Decoding the MBTI online: what is an ENFJ personality type?


What is the MBTI?

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, or MBTI as it is commonly known, is probably the world’s most widely used personality tool. The ideas behind it were in development from the 1920s and influenced by the work of Carl Jung, but the tool itself was launched in 1962, after years of research to validate the theory.

Its purpose is to assist users in gaining a greater level of self –awareness, by helping them to understand how their personality influences their behavior, preferences, and even the work environment that can suit them best.

Originally, users would complete a paper-based assessment, however, now this can be done online and results delivered in around 45 minutes.

While there are now many other psychometric tools online, the MBTI is still the most trusted, due to the sheer volume of research and validation behind it.

In this article, we’ll offer an overview of what the MBTI is and the key personality areas it deals with, before looking in more detail at the typical characteristics of an ENFJ Personality Type.

What are the key personality areas the MBTI identifies?

The MBTI identifies 4 key areas of preference. Below is a very simplified overview.

  • Extroversion (E)  vs. Introversion (I)

Do you take energy from your interactions with others, or is your internal world more significant for you?

  • Sensing (S) vs. Intuition (N)

This relates to your preferences for learning and gathering information about the world around you.  People with a strong preference for sensing tend to live in the here-and-now, enjoying the current reality. Those who are more intuitive tend to seek deeper or hidden meanings in events.

  • Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F)

While someone with a strong preference for (T), will pride themselves on being rational and logical, an (F) will prioritize values and find solutions which avoid conflict.

  • Judging (J) vs. Perceiving (P)

If you have a (J) preference, it doesn’t imply that you are judgmental of others. Rather that you are likely to be someone who likes structure, takes decisions, and focuses on a task until it’s finished.

Perceivers prefer to keep their options open until the last minute, and may find it easy to abandon tasks in progress, in favor of something new and more interesting

What is an ENFJ personality type?

Based on the above, we can see that a typical ENFJ personality type is likely to display the following characteristics:

  • Extroversion
  • Intuition
  • Feeling
  • Judging

What are the work preferences of a typical ENFJ?

In the workplace, the MBTI can be an invaluable tool in helping leaders to understand the behavior of their teams, and team members understand each other.  Looking at an ENFJ employee, a leader can gain insight into how they can get the best out of them, and also, importantly, how to recognize the warning signs that an ENFJ is experiencing high levels of stress.

The preferred working environment for an ENFJ

Given their extroversion, an ENFJ is likely to be sociable and enjoy working closely with other team members. Being considerate of the needs and values of others (F), they are great diplomats, able to win their case by persuasion and consensus-building, rather than imposing their point of view. They pay close attention to the needs of the group as a whole.

Their extroversion makes them natural leaders who are capable of inspiring trust in those around them.  They also care about the growth and well-being of others, so can fit well into any role which involves coaching or training.

Their (J) preference makes it likely that they’ll also have an organized approach to work, respecting deadlines, and finishing tasks as agreed, so they will be seen as reliable and professional.

What creates stress for an ENFJ, and how are they likely to react?

Being extroverts, those with an ENFJ preference feel most energized by being around others. They tend to dislike being alone for extended periods.

Their Feeling preference tends to mean that they are uncomfortable in situations where they experience a high level of conflict.  Sudden, unwelcome changes, or a lack of co-operation and goodwill from others can create stress in their world.

Given their usual easy and caring interactions with those around them, the ENFJ response to stress can be confusing for others. They may become more rigid in the way they want things done.  In situations where the level of stress is unusually high or persists for a prolonged period, they may become short-tempered and seem to be overly controlling (J). It’s also possible that they’ll start to over-think situations, or totally disengage from interaction with others. However, once things return to normal, they’ll quickly revert to type.