Dominant Extraverted Intuition with Auxiliary Introverted Thinking
Tertiary Feeling and Inferior Introverted Sensing
Ingenious • Analytical • Energetic • Adaptable
According to the MBTI® Manual, ENTPs make up 3.2% of the population, making this type the 12th most common, of 16, in the US population.
ENTPs are known for appearing outspoken, gregarious, logical, and flexible. They prize competence, energy, and new concepts, and they use these qualities to help improve and work around systems. ENTPs have a great appreciation for finding new, innovative, and logical possibilities. This is most easily accomplished in environments that allow for flexibility and have loose structure, in lieu of detailed procedures.
Along with the insightfulness ENTPs usually have about systems, they also tend to be extremely intuitive about people’s strengths, weaknesses, and motivations. As family members and friends, ENTPs are typically committed and laid back. They often have big picture plans for the family and work towards improvement.
Normally, ENTPs will be thrown off in environments where rules are rigidly enforced, and change is not permitted. ENTPs typically become stressed when they lack outside stimulation, are micromanaged, have creativity stifled, or are forced to come to decisions and/or complete projects before ready. They will also become stressed in environments with individuals they view as incompetent and environments that do not recognize or appreciate their competence and visions.
When faced with stress overload, which may come from working in environments where their principles are violated, having to focus for long periods of time on mundane details, and good old fashion exhaustion (often caused by overextending oneself), ENTPs may find themselves “in the grip” of their inferior function, Introverted Sensing. During this experience, the individual is likely to do things that are typically completely out of character. This may include withdrawing into themselves and becoming depressed. They may begin to notice small body sensations or abnormalities and interpret them as evidence of some serious illness. They may even hyper focus on a small set of items or details, and those usually inconsequential details may become the biggest thing in their world for a time.
Fortunately, going through and coming out of a grip experience can lead to growth and balance of the personality and the person.
To learn about ENTPs under the particular stress that only comes from being chased by the dead, check out ENTPs in the Zombie Apocalypse!
In general, ENTPs enjoy the process of learning when they can solve new puzzles and pursue new ideas. They learn best when the big picture is presented first, and details are kept to a minimum. Material sinks in more easily when it logical and general, and the ENTP is allowed to explore it in an interactive way that examines systems and emphasizes problem-solving. ENTPs often excel at and enjoy learning through debating and trouble-shooting, and they prize their ability for being able to understand complexity.
ENTPs like to learn in a way that allows them to develop their own processes to work on topics they find interesting, whether the topic is related to assignments or not. Typically, ENTPs place importance on their teachers’ competence levels, and they prefer to learn from individuals who are experts in their fields. On the whole, ENTPs are motivated to learn by strategizing about problem soling as the problems arise, in an informal and interactive way, but they may struggle with deadlines because they are so much more process oriented than product oriented.
Individuals of this type may find it helpful to seek expert opinions, through articles, etc., when having difficulty being interested in material. They should try to remember to look at details that make up the big picture, instead of just the big picture. Frustration may occur for ENTPs in a classroom where they find the material frivolous or feeling based, and they may be helped by examining ways the material can relate to topics they are interested in and using a problem/puzzle-solving approach. It may also be helpful to form study groups to provide maximum absorption via interaction.
Typically, ENTPs greatly prefer innovative brainstorming and beginning with nothing more than a vision to detailed planning, and when they do make plans, they try to leave parts of them open to being filled in later. While some ENTPs use calendars, to-do lists, and other organizational aids, they will likely use them in a way that suits them , more so that in the way they were intended by a manufacturer to be used. Motivation for ENTPs comes from learning, working at the last minute, having several projects to switch between, and creating new ways of doing things.
ENTPs are often thrown off in time management by becoming bored before completing a project, losing track of how the present impacts the future of the vision, having too many impromptu conversations that take up time, or starting a new project before finishing an old. Procrastination may occur when the ENTP is asked to do something slow or boring or they are waiting for the energy that comes from doing things at the last minute.
Tips for staying or getting back on task:
- Plan for the unplanned by allotting extra time for possible interruptions and to re-prioritize as needed.
- Plan for the unplanned by allotting extra time for possible interruptions and by making yourself temporarily unavailable to others who may distract or seek help from you.
- Remember that not everything has to be up to your personal standards of perfection, and sometimes good enough to meet external requirements is enough, at least for now
When approaching decisions, ENTPs want to find solutions that exhibit competence, are creative, exciting, intellectually stimulating, and flexible. They will often begin by using their Dominant Extraverted Intuition to brainstorm about patterns, possibilities, and innovations they can see for the big picture of the situation. They will then use logical analysis to determine which possibilities will likely lead to the best outcome. This will likely involve running plays of where each possibility could lead and where the point of least resistance and fewest problems resides. The individual’s gut feeling about which way to decide will play a role in the ultimate decision.
ENTPs may enjoy talking initial ideas out with others, as this improves their brainstorming process, and they want to share lots of ideas, enthusiasm, logical opinions, and unusual concepts. Individuals of this type will generally examine the decision after the fact by considering ways to refine the process, and considering how the other options may have compared with the one chosen.
