ENFJ in a Nutshell
ENFJs are idealist organizers, driven to implement their vision of what is best for humanity. They often act as catalysts for human growth because of their ability to see potential in other people and their charisma in persuading others to their ideas. They are focused on values and vision, and are passionate about the possibilities for people.
ENFJs are typically energetic and driven, and often have a lot on their plates. They are tuned into the needs of others and acutely aware of human suffering; however, they also tend to be optimistic and forward-thinking, intuitively seeing opportunity for improvement. The ENFJ is ambitious, but their ambition is not self-serving: rather, they feel personally responsible for making the world a better place.
What Makes the ENFJ Tick
ENFJs are driven by a deep sense of altruism and empathy for other people. They have an intuitive sense of the emotions of others, and often act as an emotional barometer for the people around them. However, their compassion not reserved for the people close to them: they are often humanitarian in nature, and may feel genuine concern for the ills of the entire human race. They tend to personally experience the feelings of others, and feel compelled to act when they see people suffering.
ENFJs want close, supportive connections with others, and believe that cooperation is the best way to get things done. They like to be liked and are very sensitive to feedback, both positive and negative. They expect the best not just from themselves, but from others as well, and may find themselves disappointed when others are not as genuine in their intentions as the ENFJ. ENFJs work hard to maintain strong relationships, and strive to be valuable members of their families, groups, and communities.
Recognizing an ENFJ
ENFJs are natural teachers, often found organizing people to take part in some educational activity. They tend to take charge of a situation, and guide a group towards those activities and experiences which will help them learn and grow. They intuitively see the potential in people, and with charisma and warmth, they encourage others to pursue greater development of their strengths. They are typically dynamic and productive, and are often visibly energized when leading others to discover new knowledge.
ENFJs are typically good communicators, talented at using words to connect with others. They are perceptive about people and enjoy talking about relationships. They often enjoy helping others solve personal problems and like to share their insights about people, their emotions, and their motivations. They are empathetic sometimes to the point of being overinvolved, and can become exhausted if they are surrounded by too much negative emotion.
ENFJ in the Population
ENFJ is one of the less common types in the population, especially for men. Among men, ENFJ is the second rarest type. ENFJs make up:
- 3% of the general population
- 3% of women
- 2% of men
Popular hobbies for the ENFJ include organizing social events, reading, the arts, museums, storytelling, listening to music, writing, and gourmet cooking.
Famous ENFJs include Oprah Winfrey, Pope John Paul II, Margaret Mead, Ralph Nader, Abraham Maslow, Dr. Phil McGraw, and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Research on ENFJ
Interesting facts about the ENFJ:
- On personality trait scales, scored as Active, Pleasant, Sociable, Demanding, Impatient, Appreciative, and Compromising
- Most likely of all types to cope with stress by exercising
- Most likely of all types to believe in a higher spiritual power
- Ranked by psychologists as among least likely to have trouble in school
- Personal values include Friendships, Education & Learning, Creativity, and Community Service
- Among types highest in job satisfaction, but also among most likely to report plans to leave their jobs
- Commonly found in careers in religion, teaching, and the arts
What the Experts Say
"ENFJs are likely to have a gift of expression, but they may use it in speaking to audiences rather than in writing."
- Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing
"Teachers expect the very best of those around them, and their enthusiasm inspires action in others and the desire to live up to their expectations."
- David Keirsey, Please Understand Me II
"When an ENFJ is present, no matter what the product or mission, the people involved will be important and the human dynamic will be made a central part of the process."
- Otto Kroeger, Type Talk at Work
ENFJ at Work
At work, the ENFJ is motivated to organize others to implement positive change. ENFJs are enthusiastic problem-solvers, especially when they can put their strong intuition about people to good use.
ENFJs strive for cooperation and work best in a harmonious environment where they can support other people and encourage their growth. They often take on a mentor role, seeing their primary aim as helping other people become better at what they do.
