Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Extraversion iNtuition Thinking Judging

I developed a taste for profiling years ago after attending a creative management course where everyone underwent the Myers-Briggs test to determine their natural psychological tendencies. There's plenty of debate about the accuracy of the Myers-Briggs test, but the result is always the same every time I take it: I'm ENTJ. What does that mean? E stands for an attitude of extraversion [this doesn't mean the same as extroverted, hence the different spelling]. People who tend towards extraversion draw energy from action, people and things. The other end of the spectrum is introversion, people who reflect before taking action.

N stands for intuition, suggesting I trust information that is abstract and theoretical. The other end of the spectrum is sensing, preferring facts gleaned from your five senses. T stands for thinking, an indication of my decision making function. Thinkers will assess a situation from a detached point of view, while the other end of spectrum is feeling, those who empathise first. Finally, J stands for Judging, a lifestyle choice. That's about having clear timelines and plans, whereas the other side of the coin is termed perceiving, people who are happy to be more flexible, leaving things open and relaxed.

An ENTJ are sometimes known as fieldmarshals. These rational creatures tend to lead and dominate - sometimes with charm and finesse, sometimes with less insensitivity. ENTJs often plan creatively and make those plans reality. They frequently perform well in business, but their visionary tendencies to original ideas don't make them suited to working their way up a corporate ladder.

Here's an extract from an ENTJ personality profile I found online: ENTJs are natural born leaders. They live in a world of possibilities where they see all sorts challenges to be surmounted, and they want to be the ones responsible for surmounting them. They have a drive for leadership, which is well-served by their quickness to grasp complexities, their ability to absorb a large amount of impersonal information, and their quick and decisive judgments.

And now the bad news: There is not much room for error in the world of the ENTJ. They dislike to see mistakes repeated, and have no patience with inefficiency. They may become quite harsh when their patience is tried in these respects, because they are not naturally tuned in to people's feelings, and more than likely don't believe that they should tailor their judgments in consideration for people's feelings. ENTJs, like many types, have difficulty seeing things from outside their own perspective.

Finally, a warning: The ENTJ has a tremendous amount of personal power and presence which will work for them as a force towards achieving their goals. However, this personal power is also an agent of alienation and self-aggrandizement, which the ENTJ would do well to avoid. So, at least you know what you're dealing with now.

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