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Sixteen Months of Type – ESFJ

This is the thirteenth post in our 16 Months of Type series and we focus here on ESFJ. 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 and soon to be available on CareerPlanner.com – stay tuned, more details coming soon!) 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!

ESFJ, Extraversion, Sensing, Feeling and Judging When facing an LCE, ESFJs typically want an approach that is appreciative and collaborative. If your preferences are for ESFJ, you most likely seek external engagement and the opportunity to talk about your experiences. This sort of dialogue allows people who prefer ESFJ to contribute their point of view and learn whether others feel similarly. The ultimate goal in these interactions for the ESFJ is to be able to anticipate the needs of each individual and to move forward with a sense that everyone’s interests are aligned. In addition, those who prefer ESFJ generally have strong core beliefs about the value of particular approaches to managing transitions. Thus it is important for them to feel that the actions they take are the proper ones; consistent with their values as well as those of their peer group, society and culture. During times of challenge ESFJs are motivated to take care of people and their everyday welfare, and in turn, others are motivated by the ESFJs’ upbeat, can-do attitude and willingness to help.

When ESFJ preferences are overdone, people who prefer ESFJ may over-interpret the hesitancy of those who are less comfortable with emotional self-disclosure, seeing their reticence as a lack of caring or commitment. ESFJs might not see that others may sincerely need more time to process events and their reactions to these events, and, given that time, will usually feel comfortable sharing their personal stories. With their natural gift for building a sense of community and relationship, people who prefer ESFJ typically place a high value on harmony. However, under stress, this emphasis on fostering agreement may lead ESFJs to view anything other than whole-hearted enthusiasm for their ideas as confrontational. This can stifle others’ efforts to explore the possible downsides of a plan. Exploring a strategy in depth and from all angles will nearly always produce a better solution for everyone involved, and those who prefer ESFJ can use their skills to facilitate an open and balanced discussion on how to move forward most effectively.

When facing an LCE, ESFJs typically need an accepting companion to mentor, guide, and support them on their transition journey. An accepting companion can affirm their worth and offer them specific and supportive feedback. Such a companion can also express appreciation for the ESFJ’s special, caring contributions to group welfare. This affirmative guidance can also help ESFJs explore and honor the unique contributions of others involved, as well as reassuring ESFJs that although peoples’ methods may be different, their goals are in common and there is unity beneath the surface differences. Because they want to get going on the steps needed to serve the common good, those who prefer ESFJ usually want to know exactly what they are authorized to do and when they can begin doing it. ESFJs seek companions who have made the journey before who can therefore offer this material expertise. Those who prefer ESFJ also value companions who can tell them, in concrete terms, what they can expect during transitions and advise them on what actions to take when challenges arise. A down to earth companion can also help them take a more detached look at the bigger picture, showing them how checking a plan against both the bottom line and people’s feelings will reduce conflict in the future.

When such a companion is not present in the life of people who prefer ESFJ, they may become so focused on the social norms defining what they are supposed to feel and do, that they neglect to evaluate how well these norms fit with their individual values and the unique situation. Indeed, they may be so concerned about disappointing significant others, that they may see their inability to conform to what (they believe) is expected of them as a personal failing. An accepting companion can help the ESFJ to see that community standards are just that—standard ways of operating, meant to be an approximation of what to do rather than the last word on the absolute best way for each individual to proceed in every single situation. Such a companion can help them to see that their own particular needs and desires matter, that they don’t have to be perfect (whatever that means), and finally that they do not have to and cannot be responsible for everyone’s satisfaction during confusing and tough circumstances. Incorporating these truths into any strategy will make implementation more pleasurable and successful for ESFJs and everyone involved.

Self-Discovery Tool Number 83
If you prefer ESFJ (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.

