The acronym ENTJ represents one of the 16 personality types that are identified by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. This popular personality assessment was developed by Isabel Myers and her mother Katherine Briggs. The assessment tool is based on Carl Jung’s theory of personality types. Other people often describe people with this type of personality as assertive, confident, and outspoken.
According to psychologist David Keirsey, the ENTJ type is quite rare, accounting for a mere two percent of the population.1
Key ENTJ Characteristics
- People with this personality type enjoy spending time with other people. They have strong verbal skills and interacting with others helps them feel energized.
- ENTJ types prefer to think about the future rather than focus on the here-and-now. They usually find abstract and theoretical information more interesting than concrete details.
- When making decisions, ENTJs place a greater emphasis on objective and logical information. Personal feeling and the emotions of others tend not to factor much into their choices.
- ENTJs are planners. Making decisions and having a schedule or course of action planned out gives them a sense of predictability and control.
- They are highly rational, good at spotting problems, and excel at taking charge. These tendencies make them natural leaders who are focused on efficiently solving problems.
- One myth about ENTJs is that they are cold and ruthless. While they are not necessarily good with emotions, this does not mean that they are intentionally cruel. They are prone to hiding their own emotions and sentimentality, viewing it as a weakness that should not be made known to others.
- Strong leadership skills
- Good at making decisions
- Assertive and outspoken
- Strong communication skills
Based upon the Jungian personality theory, the MBTI suggests that personality is composed of a number of different cognitive functions. These functions can be focused primarily outward (extraverted) or inward (introverted). Each of these functions relate to how people perceive the world and make decisions. The dominant function is the most prominent aspect of personality, while the auxiliary function plays a supporting role. The tertiary function has a weaker influence, but can become more apparent when a person is under stress. The inferior function is primarily unconscious and is often a point of weakness. Developing this aspect can help people form a more balanced personality.
Dominant: Extraverted Thinking
- This is an ENTJ preferred function and is expressed through the way they make decisions and judgments.
- ENTJs have a tendency to speak first without listening, making snap judgments before really taking in all the information pertaining to a situation.
- While they tend to make snap judgments, they are also very rational and objective. They are focused on imposing order and standards on the world around them. Setting measurable goals is important.
Auxiliary: Introverted Intuition
- People with this personality type are future-focused and always consider the possibilities when approaching a decision.
- ENTJs are forward-thinking and are not afraid of change. They trust their instincts, although they may have a tendency to regret jumping to conclusions so quickly.
Tertiary: Extraverted Sensing
- This cognitive function gives ENTJs an appetite for adventure. They enjoy novel experiences and may sometimes engage in thrill-seeking behaviors.
- Because their outward sensory focus, they also have an appreciation for beautiful things in life. They often enjoy surrounding themselves with things that they find attractive or interesting.
Inferior: Introverted Feeling
- Introverted feeling is centered on internal feelings and values. Emotions can be difficult area for ENTJs, and they often lack an understanding of how this part of their personality contributes to their decision-making process.
- When this aspect of personality is weak, ENTJs may find themselves feeling uncomfortable or awkward in settings where some type of emotional response is called for.
ENTJs You Might Know
- Franklin D. Roosevelt, U.S. President
- Bill Gates, Microsoft founder
- Vince Lombardi, football coach
- Carl Sagan, astronomer
- Lex Luthor, Superman character
Since ENTJs are extroverts, they gain energy from socializing(unlike introverts, who expend energy in social situations). They love having passionate and lively conversations and debates. In some cases, other people can feel intimidated by the ENTJs confidence and strong verbal skills. When they have a good idea, people with this personality type feel compelled to share their point of view with others.
Despite their verbal abilities, ENTJs are not always good at understanding other people’s emotions. Expressing emotions can be difficult for them at times, and their tendency to get into debates can make them seem aggressive, argumentative, and confrontational. People can overcome this problem by making a conscious effort to think about how other people might be feeling.
They may struggle to understand or get along with more sensitive personality types. While they are extraverts, they are not emotionally expressive and other people may see them as insensitive.
Thanks to their comfort in the spotlight, ability to communicate, and a tendency to make quick decisions, ENTJs tend to naturally fall into leadership roles.
These individuals sometimes find themselves taking control of a group without really knowing how they came to be in such a position. Because of their love for structure and order, the ENTJ is also good at supervising and directing others and helping groups complete tasks and achieve goals. They are able to quickly see what needs to be accomplished, develop a plan of action, and assign roles to group members.
ENTJs do best in careers where there is a lot of structure, but plenty of room for variety. Jobs that allow them to meet and interact with lots of different people are ideal. People with this type bring a lot of desirable skills to the table, including excellent leadership and communication skills, a hard-working attitude, and an ability to plan for the future.
Popular ENTJ Careers
- Human resources manager
- Company CEO or manager
- Software developer
- Business analyst
- University professor
Tips for Interacting With ENTJs
ENTJ are social people and love engaging conversations. While they can seem argumentative and confrontational at times, just remember that this is part of their communication style. Try not to take it personally. They tend to have the easiest friendships with people who share their interests and views, and may struggle to understand people who are very introverted, sensitive, or emotional.
Parents of ENTJ children should recognize that their child is independent and intellectually curious. You can help your child by allowing them to pursue their curiosity. Understand that your child will often need your reasoning explained in order to understand why certain rules needs to be followed.
You can also help your child develop their emotional understanding by talking openly about feelings. Point out how people might feel about different experiences so that your ENTJ child can learn to better interpret both their own emotions and those of others.
An ENTJ partner can often seem quite dominating in a relationship. Because dealing with emotions does not come naturally to them, they may seem insensitive to their partner’s feelings. It is important to remember that this does not mean that ENTJ’s don’t have feelings — they do need to feel completely comfortable in order to show their emotions. They are very committed to making relationships work and are always looking for ways that they can improve their relationships. If you have an issue with your partner, be upfront and honest. Your partner would rather hear the truth than try to guess your feelings.