The ENFP personality type (as outlined by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® Assessment, or MBTI® Test) is the Extraverted Intuition with Introverted Feeling type. A MBTI test-assessed ENFP Type is daring, innovative, inspired, and animated. They are incredibly talented at understanding how individuals and groups of people function. Individuals that exhibit the ENFP Type preference are lovers of life and seek excitement and potential in everything that they do. No matter what the day is, a Myers Briggs® test-assessed ENFP will find something exhilarating in the world around them. This thirst for opportunity makes them incredibly competent and innovative workers:
- Conscious about what is happening at present with the world (and with an organization) and what will happen in the coming years for themselves and others
- Their pizzazz and exhilaration enlivens others to do well in their own unique situations
- Innovative nature helps them introduce new projects and see them grow through to completion
- Have a unique knack for finding associations and patterns that others cannot usually see
- Motivate team members considerably, often seeing the potential in others even if these individuals are unaware of it themselves
- Fulfill a natural (although not always labeled) leadership role because of the faith that others have in their discernments. Their overwhelming assuredness also aids others in believing in their abilities.
MBTI Test -assessed ENFP Types are people-lovers, with large groups of personal companions who see them as nurturing, helpful, and earnest. In the workplace, they are similarly uplifting, helping their coworkers and company find the zeal and inspiration to make their dreams a reality. They have a very high level of trust in their own thoughts and discernments, and usually move full-speed-ahead with their decisions, knowing that they are making the right choice. Their desire for meaning envelopes their lives, and they often seek substance and worth in everything they do.
Because of their self-assuredness and their general likability, most MBTI Test -assessed ENFP Type individuals succeed wherever they are. Their trust in their personal beliefs as well as their ability to recognize with and understand others’ thoughts and feelings helps them formulate opinions about the world around them. They are firm believers in the benefits of open communication between peers, and use a good amount of their time encouraging others to feel the same. An ENFP personality type, therefore, is extremely adept at conversation, even in improvised situations. Their open field of communication also helps them provide gratitude and reinforcement to their coworkers and friends.
ENFP’s make great friends and peers. They enjoy making others happy and will flex themselves to help another achieve his or her goals and wishes whenever they can. As much as they offer support and reinforcement, they also require a substantial amount of approval and affirmation of their own behaviors, actions, and accomplishments. If they do not receive an adequate level of gratitude, the Myers-Briggs test-assessed ENFP Type individual can begin to make hasty decisions chock-full of ambiguity, or they may grasp on another’s ideas or values even if they don’t necessarily want or believe in those things.
Discover your best fit career with The MBTI® Career Report below or continue reading for more information regarding ENFPs including ENFP Careers, Leadership & Learning styles as well as Emotional Intelligence.
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Choosing a career path can be difficult. The revised MBTI® Career Report helps point the way by showing you how your type affects your career exploration and discusses the benefits of choosing a job that is a good fit for your type. By taking the Myers-Briggs test you also explore preferred work tasks and work environments—as well as most popular and least popular occupations—for any type and receive strategies for improving job satisfaction. This completely updated report includes expanded coverage of popular fields such as business, health care, computer technology, and high-level executive and management occupations. It is based on four-letter type results and can be generated using your reported type or verified type.
Working on Your Patience and Diligence
The love for adventure and excitement associated with the ENFP Personality Type can also thwart them in everyday life, especially if they get so caught up in the excitement of everything as this makes it more difficult to entrust in one idea, opinion, or project—instead, they spread themselves too thin across different areas and find themselves unable to make their dreams become reality. Similarly, if they are distracted by the world around them, those exhibiting the ENFP Type may lack the ability to provide any form of follow-through on their visionary concepts. They may find themselves skipping through the planning process, finding themselves without a way of achieving their goals.
