simply present two options, with enough disparity between each, which the IAF can choose from. For example, “Do you feel this proposal needs more information or less?” Or, “Do you think the problem is on our side or their side?” Keep asking these questions until the IAF has enough common vocabulary to articulate a conclusion.

The social dynamics and potential synergies between the IAF and individuals with other gifts are as follows.


This combination requires maturity. The IAF is naturally drawn to the UCD's ability to articulate in a black and white manner. However, professionally the UCD can dominate the IAF and create sub-optimal conditions, stunting the potential for both parties. Therefore the IAF needs an ability that accommodates the UCDÊs blunt black and white approach without being emotionally overwhelmed and feeling insecure.


Can be a finicky combination. The IAF can become overtly focused on vision while disconnecting from pragmatic realities where the SSA prefers to operate. The vision can become too expansive for current resources while the SSA feels the inability to keep up. The IAF needs to accept the short-term task oriented nature of the SSA and adjust the ecosystem accordingly.


Another professionally potent combination. The IAF provides the intuitive framework for the KWR to experience “Aha!” moments. Both can work well together because of the decision-making time each needs. The IAF needs emotional time. The KWR needs rational time.


Working together, the EIA and IAF can produce something of sheer beauty. The EIA cares about presentation; the IAF possesses the ability to deliver the intentional design excellence to fulfill the vision. And where the EIA desires social engagement on a macro level, the IAF provides the balance of socially engaging on a micro level. Organizational culture and community benefit the most. Practically, the IAF is always able to help an EIA with the excellence of presentation for a social impact.


This is another combination that can be difficult to create and maintain. By nature, the IAF requires high levels of social engagement and needs to emotionally process at the same time. The CVS can become somewhat annoyed with this need and perceives it as a waste of valuable time. Personal offense can easily occur. The IAF must remember to manage the return-on-investment expectations of the CVS. The IAF must accept that the CVS always needs options on the table no matter how much the IAF feels “right” about a specific solution of decision.


This combination can be both tedious and delicate. While their strengths draw them to each other, there are major differences that must be reconciled for a healthy co-existence. First, the IAF must understand how linear the DLF thinks. The IAF must also see that the DLF has no issues with people experiencing pain as long as those people are growing. Another area of contention for these two gifts is with emotional blame. As discussed, the DLF is not interested in blame at all. However, the IAF will always carry an emotional burden, assuming that an issue then must be his or her own fault. This renders the IAF ineffective as he or she slides into emotional stubbornness, which frustrates any normal DLF. The IAF must feel secure in his or her subjective worldview, while allowing the DLF's objectivity to clarify current realities and results beyond intentions. It is possible for both perspectives to be complimentary and enhance each party on personal and professional levels.


When multiple IAFs congregate, there is a great deal of mutual empathy and compassion. On one hand, a tight knit group focused on excellence is possible.  On the other, the group can become enablers to each other and collectively settle for mediocrity. While the relational connection is high, there must be a clear focus on reality and results.

NEXT UP: IAF Celebrities >>