Individuals’ innate personality is the most comprehensive predictor of workplace behavior in professional as well as personal settings. Innate personality not only influences one’s choice of vocation and preferences regarding organizational structure, but it also can determine how one communicates with or leads others, the factors one considers while making decisions, one’s preferred learning style or strategies, and even how one prefers to organize their day. Organizations and individuals who understand these factors have the insightful perspective they need to identify and implement small changes that have the biggest impact on their employees, leaders, and operations.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI®) and its associated assessments are key tools to achieving these outcomes. ENFJs are “interpersonally focused, understanding, tolerant, appreciative, and facilitators of good communication” (Hirsh, S. & Kummerow, p.21, J. CPP Inc., 1998). They are known for their strength of character and extend their standards to their colleagues as well as the organizations for which they work. To ENFJs, every individual employee is an ambassador and representative of their employer and team. As such, the company culture and behavior overall reflect on the individual and vice versa. ENFJs can be valuable assets to their teams if their personality traits and strengths are understood and leveraged, and if their areas of improvement are bolstered.
Organizational Climate and ENFJ Disposition
People differ in a plethora of ways, including their preferred careers, organizational climates, and much more. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI®) can be a predictor of individuals’ proclivities and their underlying causes. Understanding an ENFJ at work using their MBTI® Type can not only help individuals improve their overall job satisfaction by finding organizations that meet their needs, but it can also give organizations the inside perspective they need to appeal to people of many different personality types and preferences.
For example, ENFJs are highly emotional individuals who intensely identify and feel others’ concerns, motivations, fears, and excitement. They are invested and fulfilled when they have the opportunity to help others reach their goals and to cultivate supportive workplace environments along the way. ENFJs are natural social networkers and linchpins, who help groups of individuals coalesce into cohesive teams. They regularly check in with their co-workers, as they would with friends, and take the time to arrange cards and celebrations for milestones and significant events, from holidays to birthdays to retirements and beyond.
ENFJs do best when they are able to participate in organizations that contribute to the greater good. They want to reach the end of each day leaving the world slightly better than it was that morning. Their harmonious, empathetic spirit is evident in their workplace contributions, which are typically interpersonally focused. For example, ENFJs enjoy being involved with employees’ onboarding process because it gives them the opportunity to represent their organization and communicate organizational ideals, while also supporting the new hire and helping them make the connections they will later need to be successful.
While ENFJs are inherently easygoing, they do best in environments where they feel appreciated and where they have the flexibility to be able to express themselves. For example, an ENFJ will typically feel more at home in organizations without a strict dress code or schedule, in which they can come and go as they please and focus on individual well-being. At the same time, ENFJs also need balance, as they can feel overwhelmed or have difficulty focusing if they are given too much independence or where they feel isolated from other people. In other words, ENFJs are highly extroverted and need to be around other employees to be at their best.
ENFJ Workplace Association and Interaction
Individuals’ personality type also shapes how they communicate with others. Being aware of the underlying mechanisms can facilitate and improve collaboration, lower the chance and frequency of miscommunications, and generally streamline operations. ENFJs’ interactional tendencies can be described as harmonious and impactful. While they “like to bring matters to fruitful conclusions” (Hirsh, S. & Kummerow, p.21, J. CPP Inc., 1998), their ultimate goal is to support others.
In the workplace, ENFJs typically take the time to make small talk and check in with colleagues, especially if they seem to be struggling with personal or professional challenges. Their first instinct is to create a positive impact however they can, though at times they may need to slow down and ensure that they understand the overall situation before acting. Hasty or misinformed decisions can actually worsen a situation, even if they are rooted in good intentions. Furthermore, ENFJs should keep in mind that individuals who have introverted personality types may prefer not to discuss their problems with others and instead work them out independently. ENFJs can support introverted colleagues by leaving a note or small gift rather than through conversation, which can feel like an imposition if one prefers to be left alone.
ENFJs’ implicit goal is for everyone in their organization to get along, and they are more than willing to invest the energy needed to build successful close-knit teams. Organizations should consider supporting this desire whenever possible, even if it seems unrealistic, as an overall feeling of collaboration can help mitigate a competitive, harsh environment in which individuals are more focused on their own status relative to their colleagues than the wellbeing of their company. At the same time, ENFJs should keep in mind that people who disagree with each other and who are not close personally can still create successful products and services.
ENFJs and Operational Efficiency
Regardless of their purpose and goals, organizations need their team members to collaborate smoothly in order to be successful and operate efficiently. People of each MBTI® Type play a critical role in how each of their organizations operates. For example, ENFJs intuitively understand other people, their motivations, and their emotions. As such, they approach leadership from an interpersonal perspective. When they are assigned direct reports, ENFJs start by assessing their employees’ skills, resources, and interests. Then, they assign tasks based on these criteria so that each person will be assigned fulfilling tasks that also utilize their skill sets and strengthen their weaknesses. ENFJs dislike micromanaging but instead give their employees the space to work as independently as they like, while still checking in regularly to provide support as needed and praise when relevant. If ENFJs feel that their employees would like them to be more involved as leaders, they do not hesitate to take a more participative stance. ENFJs are strong, inspiring leaders who are able to inspire their employees to make a difference in their own and others’ lives as well as in their organizations overall.
ENFJs approach problems and challenges in ways that reflect their personal values and that benefit their organizations and even society overall. They invest significant effort to build relationships through discussion and to reach unanimous decisions whenever possible. However, their emphasis on interpersonal cohesion may their peers with more “Judgmental” tendencies, who may even build friendships and mutual respect through discussion and debate. ENFJs in leadership positions should keep in mind that others’ preferences may be different from their own and that their commitment to harmony may even be interpreted as obstructive. The key to success is finding a balance between interpersonal and analytical leadership philosophies.
ENFJs’ approach to learning and professional development mirrors how they approach other aspects of their professional lives. They prefer a cooperative, interactive learning environment that allows them to explore how the material impacts people. They also benefit when the materials are structured in a logical, coherent manner that allows some exploration, experimentation, and discussion. For example, if ENFJs are being trained on how to implement a new quality assurance process, it would be most effective to first present the method itself and explain why it is being implemented, and then provide a structured activity where employees can see the system in action and experience its strengths, benefits, and pitfalls first-hand. Finally, the workshop could close with a discussion and reflection of their experience as well as how the new procedure could positively impact individual employees, the company overall, and any clients or customers involved.
Using the MBTI® in the Workplace
Carefully and strategically applying insights from the Myers Briggs Type Indicator® can create significant benefits in any workplace. The first step of this process is for employees to take a comprehensive assessment consisting of a diverse array of questions. Their responses are then analyzed, and the employees and their supervisors are provided with a detailed report that sheds light on their behavioral tendencies and personal proclivities as well as specific environmental changes that could benefit them. These insights can help employees relate to their peers and better understand how they think and why they behave as they do. Ultimately, the result is stronger teams, fewer miscommunications, and more effective communication for everyone.
Learn More About the MBTI ENFJ Personality Types
- Learn How Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® ENFJ Personality Types Deal with Change
- Learn More About Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® ENFJ Personality Types in College
- Career Tips for Myers-Briggs® Test ENFJ Personality Types
Introduction To Type in Organizations (Hirsh, S. & Kummerow, J. CPP Inc., 1998)