Their overall aversion to deadlines and schedules can be affected by this as well, with the ENFP Type individual having trouble concentrating or disregarding deadlines and rules altogether—occasionally, this can lead them to become insubordinate, refusing to respond to any rules or authority. Luckily, with a bit of focus and a structured plan for their goals, the ENFP Type can thrive both in their professional world and in their personal one.[All personality type information was referenced from the following publication- (Isabel Briggs Myers, 1998, CPP Inc.)]
Career Ideas for ENFP Types
MBTI Test ENFP personality types finds themselves leaning toward (and thriving in) careers that involve helping others or creating something artistic. Popular among MBTI test-assessed ENFP Types are counselor positions in areas such as mental health or clinical and educational psychology, where the ENFP is able to directly aid the growth of another. Physical aid is also a trend among those with the ENFP Type, such as in an occupation like fitness trainer. Helping the environment is also a prevalent theme with ENFP Types, so an occupation as a forester would suit them well. The ENFP Personality Type also makes a great bartender—the informal therapist. The most creative among the ENFP Type find themselves becoming artists, actors, dancers, musicians, singers, composers, or directors.In order to best thrive in their present occupations (or future ones), Myers-Briggs test ENFP Types need to actively create long-term goals with straightforward plans on how to achieve them. These goals cannot be simply idealistic, but tangible and reachable. Through careful planning and determination, an MBTI test-assessed ENFP Type can efficiently reach their goal.
ENFP Types Need to Take Care of Themselves First
Similarly, ENFP personality types can better succeed when they focus on their own needs first and foremost. Others’ needs are most certainly important, especially to ENFP’s, but allowing oneself to be persuaded by another’s needs is unhealthy for the ENFP and may cause them to either make hasty decisions or lack decision-making skills altogether. By focusing on the needs of yourself and especially the needs of the goals you want to achieve, you can be sure that you’ll be happy and healthy longer, meaning that you can help more people along the way.
Click on one of these corresponding popular ENFP Careers for detailed information including Career Stats, Income Stats, Daily Tasks and Required Education: Bartender, Counseling Psychologist, Director of Religious Activities or Education, Fitness Trainer or Aerobics Instructor, Hairdresser, Hairstylist, or Cosmetologist, Psychiatrist, Public Relations Specialist, Recreation Worker, Rehabilitation Counselor, and Reporter or Correspondent.
Further Understanding ENFP Personality Types
ENFP are generally creative and highly enthusiastic personality types. They are innovative, active contributors to group projects, and are stimulated by new people and environments. They are fulfilled and enthused by life itself, though they do also value harmonious work environments, and do their best to help others have a fulfilling experience in every setting in which they interact. ENFPs are highly emotional individuals and have keen perceptions about people and group dynamics. They value others and their emotions, and easily notice when some individuals are feeling left out, or why their emotions are running high. They are also willing and able to support others in ways that will best fit their needs. This makes ENFPs generally well-liked individuals who are able to fully contribute to any team.
ENFPs are highly social, and enjoy having a large circle of friends and acquaintances. They value authenticity in their close relationships, and benefit from open, honest communication. They have a tendency to resist routines and structured schedules, and instead prefer to be more spontaneous in their professional and personal lives. Without this level of flexibility, they have difficulty functioning and thinking creatively. However, this natural enthusiasm must be focused. Without the proper support, ENFPs risk becoming frustrated, scattered and easily distracted, or even rebellious. They have a tendency to overextend themselves because of the broad range of their interests, and may need help adhering to deadlines or tuning into the finer details or nuances of a task.
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ENFPs’ Learning Style: Innovative and Exploratory
ENFPs learn by exploring the world around them and absorbing new ideas and concepts. They also tend to be idealistic, focusing on associations, patterns, and possibilities rather than objective reality. For this reason, they tend to be future-oriented, seeing every experience as an opportunity to learn and experience something new. In the classroom, they benefit most from open-ended discussion or activities that encourage sharing multiple and different ideas. These kinds of activities allow them to stretch their imaginations and think outside the box. They shut down in overly structured environments and find it very difficult to sit quietly and listen to a lecture-style lesson. However, they do find theories and models attractive, since they provide a broad overview of concepts, which can then be applied in a wide range of different ways. Since ENFPs tend to devalue facts and details except in so far as they can contribute to the construction of more generalizable theories, ENFPs benefit from having the time to link individual facts to their broader contexts.
