The Myers-Briggs Test: Totally Unscientific?

So, this is my current Twitter bio

Life Explorer, HE/learning, Christian, cultural history, WW2 posters: Keep Calm & Carry On, digital, ENFP,   

which you’ll notice includes the Myers-Briggs personality type ‘ENFP’, and I’ve always been fascinated by personality tools that can help understand how I can make the most of myself, and understand others better. In chatting with others, there’s a strong feeling that Myers-Briggs is little better than horoscopes … although I’ve always thought ‘well, at least it’s not randomly assigned to the month that you’re born’ … but I’m fascinated by this Guardian piece (H/T @revpamsmith) in which Dean Burnett indicates that the Myers-Briggs tests is too binary – too black and white … and that most people fall in places along the scale. I have to say I’ve always thought that, but I still, in general, can find Myers-Briggs and other tests give me something to think about .. I’m rarely looking at them (or anything else) for the magic bullet! Fascinating!

I personally feel it’s more to do with people’s tendency to go for anything that offers an easy solution. People will always go for the new fad diet, thealternative remedy, the five dollar wrinkle trick that makes dermatologists hate you for some reason. For all that it may be well-intended, the MBTI offers a variation on that. People are very complex, variable and unpredictable. Many users of the MBTI believe that a straightforward test can simplify them to the point where they can be managed, controlled and utilised to make them as efficient and productive as possible. It’s no wonder businesses are keen to embrace something like that; it would be the ideal tool if it were guaranteed to achieve this. Read full article.


P.S. Check out this diagram!

Find your S.H.A.P.E.

See more information on the SHAPE course via Rick Warren’s site. It’s SO important that people understand that every time we talk about “Ministry”, that we see this in the widest context… it’s not about what role you can find to do within your physical church, but what God has designed you for in the global sense, to be the best: physically, emotionally and spiritually!

  • S: Spiritual Gifts (which have you been given?)
  • H: Heart Motivation (what do you love to do?)
  • A: Abilities & Talents (appreciate natural talents you have)
  • P: Personality (God-given temperament)
  • E: Experiences (how have you been prepared for your unique ministry?)

1 Corinthians 12:12-27

My Score: S

Having undertaken an 138 question survey, we each produced a unique list of those specific ‘gifts’ that we excel at (recognisable in my past history)

  • Leadership (24/24)
    The special ability the Holy Spirit gives to recognise and communicate the vision of God’s purposes, and to accomplish it through the motivation and direction of a group of people.
  • Hospitality (23/24)
    The special ability the Holy Spirit gives to make people feel welcome, accepted and safe in their home and in a variety of settings.
  • Organisation (21/24)
    The special ability the Holy Spirit gives to perceive the way an organisation works, and to conceive and implement procedures that maximise the church’s ability to function, and release people – especially leaders – to fulfil their calling/gifting.

My Score: H

  • I am motivated to lead/be in charge; help; persevere.
  • I would most like to encourage others to be the best they can be (but they need to be willing to engage with me).
  • I would most like to help those who want to help themselves, and who want to learn
  • The issues I feel strongly about are Education and Communications Literacy
  • I am therefore likely to be able to make the most significant contribution tutoring/mentoring in groups.

My Score: A

  • I have particular experience in research, teaching and writing, and project management.
  • I have specialised abilities in researching, managing, (teach/interview/write/promote?).
  • I am most likely to be used in Christian Service in social groups, training in digital communications.

My Score: P

For this exercise, I thought that I would come out as PEOPLE/UNSTRUCTURED, but I came out as TASK/UNSTRUCTURED (maybe that explains why I haven’t seen enough of my friends, as I always feel that I have to have completed my task before I can go out!), although to be fair although I was ‘maximum’ unstructured’, I was borderline on people/task, and some questions could have fallen either side!


  • General guidelines
  • Helps wherever needed
  • Versatile
  • Likes tangible tasks.

Require roles with a degree of creativity and adaptability in order to produce the best results.


  • Spontaneous situations
  • Relates well to others
  • Very conversational
  • Tends to be flexible

Require roles that give you the freedom to respond to people spontaneously.

My Score: E

A great number of experiences have shaped my spiritual journey, and the ones that came to mind on the day (and I am prepared to share publicly) include:

  • Billy Graham Mission
  • Taking voluntary redundancy, going travelling, and learning to lose some of the expectations of others (not finished yet)
  • Going on retreat (taking time out in any way)
  • Oak Hall leadership
  • Social group leaderships (I throw a great party, given half a chance!)
  • Academic world – skills, enthusiasm & challenge

I would like to challenge others to take time out from formal ministry roles, and not to get stuck in roles. We need to find roles to fit people, rather than people to fit roles!

