ENTPs are energetic individuals who pursue their interests with great drive and enthusiasm. As they like to share their enthusiasms with others, ENTPs are often perceived as inspirational and can be good at motivating those around them.
ENTPs abhor routine and get bored very easily. They value spontaneity, variety and room for manoeuvre. As a result ENTPs are usually unconventional. They can spend their lives in one career but it is more common for them to move from one interesting project or organisation to another. They are often high risk-takers and entrepreneurial by nature.
Their unconventional approach together with their energy and enthusiasm means ENTPs can be stimulating company. They generally have a strong sense of humour and pepper their conversation with puns and word play.
An ENTP’s favourite, or dominant, function is intuition which they prefer to use in the extravert world. In effect, this means ENTPs love talking about meaning or possibilities for innovative projects. They spend much of their time telling other people about their pet theories on life, sharing their observations about what is really going on or engaging others in discussions about “why” such as such is the case.
ENTPs generally dislike small talk and will either try to get the conversation on to more meaningful topics or they will go off and find someone more interesting to talk to. ENTPs often enjoy playing devil’s advocate or will even argue both sides of an argument simultaneously. Some of the 16 types find it difficult to get on with other people of the same type, but generally ENTPs find each other attractive and stimulating company.
ENTPs have a preference for using thinking in their interior world. It is when they retreat into themselves that they evaluate, form opinions, make decisions and plan various courses of action. ENTPs often use writing as a way to bring discipline and structure to their ideas. A paradox for ENTPs is that while their outer life can be messy and unstructured, their inner life is orderly and governed by logic.
Many ENTPs see life as a puzzle to solve. Their role is understanding what is really going on and then improving on it in some way. ENTPs are not content with small changes, however, and are usually self-confident and ambitious innovators.
ENTPs frequently see themselves as part of what they may need to change. Of all the 16 types, it is ENTPs who see themselves, not as fixed entities, but as individuals with skills, experiences and attitudes which are constantly changing, adapting and improving in line with the needs of the moment
This view of themselves and general approach to life leads most ENTPs to describe themselves as “clever”. Another word ENTPs frequently choose to describe themselves is “challenging”. This they see as a positive characteristic and simply means they are not prepared to accept anything for the sake of a quiet life. These tendencies are much more prevalent in male ENTPs and women’s conditioning usually leads female ENTPs to tone down this side of their personality.
It is precisely the kind of things that ENTPs like about themselves that other types often find irritating. Their need to display their cleverness in the external world can be seen as a desire to show off. Their verbal challenges are often interpreted by others as one upmanship and their conversational style can come over as confrontational and “bolshie”. ENTPs have been known to describe themselves as “interesting but tiring and hard work”.
All Ps struggle with organisation and maintaining order but ENTPs find it particularly hard. Their brain is so preoccupied with abstract ideas and possibilities that order and practical arrangements are a major challenge. Unless, the ENTP has trained him/herself to be methodical in their daily practices, it is not uncommon for ENTPs to feel their life might suddenly spin out of control. They know intuitively that their scant attention to whether car lights have been turned off, or where keys and tickets have been placed could at any moment become a major challenge for them. Most ENTPs as they get older become so aware of their potential weakness in this area that they become frequent (and irrational) checkers of tickets, money, passports etc.
Ultimately success in life for ENTPs depends on using their introverted thinking to keep their intuition within useful bounds. It is crucially important for ENTPs to learn to resist squandering their energy by pursuing too many different things. They must use their thinking to discriminate better between an interesting idea and something which is worthwhile pursuing. They must also cultivate enough J skills for their projects to bear fruit.
Words to describe ENTPs
energetic, enthusiatic, enterprising
innovative, inspiring, resourceful
analytical, risk-taking, logical
flexible, spontaneous, clever
independent, assertive, challenging
Careers attractive to ENTPs
Photography, psychiatry, marketing, entre-preneurship, management consultancy, politics, journalism, teaching, science, engineering, computing.
Needs at work
Anticipated work/team strengths
Potential problem areas
Likely areas for improvement
Common relationship Issues for ENTPs
ENTPs show caring by paying quality attention to others’ views in conversation.
ENTPs like others to give really high quality attention to their ideas and insights. Even when people are sceptical of their views, ENTPs can value their comments and appreciate the effort they have taken so long as the criticism is given in a positive way.
ENTP Type Dynamics
Dominant – intuition – extraverted
Auxiliary - thinking - introverted
Tertiary - feeling
Inferior - sensing
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© Carol Craig
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