In terms of instructors, Myers-Briggs® ENFPs tend to prefer those who are able to lead exploratory learning activities, such as brainstorming sessions, and who are willing to discuss topics in a more general way. They may find it difficult to learn in teacher-centric lecture-style classrooms, especially if the content is highly factual or one-sided. They need to have the ability to develop their own opinions of material and their own ways of engaging with it, and they benefit from having the ability to interact with and become familiar with the opinions and experiences of their peers or co-workers. As a result, they tend to enjoy the opportunity to discuss material with other learners. If group discussion opportunities are not provided in structured class time, ENFPs may seek opportunities outside of class, such as group study sessions or discussion sessions. Nonetheless, they do value feedback from professors, particularly when it addresses gaps between their ideas and the realities of a context—how their solution is impractical, inaccurate, or infeasible. While they may take feedback more personally than they should, reinforcing the value of their attempts is always beneficial.
One strategy that may be particularly helpful for ENFPs is for them to develop strategies for uncovering relationships between facts, since this may help them memorize such material more effectively, and discover additional connections between what they know already and the realities of the world around them.
ENFPs’ Leadership Style: Visionary and Futuristic
ENFPs are idealistic, futuristic leaders. They tend to think in long-term trajectories, and they are able to brainstorm multiple different possibilities as well as potential options for implementation. Once they have considered all of their options, they may turn to narrowing them down and choosing the most appropriate one. Along the way, they have a high regard for the ideas and input of others, and value group discussions and brainstorming sessions. They greatly value the importance of making every individual feel included in the decision-making process, and do their best to value others’ contributions as much as possible. However, ENFPs may be so invested in others’ opinions, that they lose track of the bigger picture. As such, they may need to temper this investment, as they may become discouraged if others are overly critical of their mission, or if others do not seem as supportive as they may like. That said, in most cases, ENFPs are able to encourage, inspire, and motivate others towards a common goal. They are highly appreciative of others, and enjoy an organic rather than hierarchical structure in the workplace. They are strong communicators, though they may have difficulty expressing their vision tangibly or specifically, As a result, ENFPs may find themselves losing credibility among more structural personality types, who expect leaders to give them precise, specific deadlines and due dates.
Nonetheless, ENFPs are highly resourceful, often finding creative ways around seemingly insurmountable barriers, and drawing heavily on human resources and capital in order to mobilize to achieve goals. That said, they may find the details and logistics of implementation challenging or overwhelming, instead preferring to delegate to others. As they continue to develop and broaden their leadership style, ENFPs may want to consider making an effort to becoming more detail-oriented, perhaps by keeping a calendar or to-do list, or even asking a peer, friend, or co-worker to help keep them accountable in reaching particular goals along a given timeline. Another way that ENFPs can continue to strengthen their leadership skills is by not being afraid to stay true to their own beliefs, convictions, and visions—while including others in the decision-making process is certainly valuable, ENFPs must be careful not to lose track of the team or organization’s broader goals while instead trying to please individuals.
ENFPs and Emotional Outlook: Perceptive and Cooperative
ENFPs are acutely aware of their own mental and emotional state, including their strengths and challenges. They tend to be highly confident of their own abilities, especially their highly resourceful and innovative nature, and are keenly aware of their moods, as well as how these moods might have an influence on their actions or behavior. They strive to keep their negative reactions under control, though this can become difficult when others are overly critical of the contributions or efforts of others without also showing appreciation for their efforts. In the same way, they often become upset when others fail to equally include all participants in a group, especially intentionally.