I just love to encourage people to share, and try out new things!!!


We are given the opportunity to ask others for feedback. All comments are moderated, so if you want to say something off the record, or I’m not comfortable publishing it, it will be held – but I will see it!

  1. What spiritual gifts do you think I  might have?
    (3 from: Organisation, Celibacy, Counselling, Deliverance, Discernment, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith, Giving, Healing, Hospitality, Intercession, Interpretation of tongues, Leadership, Mercy, Missionary, Pastoring, Prophecy, Service, Teaching, Tongues, Voluntary Poverty, Wisdom)
  2. What do you think I’m particularly good at doing?
  3. What areas of my like seem to be ‘fruitful’?
  4. What 3 words best sum up my personality?
  5. What qualities do you particularly admire?
  6. What can you see stopping/hindering me using God-given gifts?

OPQ (Occupational Personality Questionnaire)

The Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ) provides in-depth information on how individuals fit within a work environment, how they will work with others and their performance potential against job competencies. I undertook the profiling soon after I accepted my redundancy payment from the University of Manchester.

“A real people person, very socially confident; sympathetic and considerate towards others, consults widely when making decisions; tries to understand motivations and behaviour (rather than facts/feelings), can take the lead when necessary, needs variety, has some interest in theoretical discussions, can adapt approach, can think strategically and at a level of detail, will persist to get the job done, has respect for rules & regulations, the nerves rise before important events, thrives on activity, dislikes competition – prefers taking part, takes time to make decisions.”

Birkman Report

Selected elements from this report, taken in 2007 (checkout Care for the Family):

Areas of Interest: Percentages indicate a broad level of interest

Social Science
Organised assistance and services to support and advance social conditions of the individual and community through social programmes, agencies and organised religious involvement.
Creative interest in writing and in sophisticated language skills. Indicates appreciation for abstract ideas conveyed in various mediums and materials.
Creating imaginative works of aesthetic value, expressing ideas artistically. Working or performing in the visual arts.
Persuasive interaction with others. Motivating others to accept ideas, actions or opinions through means of persuasion, reasoning or argument.
Being involved in administrative positions, including recording, data processing, numeric detail and personnel functions that provide predictable results and specific controls.
Hands-on work in an outdoor or natural environment. These activities can include physical or mental exertion outside of office confines. Some individuals score high because of environmental concerns.
Involvement with music in its many forms. Interests may include melodies, compositions, attending concerts, supporting the musical arts, or simply appreciating music. Professional musicians would be expected to have a high degree of this interest.
Combining number analytically and factually to arrive at practical, quantitative conclusions. Utilising numbers in business bookkeeping, accounting and tax procedures.
Involvement in professions or avocations that assist others through research. Occupations in health services, technology and medical paraprofessionals, nutritional and pharmaceutical services involving scientific interests.
Hands-on work with a broad range of technical responsibilities from power-driven machine operations to high-tech electronics. Interests may include design, maintenance, operation or repair of motors and machinery, power-driven or automated.

Summary of the Lifestyle Grid
This grid also demonstrates how others would react in a similar situation, so that teams can understand each other better.

  • You enjoy people-centred activities, particularly when these activities involve theorising, planning or creating new ways of doing things.
  • When you are working effectively, you tend to be assertive, enthusiastic and intense in feeling.
  • To be most effective, you generally respond best to people who are insightful and persuasive. Under stress, you may become easily distracted and hesitant.

Organisational Focus Overview

  1. Blue: Design/Strategy (strongest influence)
    1. Focuses on strategy and innovation
    2. Generates ideas and concepts
    3. Values the welfare of people
    4. Operates with idealistic outlook
    5. Engages in research and development
    6. Provides vision
    7. Sensitive and creative
  2. Green: Sales/Marketing
    1. Focuses on sales and marketing efforts
    2. Influences and motivates people
    3. Seeks recognition
    4. Supports and manages change
    5. Actively communicates with others
    6. Acts independently
    7. Outgoing and enthusiastic
  3. Yellow: Admin/Fiscal
    1. Focuses on organisational process/systems
    2. Values accuracy and detail
    3. Analyses data thoroughly
    4. Cooperative when working with others
    5. Ises plan when acting on objectives
    6. Appreciates stability in environment
    7. Cautious and consistent
  4. Red: Operations/Technology (weakest influence)
    1. Focuses on operations and production
    2. Values tactical, short-term goals
    3. Takes action on objectives
    4. Communicates candidly
    5. Produces tangible products
    6. Makes decisions quickly
    7. Practical and ‘hands on’

