When does an ENFJ look like an ESTJ, ESTP, or ENTJ?


The Fine Art of Clarifying Type by Dr. Linda V. Berens


I had a client who in the workshop Self-Discovery Process® sorted first as Improviser™, then as Stabilizer™, then as In-Charge™. Her behavior looked ESTJ like and even ENTJ like in the workshop. Her MBTI® instrument results pointed her to ENFJ and she said the descriptions of ENFJ from various sources fit her perfectly.

All of these share the In-Charge™ Interaction Style and in a time and task situation will move quickly to focusing on getting an achievable result as soon as possible. ENFJs in counseling, coaching, and OD often don't recognize their own In-Charge™ style, but this woman was different. She was clear on that style. Her background was business, with many years as a successful senior executive where time and task and quick decisions rule. These four types also share the In-Charge™ style of straightforward and direct communication and although

ENFJs will soften the message at times, they still tend to be directing and determined in their verbal and non-verbal behavior.

ENFJ-ESTJ: Both are affiliative and seek a sense of community and interdependence. Both want to have roles clearly defined.

ENFJ-ESTP: ENFJs often have a sense of style and aesthetics that looks more Improviser™ than Catalyst™. They also can get into that fun-loving place of experiencing and enjoying the physical moment. Both of these behaviors may be evidence of engaging their tertiary cognitive process of Se in a relief role.

ENFJ-ENTJ: Cleary the business background played strongly in how this woman typically behaved and is a clear case of the environment influencing type development. She may have acquired a great deal of TJ (Te) skill in her work. However, these two types share Ni and so the sense of foreseeing and visioning would appear similar in both. Also, my client disclosed that she had overachieving parents whom she continually wanted to please and connect with (Fe) so the very strong achievement orientation we often see in _NTJs was there. Additionally, Ti plays an Aspirational role in ENFJ and we often see a seeking of clarity around definitions and principles that is usually a characteristic of the Theorist™ temperament.

Te: If she had not been free to be her ENFJ self growing up and in her work, she may have been forced to develop skill in Te in a way that we might not expect from a process that usually plays a somewhat Devilish role in the personality. She may have tapped into it in a more transformative way as she structured her life to be who she thought she needed to be. This would explain both the ESTJ and ENTJ look to her behavior.

Linda Berens Professional Bio

Linda V. Berens, Ph.D. is a human and organizational development practitioner who has spent over twenty-five years teaching professionals as well as helping individuals and teams recognize their strengths, transcend their weaknesses, and work together better. After founding Interstrength® Associates (formerly known as Temperament Research Institute), a corporate consulting and training organization, she has turned her attention to developing a more complete and integrated look at individual differences through Integral TypeWorks, LLC. Linda is recognized internationally for her theoretical contributions to the field of psychological type and for developing user-friendly training materials for practical application of understanding individual differences.She is the author or co-author of multiple books and training materials.

In Detail-Coach, Organizational Consultant, Educator, Author

I founded Temperament Research Institute or TRI in 1988 to provide a source for solid information about individual differences. In 2005, TRI was renamed to Interstrength Associates and it was the premier source for research, education, applications and training support for the understanding of individual differences and change facilitation using applications of Temperament Theory, Jung's theory of psychological types and the Berens Interaction Styles Model. Interstrength Associates became internationally recognized as a provider of exceptional Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® Qualifying Programs as well as training in advanced applications of the works of Carl Jung, Isabel Myers, and David Keirsey.

As President of Interstrength Associates, I made it my goal to attract training, coaching, and organizational development professionals who are experts in their own fields such as leadership, teams, communication, training, coaching, counseling, and creativity to become faculty for Interstrength Associates and to develop applications of the study of individual differences to those fields.

Licensed in California as a Marriage, Family and Child Therapist (currently inactive status) and an Educational Psychologist I have worked with the theory of personality types since 1975. Over the last 15 years, I conducted extensive qualitative research into the characteristics of the sixteen personality types and the four temperaments. As a result of this research, I integrated the work of Carl Jung, David Keirsey and a theory of living systems into a methodology for helping people understand themselves and others, placing myself and my associates on the leading edge of work in this field. In my most recent work I refined the popular social styles theory to see patterns of interaction styles. This recent addition places me as a leading contributor to the study of individual differences.

I have conducted thousands of training programs in this theory and its applications to counseling, education, career development and organizational development. I qualified (now called Certified) over 2500 people to purchase the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® assessment and am frequently called upon to be the consultant's consultant. I have trained and consulted with professionals in a wide range of companies.

I am the author or co-author of multiple books and training materials, including the groundbreaking, web-based self-discovery workshop-Interstrength® Explorer Series and several books.



facebook share icon linkedin share icon