Unlike many other personality types, ENFPs enjoy open-ended assignments and ambiguity. As long as personal values are respected, they are able to adapt easily to dynamic situations. They see structures and rules are more like guidelines or constraints within which one should be able to freely operate. This flexibility is where ENFPs function best and most effectively, and where they find the motivation to continue to grow and develop. If they encounter a challenge or a barrier, they overcome it in creative ways, often drawing on the support of friends, associates, and colleagues to generate possible approaches or to garner emotional support.
When it comes to interacting with others, whether individually or in larger groups, ENFPs tend to be highly sensitive, emotional individuals, who are as supportive of others as possible. Their enthusiasm is contagious, and only grows as participation grows. One of their greatest strengths is their lack of obsession with making a particular impression on others. Instead, they trust in their outgoing, gregarious nature, and their ability to build relationships to make a positive, meaningful impression. As a result, they are for the most part socially at-ease, relaxed in small and large gatherings. When interacting in larger groups, ENFPs make a concerted effort to promote harmony and avoid even the smallest conflicts. They often interpret a difference of opinion as necessarily negative, and do their best to find as much common ground with as many people as possible.
As ENFPs continue to grow and develop, they may wish to focus on following through on decisions more intentionally, as well as making an effort to check in with people to whom they have delegated certain tasks. Furthermore, maintaining a calendar, spreadsheet, or some other way of tracking multiple projects may help them focus on a particular task without jumping among multiple different projects of varying importance. Together, these may help them think through the necessary steps between the current reality and a longer term ideal vision. In this way, they can begin to make concrete progress towards making their dreams a reality.
ENFP Personality Types in The Workplace
Extraverted-Intuitive-Feeling-Perceiving (ENFP) personality types are lively, charismatic and encouraging individuals. They energize their teams and workplace environments, and work well when they are given the opportunity to innovate and exercise their creativity. They also tend to value interpersonal relationships and the human element and are motivated by persuading others to join them in stimulating a positive change in the world around them. Myers-Briggs® ENFPs anticipate the needs of people and organizations with whom they work or have relationships and pursue new opportunities and interests with enthusiasm and energy.
ENFPs are also highly emotional people. They experience a wide range of intense feelings and emotions and may suffer from mood swings or volatile attitudes. They often lean on others for validation, appreciation, and support. That said, providing that they have a strong support system, both professionally and personally, ENFPs are adaptable to almost any situation and their energy and enthusiasm encourage others to stay positive and see the best in people and situations.
ENFPs and Communication in The Workplace: Genuine and Appreciative
ENFPs are lively, gregarious communicators. They generally have a large circle of friends and find it easy to strike up conversations with others. They have broad interests and bring an energy that draws others to them, even in the workplace. At the same time, ENFPs value depth and will happily take the time to build strong interpersonal relationships with those around them. They also value honest, open communication and appreciate being able to give their opinion freely without walking on eggshells. In their view, honesty is a mark of trust and respect, even if they are giving corrective feedback. After all, they would not take the time to correct or help someone if they did not believe that person could improve.
ENFPs are genuine, appreciative communicators. They openly solicit diverse ideas and perspectives from their team members, and actively thank others for their participation. They recognize that not everyone is comfortable speaking in public or putting their ideas on display for potential criticism, and so they positively reinforce these behaviors when they see them. ENFPs speak confidently and fluently most of the time, though they may become tongue-tied or self-conscious in high-stress or tense situations, and may need additional time to clarify their thoughts, especially when they feel that they are being judged.
ENFPs are generally calm individuals, but they may become frustrated when others focus too much on details and logistics rather than goals and long-term possibilities. ENFPs are visionaries and want others to join them in their visions. At the same time, ENFPs may frustrate their teammates by persuading others to follow a plan without thinking it through in detail. ENFPs often find that they would have made different decisions if they had more carefully reviewed the facts before beginning to act.