Top 10 (suggested) Job Families

  • Legal (including lawyers)
  • Knowledge Specialist (including career counsellors, University lecturers, clergy)
  • Administrative Professionals (including auditing)
  • Educational Careers (including teachers, University lecturers, University administration)
  • Social Service/Counselling (including clergy, counsellors, psychologists, sociologists)
  • Employee Relations/Training (including career counselors, HR training, customer services, entertainment marketing, public relations, lobbying, personnel)
  • Artistic Careers (including visual arts, editorial positions, architecture, travel agents)
  • Medical Professions (including nutritionists, public health administrators)
  • Delegative Management (Managing, leading and accomplishing goals through others by utilising plans and strategies, arrange resources and assist subordinates and teams in dealing with resource and implementation issues. Include managers and executives in plan-driven organisations.)
  • Consultative Intangiable Sales (Marketing and/or sales of intangiable products or services.)

Report gained through, now, part of the Care for the Family group on 4th September 2007.

What Others Say

Others indicate that I have a number of strengths:

  • Looking to create unity, harmony, and create a cohesive whole from seemingly disparate elements
  • Seeks, encourages and generates creative ideas to promote valued causes.
  • Works at both strategic and practical levels
  • Will consult appropriate experts (academics, students, creative & technical agencies)
  • Trained to work to a high level, implementing, and seeing things through to completion.

A collection of comments provided through feedback from friends, students, managers:

See more under Personality Profiling.


In 1999/2000, I completed the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test, which is one of a set of personality tests. There are 16 Myers-Briggs Types, and on the training course I came out, rather inconclusively, as an ‘ESFP’, although only ‘E’ was very clear – I was near the edge of all other letters, particularly S/N and J/P. In 2007, I took advantage of the variety of tests online to re-do the test, and came out on every one as an ENFP (which fits more strongly with careers style discussions)

Click to view my Personality Profile page
Taken from

Marcus Buckingham ‘Now, Discover Your Strengths’

I found this book very helpful in focusing more on what I AM GOOD AT, and developing those skills further, rather than always trying to improve at my ‘weaknesses’.

The following are my five top strengths:


  • Has a great deal of stamina
  • Works hard
  • Takes great satisfaction from being busy and productive
  • Driven to achieve
  • MUST achieve something tangiable by the end of the day, needs to measure cumulative production.
  • “Every day” includes weekends/holidays – feels driven to achieve
  • Has to learn to live with the ‘whisper of discontent’ which accompanies the relentless need for achievement – it drives you, it gives you stamina for long hours, inspires you to start new challenges, keeps you moving.
  • Likes recognition for past achievement and the setting of new goals.


  • Fascinated by ideas, able to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena
  • An idea is a a new perspective on a familiar challenge, or a concept, which offers the best explanation of MOST events. It is delightful to find below a complex surface a simple explanation for WHY things are the way they are.
  • The mind is always looking for connections, however obscure.
  • Revels in taking the world we know, turning it around and viewing it from a strange or enlightening angle.
  • Others label you as creative, original, conceptual or smart, you are particularly effective as a designer.
  • All ideas are thrilling, for whatever reason. Need these ideas to be valued.
  • Uses ideas already written within focus of the organisation to generate new insights and discoveries.
  • Enjoys words – especially when they perfectly capture a concept/idea/pattern.
  • Needs to understand how things fit togehter, and any exceptions pointed out.


  • Thrives on learning and continual self-development, this keeps the motivation going – wants to continuously improve.
  • The PROCESS of learning, rather than the outcome is exciting. Enjoys developing a growing confidence as skills are mastered.
  • Engages in adult-learning experiences. Subject matter of interest depends upon other themes (listed here) and past experiences.
  • Energised by the steady/deliberate journey from ignorance to competence.
  • Learns by teaching others, through presentations, etc.
  • Thrives in a dynamic work environment, where are asked to take on short project assignments and are expected to learn a lot about the subject matter in a short period of time, then move onto the next one. Generally not seeking to become an expert – the outcome is less significant than ‘getting there’.
  • Good to work with someone who will push you to achieve more.
  • Needs to have learning recognised through certificates, etc.
  • Needs to celebrate milestones, which have been pre-identified.
  • Needs to stay current in a fast-changing field.


