ENFJs and their ESFJ cousins are the most people-oriented of all their types. They are extremely gregarious individuals who willingly spend time and energy supporting the needs of others.
ENFJs’ interest in people flows inevitably from the fact they use their favourite function, feeling, in the external world. In other words, it’s the most natural thing in the world for ENFJs to pay quality attention to the people round about them.
This interest in other people and their lives is particularly evident in ENFJs’ conversations. They tend to be good listeners and are particularly adept at putting people at their ease and asking them questions about themselves. As a result, ENFJs tend to be very popular and have lots of friends.
“Stories” feature prominently in ENFJs’ lives. It is particularly important for ENFJs to tell their “story”. This means recounting their life story in ways which reveals their identity and uniqueness as an individual. They are naturally very good at soliciting other people’s stories and in treating each person they meet as a unique individual.
Unlike ESFJs who are interested primarily in the here and now, ENFJs, as intuitives, are much more interested in the future than the present. In their interactions with others they continually focus on possibilities for the person’s development. This interest in others’ development makes them naturally drawn to occupations such as teaching and social work. They also make exceptional coaches and mentors. Their skill in these jobs stems, not just from their ability to spot and nurture potential, but from the skills they acquire as Js. For example, they don’t just suggest you try an academic course, they are organised enough to send you a prospectus!
It is incredibly important to ENFJs to have dreams and a sense of mission. Many ENFJs try to satisfy this need to serve a cause or ideal in their work and are often attracted to occupations such as counselling and the ministry. If their job does not allow them to feel this sense of “higher purpose” they often feel empty and unfulfilled. Alternatively they may find their mission in life outside work. This may be in organisations of a spiritual, political or charitable kind or in their family role.
ENFJs’ strong sense of purpose together with their highly developed social skills often means they are perceived by others as charismatic and persuasive and they can make successful sales people.
ENFJs’ preferences are also such that they can make exceptional managers. As extraverts and intuitives they are naturally drawn to change and innovation. As feelers they are good at seeing what they need to do to enable their staff to do their best work and as judgers they are organised enough to deliver what they intend to do.
For ENFJs, intuition is something they prefer to use in their introverted world. It is when they go inside their head that they begin to generate ideas, dream and see possibilities. An ENFJ’s exterior world may be organised but inside their head is usually a ferment of ideas and possibilities.
ENFJs commonly find that their preference for intuition weakens their organisational skills. As Js they usually find it easy to keep their focus on organisation and many make good completer finishers but, as Ns their lack of attention to practical details sometimes means their organisation comes apart at the seams. For example, they may misread their diary or pick up the wrong documents.
As feelers ENFJs are more people than task oriented. This means they often come across as “relaxed Js” – dropping their plans or varying their carefully prepared schedule if a person’s needs intervene. This desire to put people ahead of task is something that TJs are rarely prepared to do.
Of all the types, ENFJs are most likely to believe that the world would be a better place if everyone was more like them. Their certainty on how people should live their lives can sometimes lead these normally sensitive people to be overly judgmental and dismissive of others’ views. ENFJs will sometimes even tell people what they need despite the person disputing this is the case.
ENFJs sometimes make black and white judgments about others. They can either dismiss the person for their behaviour and views or they can see them in a particularly flattering light. In fact, ENFJs can be so determined to admire some people they put them on a pedestal and ignore the feet of clay.
Ultimately ENFJs must learn to pay less attention to other people and their needs and start to consider what they want for themselves and their own needs and feelings. It may be beneficial, and fulfilling, for them to spend more time introverting so they can cultivate their intuitive process and pay more attention to their own creative ideas and impulses.
Words to describe ENFJs
energetic, charismatic, sociable
innovative, insightful, creative
persuasive, empathetic, supportive
co-operative, nurturing, resourceful
idealistic, organised, compassionate
Careers attractive to ENFJs
Counselling, the ministry, social work, teaching, writing, management, coaching, design, artist, musician or entertainer.
Needs at work
Anticipated work/team strengths
Potential problem areas
Likely areas for improvement
Common relationship Issues for ENFJs
ENFJs show caring by helping people to solve their problems or by encouraging them to grow and develop in some way.
ENFJs like others to treat them as unique individuals and for others to validate their experiences and views through approval and support.
ENFJ Type Dynamics
Dominant – feeling – extraverted
Auxiliary - intuition - introverted
Tertiary - sensing
Inferior - thinking
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© Carol Craig
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