ENFPs and Workplace Contributions: Innovative and Interpersonal
ENFPs are enthusiastic innovators. They enjoy visualizing and initiating projects and do not hesitate to throw themselves into their pursuits. They often dedicate hours to helping get new projects off the ground. While ENFPs’ enthusiasm for novelty can be contagious, some team members may see it as a shortcoming, perceiving ENFPs as being too flighty and moving too quickly from cause to cause without making any real progress towards any individual goal. At the same time, ENFPs may themselves become frustrated when others fail to acknowledge the importance of intuition, insight, or imagination. ENFPs believe that one can never achieve a goal that they cannot imagine they can achieve, and therefore, one’s greatest limitation is one’s imagination.
ENFPs also contribute to their work environment by investing in the human element. They strive for diversity and foster cooperation and fun even in stressful situations. They also provide creativity, energy, and warmth, which motivate some team members and may comfort or reassure others. ENFPs tend to find meaning and significance where others cannot and see connections where others do not. They like to please others and will often adapt their own schedules, needs, and wishes to create space for others’. ENFPs themselves are free spirits and expect others on their teams to think and work in similar ways. They may even become stressed or irritated if others try to restrict their options or focus too narrowly on logistics and constraints of reality.
To become even more effective within their organizations, ENFPs may need to learn to take a deep breath and a step back to examine the big picture. If you are an ENFP, ask yourself what is most important to you. Then take concrete steps to narrow your focus so you can prioritize the goal or goals you identified as having the highest value. Otherwise, you may find yourself getting distracted or even discouraged by the sheer volume of possibilities and opportunities. Instead, learn to narrow your scope and focus. It is better to be exceptional at one thing than mediocre at many.
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ENFPs and Workplace Culture: Flexible and Spontaneous
ENFPs work best in flexible, social environments where they can collaborate with other people to make progress towards a common goal. While every individual on the team will likely play a different part, they see the camaraderie as a benefit. ENFPs not only enjoy reaching their goals, but they also enjoy the journey. As a result, they thrive in environments that give them the opportunity to do different tasks and meet different challenges. ENFPs have a strong dislike of the daily grind, doing the same thing day after day. Instead, to feel fulfilled they need the opportunity to exercise their creativity, combine work and play, and make progress in a relatively relaxed way. That said, ENFPs are tireless workers who will not shy away from tasks that are tiring, complex, or time-consuming.
A second, related way that ENFPs contribute to their work environments is in their ability to reduce their team members’ stress levels. ENFPs have the knack of making even the most mundane tasks fun and spontaneous, for instance by turning repetitive jobs into games or mini-competitions. In doing so, they foster variety and keep everyone motivated and optimistic. In most cases, this positivity is contagious. However, when other team members are already stressed, they may find ENFPs’ optimism to be even more stressful. Furthermore, some more detail-oriented or analytical team members may become frustrated by ENFPs’ neglect of facts and figures, which can lead to choosing courses of action that are less than optimal.
ENFPs can also be instrumental in how their organizations approach and manage change. They joyfully embrace the novel and untried, and supply seemingly endless energy in initiating new courses of action. While they may at times go to far, for instance by encouraging change for its own sake rather than as a step towards a larger goal, ENFPs generally feel that their sentiment is preferrable to being overly cautious or even resistant to change, as the latter may allow possibilities to pass by without adequate consideration.
ENFPs and Leadership in The Workplace: Energetic and Collaborative
As with everything else they do, ENFPs lead with energy and enthusiasm. They prefer to take charge as early in the project, so they have a full understanding of the initiative and so they can shape its trajectory as much as possible. When they lead groups, ENFPs work to include every individual, soliciting their opinions and integrating them into the overall plan. They also try to support all of their team members, while still allowing their own and others autonomy. At times, this may mean that they give only vague direction or instructions, or that they offer their team members too much flexibility. If you are an ENFP, you may need to make an effort to strike a balance – try to offer others a detailed blueprint of what is desired so that they have the information they need to do the job right. In other words, you have to give your team a target to aim at. On the other hand, you might be able to allow them flexibility in how they meet your stated need.