  • Can organise, but this organisation is accompanied by a flexibility.
  • Likes to figure out how all the pieces/resources can be arranged for maxiumu productivity.
  • Enjoys managing the variables – aligning/re-aligning until are sure has the best configuration possible. See this as nothing special, just the best way of getting things done. Is very resourceful.
  • Effectively flexible – changes quickly for a better deal; mulling over the combination of people/resources to accomplish a project.
  • Thrives with many things going on at the same time.
  • At best in dynamic situations – the unexpected has you diving in, devising new options, looking for the path of least resistence because there MIGHT be a better way.
  • Thrives on responsibility, like to make a good manager, seeing how the team works together, especially through trust & relationships.


  • Loves the challenge of meeting new people and winning them over. A good person to be the contact for the outside world, needs to refine a system for remembering names, etc.
  • Derives satisfaction from breaking the ice, making a connection with the other.
  • Strangers are not intimidating to you, you want to learn about them, ask questions, find common ground so can strike up a conversation/build a rapport.
  • Rarely at a loss for words.
  • Once the connection is made, are happy to wrap it up and move onto the next connection. Not so good at building close relationships, prefers to meet & move on.
  • In the world, there are no strangers, only friends you haven’t met yet.
  • A good person to build good will in your community.

Wealth Dynamics: Star

Wealth Dynamics profile – the Star

Oprah Winfrey - StarStars are aware of the strength of their personality

They often use it to their advantage without realizing the negative impact it can have on those around them.

Stars have the ability to shine

However, they can often get burnt out with extreme demands on their time. Increased success frequently means greater stress, and an inability to capitalize on their stardom in a sustainable way.

The Creators set the stage, and the Stars steal the show

Stars get their most valuable feedback in the limelight, and find their flow while on their feet. As a result, they are able to evolve their attraction on the fly, and it is their personal magnetism that is their greatest value.

As innovators, Stars have an inner confidence

This inner confidence drives them to step up and take the lead. However, others sometimes see this as overconfidence. Reflecting on his outlook, Arnold Schwarzenegger comments, “I knew I was a winner back in the late sixties. I knew I was destined for great things. People will say that kind of thinking is totally immodest. I agree. Modesty is not a word that applies to me in any way – I hope it never will.”

A Star profile should not be confused with sports stars or rock stars

Sports stars or rocks stars tend to get to their position largely on talent. There are Star profiles in industries ranging from property and media to hospitality who have ended up far wealthier than the most talented entertainers by following the Star profile strategy. There are also many extremely talented entertainers who have ended up flat broke.

Stars are naturals at creating a unique identity for themselves

It is their personal brand that attracts others. By magnifying their brand, they quickly magnify their attraction. Failed Stars do not realize this and have been attempting to build their wealth by improving their products, their systems or their teams – none of which come as naturally. Stars also get frustrated that others cannot do what they can do, and so make poor managers without the right deputies.

Successful Stars are happy to leverage

This is achieved by leveraging on the products and platform of others in order to perform their magic. They lead from the front with their name shining in lights, while others count the receipts.

Examples of successful Stars

Oprah Winfrey Anthony Robbins, , Arnold Schwarzenegger, Amithabh Bachan, Paul Newman and Martha Stewart.

Could you be a Star?

Oprah Winfrey is worth more than every Hollywood celebrity she has had on her talk show. Her wealth comes from playing the game exceptionally well, establishing ownership over her empire, and leveraging that brand over multiple media.

Stars are task and people based. They ask what and who? “What should I say now or what should I do next?” “Who do I need to call or who do I need now?”

I undertook this test in January through John Williams, and my test came through as Star, with Creator/Supporter as secondary types. Information taken from here, which also gives information on the other 7 types, and an opportunity to take the test.

Still Not Sure “What to Be When You Grow Up?”

“Do you have so many different interests and passions the concept of settling into one career always felt awful to you?

If so, do you recognize yourself in these descriptions?

You are…

…Afraid you’ll either have to settle into a career and stick with it for life (boring!). Or, pursue your many, unrelated passions that will leave you penniless and unable to support your family.

…Well beyond your college years but still clueless about what you want to be when you grow up. You feel like something is wrong with you.

…Often described as a Jack-of-all-trades, master of none. You are quickly excited about many, completely unrelated topics, but you may lose interest just as quickly.

…Someone with a zest for life and a love of new experiences and learning for the sake of learning.

…Very successful in your field, but bored to death and looking to change directions – again. To the horror and disbelief of those around you.

