MBTI® ENTP and Workplace Behavior – Innate characteristics of individuals’ personalities shape their behavior in many different and complex ways, from how they might respond to a colleague’s constructive feedback to the kind of professional environment they will find fulfilling. If properly harnessed and analyzed, these traits can help individuals, as well as their teams and organizations, understand why they behave in certain ways, improve how they communicate, anticipate challenges they may face in certain contexts, and even anticipate strategies they might be able to use to overcome them. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) assessment sheds light on these implicit preferences and imparts insights that can be applied to optimize many different aspects of an organization’s operations.

Each of the sixteen personality types has unique traits that allow individuals to make distinct contributions to their workplace. ENTPs (Extraverted-Intuitive-Thinking-Perceiving) Personality Types are “innovative, strategic, versatile, analytical, and entrepreneurial” (Hirsh, S. & Kummerow, J., p24, CPP Inc., 1998). Their organizations benefit from their creativity and contagious enthusiasm, as well as their ability to analyze complex systems quickly, identify salient details, and use their intuition to identify appropriate next steps. However, ENTPs’ eagerness to take decisive action can come across as overwhelming or even controlling for some personality types, especially those who might be more introverted or who take more passive approaches to problem-solving. Better understanding ENTPs’ personalities are critical to creating work environments in which they can thrive and cultivate successful relationships.

MBTI® ENTP and Workplace Behavior

Learn about ENTP Personality Type behavior in organizations

Organizational Climate and ENTP Disposition

On a daily basis, professionals interact with many different people with a range of personality types, and each of them contributes something different to their team. This diversity of thought and experience can be enormously beneficial, as often one person will provide insight or perspective that another person might overlook or devalue. However, heterogeneity can also create the potential for friction or miscommunications if it is not properly understood.

ENTPs function best in flexible environments where they can come and go as they please. Flexibility complements their highly creative and often non-linear working style, in which they may need a change of environment or even physical activity like a walk to come up with a solution to a problem. ENTPs benefit even more when their colleagues are similarly independent and creative. Unlike those with strong “Judgment” tendencies, ENTPs typically prefer “flat” or loosely structured organizations rather than strict, corporate hierarchies, in part because they prefer to meet directly with stakeholders rather than have requests communicated through their manager or supervisor. Direct communication facilitates clarification and eliminates the inefficiencies of middlemen, ensuring that the original requester receives the information or outcome they need quickly and accurately.

Similarly, ENTPs may accomplish similar tasks in different ways not only to avoid the monotony of repetition but also in hopes of discovering a possibly more efficient or more enjoyable method. ENTPs see experimentation as an important stepping stone to innovation, achievement, and success. They are typically open to trying new software or organizational strategies to see if they offer an improvement over the status quo, while their colleagues with stronger “Judgment” tendencies prefer not to change an already successful process. As a result, ENTPs may not be best suited for careers or environments with rigid standard operating procedures, such as engineering. Instead, they prefer environments where risk-taking is encouraged and rewarded.

Workplace Association and Interaction

An individual’s MBTI® Personality Type can also shape one’s communicative tendencies. Awareness of these tendencies in the workplace not only helps individuals respond and collaborate appropriately but also gives teams and organizations the insights necessary to cultivate a workplace environment and company culture in which different individuals can be successful. For example, as leaders, ENTPs tend to focus on global successes and big picture trends, and they prefer to work under managers with similar values. They may become frustrated or discouraged if small challenges or inconveniences are highlighted even within a larger positive context.

Whether they are presenting to larger groups or having a one-on-one meeting, ENTPs project confidence when they communicate. They are clever, outspoken, and resourceful thinkers, and especially enjoy opportunities to tackle challenging problems in collaboration with their colleagues. ENTPs are also strong team members and team builders. They are able to listen to others’ contributions, effortlessly analyze them to identify common ground, and then synthesize the points they agree on. In doing so, they help their teams focus on similarities rather than differences in thoughts and opinions. That said, ENTPs do not hold back when they disagree either. While ENTPs’ active participation is typically appreciated, especially in the highly social, creative vocations they tend to pursue, other team members who may be more introverted might find it difficult to contribute if they feel excluded by ENTPs sometimes overly enthusiastic participation. While it may not be intended as such, ENTPs can come across as competitive or even overbearing. Nonetheless, ENTPs’ energy and optimism are especially helpful in entrepreneurial settings where gathering support for an idea or cause is critical to its success.

While organizations and teams may need to provide ENTP employees a level of flexibility for them to thrive, they may also need to remind ENTPs of the importance of deadlines and, when necessary, aid them in prioritizing tasks and projects. ENTPs’ enthusiasm can easily manifest as perfectionism, which, while commendable, can also result in missed deadlines and expensive delays. They may need to take a step back and realize that sometimes completion is more important than perfection. For example, a supportive project manager may check-in with an ENTP employee regularly to ensure they are making adequate progress toward their goals. Weekly meetings, a shared calendar, or other project management techniques may be appropriate. Specifically identifying the logic behind prioritization decisions can also help. For example, “Projects A and B are both due next week. However, if we complete A first, we can use our findings to get a head start on B.” If there is a difference in stakeholders, making that explicit can help as well: “The Chief Marketing Officer needs an answer this afternoon to make a critical business decision. We don’t need to be perfect, but we do need to do better than his current model. Everything else is a lower priority.”

ENTP and Workplace Behavior

Learn about ENTP Personality Type behavior in organizations

ENTPs and Operational Efficiency

Employees of every MBTI® Personality Type can be valuable contributors to any organization, whether its goal is to provide a community service, generate a profit, or something else. ENTPs are creative problem solvers who thrive in unpredictable or rapidly-changing environments where they are constantly challenged. When they are presented with a project, task, or goal, ENTPs typically feel energized and motivated. Their initial instinct is to analyze their project from multiple perspectives and gather as much information about it as possible. For example, if they are trying to pitch a product to an investor, an ENTP will begin gathering information about the product itself, the investor, and how the product may appeal to the investor’s needs, fit into their portfolio, or otherwise benefit them. ENTPs will typically decide on a strategy that can be easily adapted as more information becomes available. Along the way, they may benefit from having another team member serve as a sounding board to help them organize their ideas and focus on a more cohesive approach.

When it comes to ongoing training or continuing education, both of which are needed in most organizations’ long-term success, ENTPs tend to be active learners. They do best in interactive classrooms or workshops where they can explore the concepts they are meant to master, bounce ideas off of other learners or their trainer, and consider how specific ideas might apply to more general contexts. For an ENTP to embrace change, they need a solid understanding of how principles can be applied to impact the real world. ENTPs typically have a dispreference for online or virtual training since these formats do not generally provide sufficient opportunities for ENTPs to exercise their exploratory learning style.

Using the MBTI® in the Workplace

Any professional environment can benefit from the strategic application of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® and its associated assessments. Insights from the analysis this instrument provides can support leaders in identifying seemingly small changes that can significantly benefit their organization. Even setting a standard like providing a summary of decisions made and next steps can offer certain employees the structure they need to be successful. For creative thinkers like ENTPs, allowing more flexibility, such as a flexible lunch hour, can relieve stress and improve employee efficiency. One’s MBTI® personality type shapes how people interact with each other, make critical decisions, learn new procedures, and even resolve potential conflicts before they escalate. As such, developing a nuanced understanding of what your four-letter personality type is, and how it functions, can provide organizations with the insights they need to optimize performance.

Learn More About the MBTI ENTP Personality Types


Introduction To Type in Organizations (Hirsh, S. & Kummerow, J. CPP Inc., 1998)