ENFPs have a generally optimistic vision of the future and create idealistic, even lofty goals. They take the time to understand their colleagues and are comfortable sharing their authority in a flat rather than hierarchical organizational structure. They rely on their teams to get things moving and maintain their own progress with relative independence. However, ENFPs also have some shortcomings as leaders. For example, they may struggle to describe their vision in tangible, specific ways, they may hesitate to give critical or constructive feedback even when it is warranted, and they may move too slowly when one of their team members slips or is unable to complete their job. If you are mentoring or coaching an ENFP, give them feedback on how they can exert power without coming across as domineering.
ENFPs and Problem Solving in The Workplace: Collaborative and Global
ENFPs approach problems creatively, imaginatively, and collaboratively. They solicit ideas and perspectives from many internal and external stakeholders and do their best to stay open to multiple possibilities and courses of action for as long as possible. While this level of flexibility may frustrate some of their more focused, action-oriented team members, most ENFPs are equally frustrated by more data-driven team members failure to consider the human impact of the decisions they make and the conclusions that they reach. In the same vein, other team members may become annoyed when ENFPs are so fixated on global or high-level impact that they lose track of the details and logistics of implementation. While these issues may seem insignificant, ENFPs may do well to realize the value and truth in the old adage “the devil’s in the details.” If you are an ENFP, take the time to gather facts and specific information. You may find that a better solution presents itself in this process of discovery, and that in the end you will have made a better decision.
ENFPs and Areas of Growth in The Workplace:
ENFPs, like all of us, can make a few minor changes to become even more effective and efficient individuals in their personal and professional lives. First, ENFPs have a tendency to more on to new ideas or projects without following through on initiatives that they’ve already started. If you are an ENFP, be aware of this tendency and try to remind yourself that newer is not always better. That is, you may need to set or revisit your priorities so that you are focusing first on the most important tasks and then following through on less important tasks. In that way, you can be sure that the highest priorities are addressed first.
Second, ENFPs often lose track of the details and facts of a project and as a result underestimate their commitments. As a result, they may overcommit or spread themselves too thin, In the end, they may not be able to keep their word, or they may stress themselves out in the process. If you are an ENFP, you may need to zoom in a bit and focus on key details. You may also need to be more realistic about your commitments and be confident in turning down opportunities if you already have a full plate. You do not have to do everything for everyone. Instead, it is more important to take care of yourself and your highest priorities first.
Third, do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Try not to put things off just because you are looking for the best possible answer or an ideal solution. Sometimes, the optimal strategy is to finish a project and check another item off of your to do list. You may find it helpful to apply project management and time management skills to meet your goals. You might even ask another coworker to help keep you accountable so that you can reach your goals together.
As an ENFP, you are an energetic, understanding person and a hard, tireless worker. With a little time, effort, and focus, you can become even more impactful in your professional and personal life.
Learn More About the MBTI ENFP Personality Type
Explore additional information that delves deeper into the ENFP Personality Type by examining various personality and career based subjects:
- How the MBTI ENFP Type relates to Innovation
- How the MBTI ENFP Type relates to Project Management
- How the MBTI ENFP Type relates to Emotional Intelligence
- How the MBTI ENFP Type Relates to Leadership
Click on a link below to read more about different MBTI Personality Types
Introduction to Type (Isabel Briggs Myers, 1998, CPP Inc.)
Introduction to Type and Careers (Allen L. Hammer, 2007, CPP Inc.)
Introduction to Type and Leadership (Richmond, S. CPP. 2008)
Introduction to Type and Learning (Dunning, D. CPP. 2008)
Introduction To Type® and Emotional Intelligence. (Pearman, R. CPP, 2002)
Introduction To Type in Organizations (Hirsh, S. & Kummerow, J. CPP Inc., 1998)