If this sounds like you, chances are, you are frustrated. Or worse; you are desperate because you can’t seem to “get it together.” It’s even possible, in your attempt to keep your options open in order to satisfy all your different interests, you make no choices at all. You know you have all this potential but lots of it is going unused.

If you’ve ever felt as if something was wrong with you for your inability to stick with a passion, a hobby, an interest, or job, or even a career; take heart. You are completely normal!”

Read the full article by Ilona Vanderwoude, also on Twitter @careerbranches

ENFP (Typelogic)

Extraverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving
by Marina Margaret Heiss

Profile: ENFP
Revision: 3.0
Date of Revision: 25 Feb 2005

[The following comes partially from the archetype, but mostly from my own dealings with ENFPs.]

General: ENFPs are both “idea”-people and “people”-people, who see everyone and everything as part of an often bizarre cosmic whole. They want to both help (at least, their own definition of “help”) and be liked and admired by other people, on bo th an individual and a humanitarian level. They are interested in new ideas on principle, but ultimately discard most of them for one reason or another.

Social/Personal Relationships: ENFPs have a great deal of zany charm, which can ingratiate them to the more stodgy types in spite of their unconventionality. They are outgoing, fun, and genuinely like people. As SOs/mates they are warm, affectionate (l ots of PDA), and disconcertingly spontaneous. However, attention span in relationships can be short; ENFPs are easily intrigued and distracted by new friends and acquaintances, forgetting about the older ones for long stretches at a time. Less mature ENFPs may need to feel they are the center of attention all the time, to reassure them that everyone thinks they’re a wonderful and fascinating person.

ENFPs often have strong, if unconvential, convictions on various issues related to their Cosmic View. They usually try to use their social skills and contacts to persuade people gently of the rightness of these views; his sometimes results in their negle cting their nearest and dearest while flitting around trying to save the world.
Work Environment: ENFPs are pleasant, easygoing, and usually fun to work with. They come up with great ideas, and are a major asset in brainstorming sessions. Followthrough tends to be a problem, however; they tend to get bored quickly, especially if a newer, more interesting project comes along. They also tend to be procrastinators, both about meeting hard deadlines and about performing any small, uninteresting tasks that they’ve been assigned. ENFPs are at their most useful when working in a group w ith a J or two to take up the slack.

ENFPs hate bureaucracy, both in principle and in practice; they will always make a point of launching one of their crusades against some aspect of it.

Extraverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving

by Joe Butt

ENFPs are friendly folks. Most are really enjoyable people. Some of the most soft-hearted people are ENFPs.

ENFPs have what some call a “silly switch.” They can be intellectual, serious, all business for a while, but whenever they get the chance, they flip that switch and become CAPTAIN WILDCHILD, the scourge of the swimming pool, ticklers par excellence. Som etimes they may even appear intoxicated when the “switch” is flipped.

One study has shown that ENFPs are significantly overrepresented in psychodrama. Most have a natural propensity for role-playing and acting.

ENFPs like to tell funny stories, especially about their friends. This penchant may be why many are attracted to journalism. I kid one of my ENFP friends that if I want the sixth fleet to know something, I’ll just tell him.

ENFPs are global learners. Close enough is satisfactory to the ENFP, which may unnerve more precise thinking types, especially with such things as piano practice (“three quarter notes or four … what’s the difference?”) Amazingly, some ENFPs are adept at exacting disciplines such as mathematics.

Friends are what life is about to ENFPs, moreso even than the other NFs. They hold up their end of the relationship, sometimes being victimized by less caring individuals. ENFPs are energized by being around people. Some have real difficulty being alone , especially on a regular basis.

One ENFP colleague, a social worker, had such tremendous interpersonal skills that she put her interviewers at ease during her own job interview. She had the ability to make strangers feel like old friends.

ENFPs sometimes can be blindsided by their secondary Feeling function. Hasty decisions based on deeply felt values may boil over with unpredictable results. More than one ENFP has abruptly quit a job in such a moment.

Functional Analysis:

Extraverted iNtuition

The physical world, both geos and kosmos, is the ENFP’s primary source of information. Rather than sensing things as they are, dominant intuition is sensitive to things as they might be. These extraverted intuitives are most adept with patterns and connections. Their natural inclination is toward relationships, especially among people or living things.

Intuition leans heavily on feeling for meaning and focus. Its best patterns reflect the interesting points of people, giving rise to caricatures of manner, speech and expression.

