I’m doing a lot of work to design a new set of products for my company, and as part of the research I came across a ‘personality test’ that has been used in corporate environments.  Many years back when I worked at a large financial company, they gave us a test that assigned us colors but I can’t remember what it was called.  I do remember that I was completely freaked out on how accurate it was – and how strongly those personality traits meshed with my job.  More importantly, I was horrified that my co-workers (and BOSS!) tested so far outside of the personality type needed for our job I wondered if *I* was in the right line of work.

I assumed a lot of these personality tests are designed by big companies to either provide an orderly way to rank-and-file their employees into the best job in order to get the most productivity out of them or as a way to make employees think that they are perfectly suited for the job they already have.  Like horoscopes, I thought the results would be vague and that anyone reading the results could find a way to relate.  Doing a bit more research I realized a lot of these test have been developed by professionals and a lot of general horoscopes are not.

Since I know me better than anyone else, I gave a test a try.  I found a free knockoff version of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test and was shocked at how accurate it seemed to be for me.  I answered the questions very honestly, even if I didn’t like the answers (Q: You are consistent in your habits A: NO – but I wish I were).  Turns out I’m an ENFJ – Extroversion / Intuition / Feeling / Judgment, and a lot of what they connect to the personality traits are true for me.

ENFJs are the benevolent ‘pedagogues’ of humanity. They have tremendous charisma by which many are drawn into their nurturant tutelage and/or grand schemes. Many ENFJs have tremendous power to manipulate others with their phenomenal interpersonal skills and unique salesmanship. But it’s usually not meant as manipulation — ENFJs generally believe in their dreams and see themselves as helpers and enablers, which they usually are.

ENFJs are global learners. They see the big picture. The ENFJs focus is expansive. Some can juggle an amazing number of responsibilities or projects simultaneously. Many ENFJs have tremendous entrepreneurial ability.

ENFJs are, by definition, Js, with whom we associate organization and decisiveness. But they don’t resemble the SJs or even the NTJs in organization of the environment nor occasional recalcitrance. ENFJs are organized in the arena of interpersonal affairs. Their offices may or may not be cluttered, but their conclusions (reached through feelings) about people and motives are drawn much more quickly and are more resilient than those of their NFP counterparts.

ENFJs know and appreciate people. Like most NFs, (and Feelers in general), they are apt to neglect themselves and their own needs for the needs of others. They have thinner psychological boundaries than most and are at risk for being hurt or even abused by less sensitive people. ENFJs often take on more of the burdens of others than they can bear.

Taking a look at some of the major points here, what struck me immediately was ‘pedagogues’ – I had to look it up – but it basically means teacher or strict educator.  Extraverted – no kidding ME?!  Then the last paragraph describes how this personality type puts others ahead of themselves at a detriment to their own needs.  Yep.  I knew this, but it’s strange to see it written out.  So what do I do with this new found knowledge? Somehow I want to take a closer look at the results and the traits I know I have and see if I can find a way to harness the positive and work around the negative.

Getting back to my project for work, I’m wondering if someone that tests ‘poorly’ for leadership and entrepreneurship can still be a successful business owner?  When your personality is working against you, how do you overcome that?  Can innovation and entrepreneurialism be taught?

How Each Type Responds to Stress

Found here: http://psychologyjunkie.com/2015/08/02/how-each-mbti-type-reacts-to-stress-and-how-to-help/

ENFJ – The Giver

What stresses out an ENFJ:
– Being in critical or confrontational environments
– Lack of appreciation or affirmation
– Lack of harmony
– Unexpected change
– Inadequate time to complete work to their standards
– Tense relationships or environments
– Having to do mundane, repetitive tasks
– Having to conform with something that goes against their values
– Over-empathizing with others to the point of losing track of their own needs
– Being misunderstood or not trusted
– People not living up to their idealized expectations

When an ENFJ experiences stress, they often disassociate themselves from the situation in an effort to protect their sense of well-being and togetherness. They may repress the unpleasant side of life for so long, that it gradually intensifies until the ENFJ explodes with emotion and/or charged anger. Often the ENFJ’s body will reflect pent-up stress by manifesting various physical symptoms, like headaches, shoulder tension or an upset stomach. In the case of chronic stress, the ENFJ may fall into the grip of their inferior function, introverted thinking. When this happens, the ENFJ may uncharacteristically lash out at others, obsess over their mistakes, lack of competence and flaws. Eventually, these criticisms will turn inward and the ENFJ will withdraw from others to self-criticize. He or she may become obsessive about  analyzing irrelevant data to find some ultimate truth or reason for their stress.

How to help an ENFJ experiencing stress:
– Acknowledge how they feel.
– Let them talk it out.
– Remind them of their strengths and contributions.
– Don’t use logic to talk them out of their stress.
– Don’t ignore them, even if they seem irrational.
– Give them a change of scenery to get away from the situation.
– Go outdoors. Do some type of exercise with them.
– Watch a lighthearted movie or comedy with them.
– Do not patronize or dismiss their concerns.