ENTJs are generally confident, outgoing individuals who enjoy nothing more than using their thinking skills to shape the world about them. ENTJs are not content, however, with simply keeping things ticking over just as they are. What really motivates them is progress and improvement.
This desire to improve and reform comes from the fact that ENTJs are intuitives. They are naturally drawn to the big picture and instinctively look for possibilities. Like all extraverts with a preference for intuition, ENTJs have a strong need to innovate and they like to promote and initiate change.
ENTJs tend to use their intuition when they are in introvert mode. They are much more comfortable with generating ideas in their heads and have little need to toss ideas around with others. This is a marked difference between ENTJs and ENTPs.
ENTJs’ first preference, however, is for thinking and they use this in their outer world. They are particularly skilled at prioritising, analysing pros and cons or dissecting the worth of ideas with razor sharp precision. Clearly ENTJs’ skill at integrating insights in ways which makes them logical and usable are often important in their chosen careers.
But even in everyday conversation ENTJs’ love of thinking comes through. For example, after some general discussion ENTJs will naturally try to draw lessons or conclusions from what’s being said. This is often prefaced by the word “so” and is followed by some remarks which bring that part of the conversation to a conclusion in some way.
ENTJs often speak as if they are negotiating their way from one logical stepping stone to another or joining imaginary dots. Because this not a common way for people to talk and because it can be difficult for other types to keep up with them on this logical journey, ENTJs often take account of this fact in their conversation. They abhor the idea of having to repeat themselves so as they express each logical thought they say “right?” or “yes?” and get acknowledgement from the person before moving on to the next step. Some may misinterpret this as a need for agreement when it is simply the ENTJ’s desire to ensure that their thought process is fully understood.
As logical thinkers with a need to innovate, ENTJs are the most strategic of all the types. They enjoy identifying what needs to be done to improve things, designing the strategy, and then marshalling and directing the resources and the people to achieve. This is why many ENTJs are attracted to leadership positions.
Real, tangible progress is important to ENTJs. They are not interested in debate or discussion for the sake of it as they have a need to know their efforts are actually delivering results. As TJs they find it easy to keep their focus on being organised but like all NJ types their lack of attention to practical detail can mean their organisation falls apart slightly at the seams. They could misread their diary, for example, or pick up the wrong documents.
ENTJs are very people oriented. They know they cannot achieve things on their own and their improvement programmes are generally designed to enhance life in some way for people. They often have strong principles which they adhere to. They are also naturally drawn to empowerment and mentoring. They have no need to keep others dependent on them and want to see them grow and develop. Apart from anything else this then frees up the ENTJs’ time for more innovative work. In most of their dealings with people, ENTJs are cheerful and optimistic and seek to engender a similar attitude in their immediate colleagues.
Yet it is relationships that ENTJs usually find hardest to get right. They are often so intent on achieving their own agenda, and in valuing the types of skills that they possess, that they can be quick to pass unfavourable judgments on others. In discussion ENTJs often start from the assumption that they are right till other people prove them wrong and others often find this intimidating. Indeed most people back off when faced when a debate on these terms but can often feel resentful, particularly when the ENTJ is also calling the shots. These people and relationship problems can be an issue for both sexes but generally speaking, female ENTJs are usually more sensitive to feeling issues than males.
At heart, ENTJs are not often as confident as they appear. They are usually very self-critical, measuring their behaviour and performance against very exacting standards. They often harbour a fear that they will not achieve their goals or not make the difference they aspire to. These fears can lead them to work excessively long hours.
Ultimately, ENTJs must begin to realise that while they have skills and aptitudes they are often weak in areas to do with feelings and relationships. They may need to cultivate these preferences themselves and to have more respect for people who do things differently from them. It can be very important for ENTJs to develop humility in life and to realise that it is sometimes better to compromise their task-related goals and their exacting standards for the sake of people’s feelings and relationships. Being more realistic about what they are likely to achieve can also help them curb their tendency to over-work.
Words to describe ENTJs
outgoing, determined, independent
optimistic, innovative, analytical
strategic, sociable, objective
energetic, logical, decisive
challenging, critical, fair
Careers attractive to ENTJs
Leadership positions of all kinds, but particularly those involving strategy. Consultants, lawyers, human resource professionals, computer specialists, education or health administration/management.
Needs at work
Anticipated work/team strengths
Potential problem areas
Likely areas for improvement
Common relationship Issues for ENTJs
ENTJs show caring by offering their persepctive and helping the other to see the bigger picture.
ENTJs like others to critique their views in a positive fashion and offer them suggestions for improvement.
ENTJ Type Dynamics
Dominant – thinking – extraverted
Auxiliary - intuition- introverted
Tertiary - sensing
Inferior - feeling
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© Carol Craig
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