Introverted Feeling

Auxiliary feeling is nonverbally implied more often than it is openly expressed. When expressed, this logic has an aura of romance and purity that may seem out of place in this flawed, imperfect world. In its own defense, feeling judgement frequently and fleetly gives way to humor. ENFPs who publicize their feelings too often may put off some of the crowd of friends they naturally attract.

Extraverted Thinking

Thinking, the process which runs to impersonal conclusions, holds the extraverted tertiary position. Used on an occasional basis, ENFPs may benefit greatly from this ability. Less mature and lacking the polish of higher order functions, Thinking is not well suited to be used as a prominent function. As with other FP types, the ENFP unwary of Thinking’s limitations may find themselves most positively mistaken.

Introverted Sensing

Sensing, the least discernible ENFP function, resides in the inner world where reality is reduced to symbols and icons–ideas representing essences of external realities. Under the influence of the ever-present intuition, the ENFP’s sensory perceptions are in danger of being replaced by hypothetical data consistent with pattern and paradigm. When it is protected and nourished, introverted sensing provides information about the fixed. From such firm anchoring ENFPs are best equipped to launch into thousands of plausibilities and curiosities yet to be imagined.

Perhaps the combination of introverted Feeling and childlike introverted Sensing is responsible for the silent pull of ENFPs to the wishes of parents, authority figures and friends. Or perhaps it’s the predominance of indecisive intuition in combination with the ambiguity of secondary Fi and tertiary Te that induces these kind souls to capitulate even life-affecting decisions. Whatever the dynamic, ENFPs are strongly influenced by the opinions of their friends.

Portrait of an ENFP

The Inspirer

As an ENFP, your primary mode of living is focused externally, where you take things in primarily via your intuition. Your secondary mode is internal, where you deal with things according to how you feel about them, or how they fit in with your personal value system.

ENFPs are warm, enthusiastic people, typically very bright and full of potential. They live in the world of possibilities, and can become very passionate and excited about things. Their enthusiasm lends them the ability to inspire and motivate others, more so than we see in other types. They can talk their way in or out of anything. They love life, seeing it as a special gift, and strive to make the most out of it.

ENFPs have an unusually broad range of skills and talents. They are good at most things which interest them. Project-oriented, they may go through several different careers during their lifetime. To onlookers, the ENFP may seem directionless and without purpose, but ENFPs are actually quite consistent, in that they have a strong sense of values which they live with throughout their lives. Everything that they do must be in line with their values. An ENFP needs to feel that they are living their lives as their true Self, walking in step with what they believe is right. They see meaning in everything, and are on a continuous quest to adapt their lives and values to achieve inner peace. They’re constantly aware and somewhat fearful of losing touch with themselves. Since emotional excitement is usually an important part of the ENFP’s life, and because they are focused on keeping “centered”, the ENFP is usually an intense individual, with highly evolved values.

An ENFP needs to focus on following through with their projects. This can be a problem area for some of these individuals. Unlike other Extraverted types, ENFPs need time alone to center themselves, and make sure they are moving in a direction which is in sync with their values. ENFPs who remain centered will usually be quite successful at their endeavors. Others may fall into the habit of dropping a project when they become excited about a new possibility, and thus they never achieve the great accomplishments which they are capable of achieving.

Most ENFPs have great people skills. They are genuinely warm and interested in people, and place great importance on their inter-personal relationships. ENFPs almost always have a strong need to be liked. Sometimes, especially at a younger age, an ENFP will tend to be “gushy” and insincere, and generally “overdo” in an effort to win acceptance. However, once an ENFP has learned to balance their need to be true to themselves with their need for acceptance, they excel at bringing out the best in others, and are typically well-liked. They have an exceptional ability to intuitively understand a person after a very short period of time, and use their intuition and flexibility to relate to others on their own level.

Because ENFPs live in the world of exciting possibilities, the details of everyday life are seen as trivial drudgery. They place no importance on detailed, maintenance-type tasks, and will frequently remain oblivous to these types of concerns. When they do have to perform these tasks, they do not enjoy themselves. This is a challenging area of life for most ENFPs, and can be frustrating for ENFP’s family members.

An ENFP who has “gone wrong” may be quite manipulative – and very good it. The gift of gab which they are blessed with makes it naturally easy for them to get what they want. Most ENFPs will not abuse their abilities, because that would not jive with their value systems.

ENFPs sometimes make serious errors in judgment. They have an amazing ability to intuitively perceive the truth about a person or situation, but when they apply judgment to their perception, they may jump to the wrong conclusions.