ENTPs may fail to consider current realities, details, and past experiences when making decisions, and they may also neglect the more people-focused aspects of the process, including the feelings of themselves and others. To find more balance in the process, all types may consider discussing decisions with friends of different types to gain new insights and/or utilizing the Zig-Zag Method, which encompasses exploring decisions from the perspective of all four functions. ENTPs will likely find this process more natural when exploring Intuition first, followed by Thinking, Feeling, and Sensing.
Personality type is one important part of the process of choosing a career that is a good fit, but it is far from the only part. It is important to first look at your personal goals and values when making a career decision. These may involve retiring early, helping others, having time for hobbies/avocations, having time to spend with kids and family, making lots of money, making use of a specific talent (singing, art, athletic ability, etc.), following in family footsteps, or following a childhood dream.
It is also important to look at skills and preferences. If you hate math, maybe engineering is not the way to go, and you may want to skip being a doctor or nurse if the sight of blood makes you queasy. Interests, from loving the great outdoors to being fascinated by the depths of the human mind, play a huge role in the career choice process as well. Below are some type specific commonalities in the career world.
- Seek careers that allow them to use their skills in technical analysis, breadth of knowledge, adaptability, and creativity to gain understanding of complex problems and processes.
- Prefer environments where they have time to interact, debate, and bounce ideas off of others. They want an environment where competent individuals surround them and where they will have the freedom to work to their strengths in their own, independent way.
- Enjoy tasks that involve action-oriented focus on analysis of systems and processes, rather than the implementation of the processes, which they prefer to leave to others. They also love to be challenged intellectually in ways that involve looking at abstract data in new and exciting ways.
- Might struggle with tasks that require extended periods of attending to details, where their creativity is squelched by a lack of freedom, or where they are required to deal with emotional situations in the workplace. They may also struggle to communicate a desire for warmth and collaboration in the work environment and in the job search process.
- Are often attracted to careers such as:
- Law (lawyer or judge)
- Science (life, physical, chemistry, social, economics)
- Management consulting
- Computer science (designing programs, IT)
- Creative work (arts, writing, acting, directing)
- Psychology (Industrial/Organizational)
- Engineering (industrial, aeronautical, software)
- May be less interested in careers involving repetition of detailed processes, isolation, or a great deal of emotional or nurturing work.
If the career you are interested in does not appear on this list, or if you simply don’t find any appealing careers listed here, do not worry! Personality type is not meant to sentence you to a life of misery in a career you hate, and this list is far from exhaustive. You may want to check out descriptions of thousands of possible careers at O*Net, and then contemplate how your type may play into some of the careers that do interest you. Also, if your university has a career counseling center (and most do), visit them to gain assistance in finding a career that suits your needs and wants.
As Team Members
ENTP team members will likely contribute to the team by being adaptable, energetic, innovative, analytical, and intellectual. ENTPs have great respect for competence, challenges, variety, and logical systems and processes. They appreciate objectivity, cleverness, and improvisation, and they are known to be strategic and entrepreneurial team members, who can relieve stress by promoting freedom and innovation.
While ENTP team members have many strengths, they may find it difficult to narrow their focus to specific projects, in favor of taking on the world. They may also have a tendency to appear argumentative because of their love of debate, and they can sometimes forget to take into account the impact their critiques and their processes may have on people. ENTPs sometimes also lose sight of the end goal by focusing on strategies and processes. Awareness of these areas, as well as seeking out the perspectives of team members with different preferences, can help ENTPs gain balance and appreciate team and type diversity.
ENTPs make visionary, energetic, and ingenious leaders who understand systems and how to use them to streamline work processes. They tend to be good at understanding what motivates people and using that to inspire and energize team members into action and independent work. ENTPs are known for being good at finding holistic, innovative, and logical ways to improve processes, and they often foster a work environment that is full of variety, in terms of processes for performing tasks.
ENTPs may find it challenging to simplify processes and take practicality into account due to their tendency to over-complicate tasks and directions. Their love of debate may alienate members of the team who see this style as critical, and it may prevent them from building strong relationships with team members. They may also be viewed critically by team members who crave solid, detailed structure in a work environment. It may be difficult for ENTPs to trust team members who have yet to prove a high level of competence, and they may forget to praise and encourage team members.
ENTPs want a relationship that emphasizes having fun together and being supportive of each other. They also prize a good sense of humor and being able to enjoy spending time together. In addition to this, ENTPs want to feel stimulated intellectually in a relationship, and they desire a sense of intimacy.
As partners, ENTPs tend to be spontaneous, playful, and flirtatious. They love trying new things, and they relish a good debate or competition. ENTPs are innovative problem solvers who love to share, and be appreciated for, ideas and creativity. They also enjoy a good bit of social interaction and excel at communication. ENTPs may struggle with overdoing their much loved roles of winning and being experts. They may also find that their varied interests keep them from giving full attention to their partners.