ENFJs are often attracted to leadership roles; they naturally organize people to take advantage of their unique talents. They often have a strong vision in their work, and enjoy being able to use their creativity to develop innovative initiatives with a humanitarian focus. ENFJs appreciate teamwork, and they want to have the organizational resources to put their ideas into action.
The ideal work environment for an ENFJ is forward-thinking and people-centered, with a clear humanitarian mission and an emphasis on constructive action. The ideal job for an ENFJ allows them to develop and implement ideas that improve the circumstances and well-being of other people.
Popular Careers for the ENFJ
Top careers for the ENFJ include:
Least Popular Careers for ENFJs
It is important to note that any personality type can be successful in any occupation. However, some occupations are well suited to the natural talents and preferred work style of the ENFJ, while other occupations demand modes of thinking and behavior that do not come as naturally to the ENFJ. Occupations that require the ENFJ to operate outside their natural preferences may prove stressful or draining, and often sound unappealing to ENFJs who are choosing a career.
The following occupations have been found to be unpopular among ENFJs, based on data gathered from surveys of the general population.
ENFJs as Leaders
In leadership posiitons, ENFJs are enthusiastic, supportive, and action-oriented. They are strong leaders with clear ideas about how to improve organizations to better serve the needs of people. ENFJs are confident in their mission, but often balance their goal orientation with a focus on interpersonal process. They seek cooperation, and want others on board, in action and in spirit. ENFJs often take on a mentorship role; they like to help their employees develop as workers and as people.
Although ENFJs typically enjoy leadership, they can become discouraged in environments with ongoing conflict. They have a deep need to be appreciated and can become drained and ineffective in positions where they are not able to elicit support for their ideas and values.
ENFJs on a Team
ENFJs are collaborative, inspirational team members who are interested in working together to implement plans for progress. ENFJ team members work from supportive relationships as their foundation; they are skilled at understanding the needs and priorities of others and talented at building consensus. ENFJs have a natural enthusiasm, and tend to engage their team members in their vision.
Because they are so oriented to cooperation, ENFJs can be ineffective on teams in conflict; they may become so engaged with trying to create harmony that they neglect to make an objective evaluation. Although they usually have a strong sense of purpose, they are more people-focused than task-focused, and will prioritize the growth and development of others throughout the process. ENFJs sometimes need to refocus on the task at hand, as they can spend so much time mentoring and encouraging others that they forget the team’s primary goal.
ENFJ Communication Style
ENFJs are warm, compassionate communicators who show enthusiasm for other people and their ideas. They want to understand what is important to others so that they can take action to improve the situation for all involved. ENFJs readily give affirmation and support, making sure that people know that their ideas are valued. They are good at connecting with a variety of people and creative in coming up with solutions that accommodate others’ needs. They are often natural teachers and mentors, showing others the way and helping them to improve themselves.
ENFJs as Partners
In relationships, the ENFJ is helpful and enthusiastically supportive. They are motivated to understand their partners and to do what pleases them, and are sensitive the the emotions and reactions of their mates.
ENFJs make great cheerleaders, and will encourage their partners to develop and explore their potential. They are engaged and ready to help, and look for opportunities to support their mates in their accomplishments.
ENFJ partners want harmony above all else, sometimes at the expense of their own needs. Conflict is upsetting to ENFJs, and they often avoid it. ENFJs are very sensitive to criticism and can become highly emotional and even punishing when their feelings are hurt. However, they have great insight about people, emotions and motivations; they are often able to put this talent to use in resolving things.
The ideal mate for an ENFJ appreciates their compassion, support, and dedication to helping others, and makes an effort to understand the ENFJ's feelings and values.
ENFJs as Parents
As parents, ENFJs take an active and enthusiastic role in guiding the development of their children. They enjoy teaching their children the ways of the world, and set forth clear ideas of right and wrong in a warm and supportive way.
ENFJs have high expectations for their children, and often envision bright futures for them. They have an interest in their children's potential and want to inspire them to develop it. They can sometimes idealize their children, becoming disappointed when they don't live up to expectations. They may take their children's misbehavior personally, feeling that they have failed to instill their own strong values.