ENFPs who have not learned to follow through may have a difficult time remaining happy in marital relationships. Always seeing the possibilities of what could be, they may become bored with what actually is. The strong sense of values will keep many ENFPs dedicated to their relationships. However, ENFPs like a little excitement in their lives, and are best matched with individuals who are comfortable with change and new experiences.

Having an ENFP parent can be a fun-filled experience, but may be stressful at times for children with strong Sensing or Judging tendancies. Such children may see the ENFP parent as inconsistent and difficult to understand, as the children are pulled along in the whirlwind life of the ENFP. Sometimes the ENFP will want to be their child’s best friend, and at other times they will play the parental authoritarian. But ENFPs are always consistent in their value systems, which they will impress on their children above all else, along with a basic joy of living.

ENFPs are basically happy people. They may become unhappy when they are confined to strict schedules or mundane tasks. Consequently, ENFPs work best in situations where they have a lot of flexibility, and where they can work with people and ideas. Many go into business for themselves. They have the ability to be quite productive with little supervision, as long as they are excited about what they’re doing.

Because they are so alert and sensitive, constantly scanning their environments, ENFPs often suffer from muscle tension. They have a strong need to be independent, and resist being controlled or labelled. They need to maintain control over themselves, but they do not believe in controlling others. Their dislike of dependence and suppression extends to others as well as to themselves.

ENFPs are charming, ingenuous, risk-taking, sensitive, people-oriented individuals with capabilities ranging across a broad spectrum. They have many gifts which they will use to fulfill themselves and those near them, if they are able to remain centered and master the ability of following through.

Jungian functional preference ordering for ENFP:

Dominant: Extraverted Intuition
Auxiliary: Introverted Feeling
Tertiary: Extraverted Thinking
Inferior: Introverted Sensing

Original: BSM Consulting; Encouraging Personal Growth; Careers

Discover Your

ENFPs are:

  • 3rd most frequent among education majors in college.
  • In national sample “Leisure Activities,” overrepresented in “Writing,” “Appreciating art,” “Playing musical instrument,” “Listening to music,” “Reading”
  • Underrepresented in “Watching TV for leisure” and “Watching TV 3 or more hours per day.”
  • Academic subjects preferred: art, English, music.
  • In national sample, lowest of all types in liking work environments where “Everything is done by the book”
  • 1 of 3 highest types in liking “Independence & achievement,” “Teamwork,” and “People from different backgrounds.”
  • Most important feature on an ideal job: creativity and originality.
  • In national sample, dissatisfied with “Promotions” and “Salary”; satisfied with “People I work with” in their jobs.
  • With ESTJs, had highest total coping resources of all the types.
  • Ranked 1st of all 16 types in using social and emotional coping resources and 2nd in using cognitive resources.
  • In national sample, ranked lowest in coping with stress by “Developing physical symptoms.”


ENFP: The Advocate

There are a number of different definitions for an ENFP (which I come out as EVERY time on Myers-Briggs)

“ENFPs are introspective, values-oriented, inspiring, social and extremely expressive. They actively send their thoughts and ideas out into the world as a way to bring attention to what they feel to be important, which often has to do with ethics and current events. ENFPs are natural advocates, attracting people to themselves and their cause with excellent people skills, warmth, energy and positivity. ENFPs are described as creative, resourceful, assertive, spontaneous, life-loving, charismatic, passionate and experimental.”

About the ENFP
Expert Quotes & Links
“They can’t bear to miss out on what is going on around them; they must experience, first hand, all the significant social events that affect our lives.”

“ENFPs are warm, enthusiastic people, typically very bright and full of potential. They live in the world of possibilities, and can become very passionate and excited about things. Their enthusiasm lends them the ability to inspire and motivate others, more so than we see in other types. They can talk their way in or out of anything. They love life, seeing it as a special gift, and strive to make the most out of it.”

- Portrait of an ENFP (The Personality Page)

“Friends are what life is about to ENFPs, moreso even than the other NFs. They hold up their end of the relationship, sometimes being victimized by less caring individuals. ENFPs are energized by being around people. Some have real difficulty being alone, especially on a regular basis.”

- ENFP Profile (TypeLogic)
“outgoing, social, disorganized, easily talked into doing silly things, spontaneous, wild and crazy, acts without thinking…”

- ENFP Jung Type Descriptions (

“ENFPs are energetic and enthusiastic leaders who are likely to take charge when a new endeavor needs a visionary spokesperson. ENFPs are values-oriented people who become champions of causes and services relating to human needs and dreams. Their leadership style is one of soliciting and recognizing others’ contributions and of evaluating the personal needs of their followers. ENFPs are often charismatic leaders who are able to help people see the possibilities beyond themselves and their current realities. They function as catalysts.”

