Sixteen Months of Type — ENFP
This is the sixth post in our 16 Months of Type series and we focus here on ENFP. To remind you, we are using our material on managing life transitions with psychological type (formerly available through CPP as Introduction to Type® and Reintegration) as the jumping off point for each piece and then connecting this material to the self-discovery process that frequently accompanies life-changing events (LCEs). Read on!
ENFP, Extraversion, Intuition, Feeling and Perceiving
When facing an LCE, ENFPs typically want an approach that makes it possible for them to stretch and grow. If your preferences are for ENFP, you most likely see a life-changing event as a time to embrace change and do things differently. People who prefer ENFP tend to do best if they have ongoing, informal opportunities to share and discuss ideas as they arise and when plans are kept flexible, imaginative, and expansive. Limiting options or codifying procedures before ENFPs have had the chance to try things out or play with new concepts typically dampens their enthusiasm and motivation. ENFPs tend to be drawn to strategies that feel nontraditional and fun, and those that include a variety of people and circumstances. They often have an uncanny ability to draw the greatest resources of talent from these interactions and in doing so, make it so that the most may benefit from the changes taking place.
When ENFP preferences are overdone, there can be a tendency for them to overextend themselves at the risk of jeopardizing their health and/or neglecting practical concerns. In their zest for devising creative strategies, people who prefer ENFP may not fully consider whether their inventive plans can realistically be enacted. Further, because ENFPs generally enjoy change, when facing an LCE they may too quickly dismiss those things that have worked in the past in favor of starting everything anew. Embarking on a complete “do-over” may inadvertently make things tougher by creating more work for themselves and others. In addition, the ENFP’s typical optimism and desire to see everyone happy may also mean that debates are curtailed or critical facts are not thoroughly discussed for fear of provoking conflict when such conversations may be both helpful and necessary to avoid mistakes.
ENFPs typically need an imaginative companion to mentor, guide, and support them on their transition journey. The support of such a mentor is particularly important when it comes to brainstorming the possibilities that LCEs bring. Since people who prefer ENFP typically get their best insights when talking over their ideas, they desire companions who can use metaphors and imagery to help them visualize options and who will understand and honor the importance of imagination. These companions can also assist those who prefer ENFP in formulating ways to manage their time and energy in order to establish conditions that are sustaining to their practical and physical needs. This helps ENFPs conserve stamina for developing the big picture—their favorite part of the process and usually the best use of their gifts.
When such a companion is not present in the life of people who prefer ENFP, they may feel isolated, with the sense that they are missing out on opportunities to make things better because their ideas are not valued or fully explored. Without the benefit of an imaginative companion, they may lose motivation and not fully participate in plans and strategies that they deem too staid or conventional. This is a loss for them and others, as their unique approach may offer the fine-tuning needed to make existing policies better. A resourceful companion can help ENFPs creatively position their ideas in practical terms, which helps traditionalists and non-traditionalists alike accept, appreciate and utilize the ENFPs’ contributions.
Self-Discovery Tool Number 77
If you prefer ENFP (or you have someone in your life with this four-letter type code), the following questions may help as you process a life-changing event.
- How can you find time to check-in with yourself and discover what matters most – in terms of the bottom line as well as in people terms?
- How can your past experiences be a guide to what might help you manage things more successfully now?
- How can you take an objective inventory of the pressing facts as they relate to the transition taking place?
- How can you incorporate a few plans, schedules, or routines to help you manage your time and energy more easily?