- ENFP – The Visionary (Lifexplore)

“Ranked 1st of all 16 types in using social and emotional coping resources and 2nd in using cognitive resources. ”

- ENFP Facts (


Does this sound like me – I think I have a number of other definitions elsewhere, and it’s always interesting to see – makes me feel like not such a dileatante!

John Lees

At the One Life show, I purchased John Lees careers cards (I’d missed an event he’d hosted with LICC in Manchester, I do believe) after going to an afternoon Masterclass… 

So, there’s various stages, but at the end you come out with list of 10 top motivated skills, from which I still need to collate bullet points for my CV, but in brief they are (in no particular order):
  1. Facilitating the Learning of Others (P)
  2. Inspiring Others (P)
  3. Encouraging Others to Communicate (P)
  4. Building Community, breaking down barriers between people (P)
  5. Using humour to communicate or build relationships (P)
  6. Assessing situations or people quickly and accurately (P)
  7. Developing & building on the ideas of others (C)
  8. Making connections, seeing how things fit together (C)
  9. Generating new ideas, challening assumptions (C)
  10. Embracing a Challenge (E)
Wonder why I keep wandering back towards teaching/communications roles?! (P = people focused, C = concepts/ideas, E = entrepreneurial… no sign of T = Things or I = Knowledge).

I can’t believe it’s not Facebook

I love meeting new people, and I love making connections, therefore networking must be the thing for me, right? If I’m unconsciously networking, that’s works, but at some point we need to shift to consciously networking, and I’m looking to ways to do this. 

I have used Facebook for online networking since end of 2006, although I didn’t really get into it until about April 2007, since when I have used it quite a lot. Great for keeping in contact with people you meet on travels, especially guests from my Oak Hall trips. More and more people are joining in, it’s not just for the ‘youngsters’ as it was seen in the early days! The concept of friendship, however, is an interesting one, and one for further debate!

University of Winchester
So in returning to Winchester, the University is the obvious place for me to hang out and renew my connections. I’ve worked for many different departments on and off since I first came to the University in 1994, and have left a trail of positive feedback behind me, which I’m pleased to see! I have gained all of my work through the University by checking in with contacts I already know, and for now it’s generated a few things, including current work on the ‘Learning‘ section of the website. Interestingly, depending on when you see this, you could see the ‘before’ version, the mid-process “a few bits have been edited” or the streamlined and re-ordered, jazzed-up version… interesting that the web never sits still.

Business Networking
On Tuesday I went to my first ever formal networking event at Business Networking Basingstoke. I was encouraged to go as they were doing “What type of Gem are you” personality testing… and I find any kind of personality testing fascinating. They help you understand and accept yourself, and also other people. In this context the idea was to understand who you may be selling to:

Sapphires are stimulating, enthusiastic, and on-the-go people. They like fun, being the center of attention, and receiving tons of recognition. Enjoying people, influencing others’ decisions, and being popular is their style. Skip the details with them, just make the buying process easy, fun, and spontaneous.

Rubies are risk takers, go-getters, and like challenges. They like to win, be right, and are fast paced. They need control, authority, and thrive on commission. Their bottom-line approach helps them make quick buying decisions. Sellers, be prepared!

Pearls are patient, relational, and incredibly harmonious. The quality time they spend with others is seen as supportive. Their relationships are longstanding and oriented to helping the team. Don’t push them from their low-key approach, or your sales style will overwhelm and scare them away.

Emeralds are effective, thorough, and detail-oriented. Their behavior of following rules, collecting data, and completing tasks pushes them toward excellence. These are the detail people who need to carefully conduct their research before making a buying decision.

Thanks to Business Know-How

It can sometimes take a while to work out which you are! I put myself in the Sapphire group, but I also have strong affiliations with the Rubies! We’re all a bit of everything, but Emerald is definitely the one I have least affiliation, although I work methodically through websites/projects (the challenge to complete) and enjoy creating structure out of a mess (a challenge to create order?)!

Two other Basingstoke networking events were drawn to my attention through this event, the Athena Network and Ladies Who Latte. Looking for a Winchester event, I then came across: OutThere (which uses Facebook style social networking from Ning), so there clearly are lots of options out there!