  1. 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?
  2. How can you explore the larger meaning of your experiences in order to discover new ways of proceeding that might help you to manage your transition more successfully?
  3. How can you take an objective inventory of which approaches to your new circumstances are working and which are not?
  4. How can you build flexibility into your goals and plans to take advantage of learning opportunities as they appear?
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Sixteen Months of Type – INTJ

This is the ninth post in our 16 Months of Type series and we focus here on INTJ. 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 and soon to be available on CareerPlanner.com – stay tuned!) 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!

INTJ, Introversion, Intuition, Thinking and Judging
When facing an LCE, INTJs typically want an approach that is objective and universally applicable. If your preferences are for INTJ, you tend to suspend judgment while seeking additional pertinent information. Those who prefer INTJ also tend to be very independently minded, seeing meaningful connections between disparate ideas that others may overlook. If you prefer INTJ you most likely feel most at ease when you have the opportunity to examine an idea in its entirety before deciding whether to move forward with it, in part or in whole. As a rule, INTJs tend to guard their “processing time” carefully and will resist being rushed into action until they feel satisfied that they have constructed a complete and thorough plan that accounts for any and all possible negative consequences. INTJs tend to cautious and have as their ideal philosophy, “measure twice, cut once.” This tendency can be especially magnified during times of change. Those who want to learn by doing, trying things out as they go will need to be patient with the INTJs measured approach. INTJs prefer to avoid surprises and the necessity to retool their design midstream.

When INTJ preferences are overdone, people who prefer INTJ may be so intent on pursuing a long term goal and crafting an overarching strategy to meet it that they fail to see small steps that could be taken today to improve their quality of life. The usual INTJ desire for all data to be examined from every angle and for the “right” target to be selected out of all the myriad possibilities can go into overdrive. This can mean they miss opportunities already present and available in their immediate environment. This drive for analytical perfection can keep them from simple, practical, and concrete strategies that could begin improving conditions immediately. When INTJs remain focused on outcomes that are theoretically possible but extremely unlikely, they can waste time and energy that might be better spent understanding and working with their new circumstances rather than trying to force reality into their vision of how things should or could be. During times of ambiguity, INTJs can become fixated on remaining detached to manage anxiety. When taken too far, this can cause them to neglect to consider the impact of their decisions on their own emotional well-being as well as on the well-being of their significant others.

When facing an LCE, INTJs typically need an insightful companion to mentor, guide, and support them on their transition journey. Since those who prefer INTJ enjoy debate, discussion and challenging the conventional wisdom, they seek companions who can spar with them and hold up under repeated rounds of questioning. They tend to see their situation as unique and therefore they want a companion who can inspire them to devise a far-reaching and innovative solution that is as individual as they are. A discriminating companion will respect the high standards to which people with preferences for INTJ hold themselves while assisting them in determining which are worthy holding onto with their usual tenacity. This guidance can also help them see which standards, if maintained, could actually prevent them from attaining that ideal future state that they seek to achieve. Finally, wise counsel can assist INTJs in remembering that life by definition is a mystery and not everything can be anticipated or planned. With encouragement, most INTJs will recall people, events, and occurrences from their past that although unexpected, were of tremendous benefit – assuming a curiosity mindset creates room for more such unforeseen gifts.

When such a companion is not present in the life of people who prefer INTJ, they may reject common sense plans and believe that there is little benefit to asking others for advice. Without reminders of their shared humanity — including possessing a physical body with physical needs — they may assume that their situation is somehow so exceptional that the wisdom and practical experience they might glean from others simply doesn’t apply. In addition, without a companion to help them avoid seeing any failures as their sole and personal responsibility, INTJs may struggle to take effective action in the here and now to alter their future for the better. This lone wolf tendency may cut them off from rewarding, interesting, and even fun experiences with those that are seeking to collaborate or help if only they would be allowed to do so. In the absence of a practically minded companion who reminds INTJs to utilize the knowledge and experience of others and helps them clarify their immediate priorities, people who prefer INTJ can get hung up on waiting for a flash of insight that signals the perfect plan and suffer unnecessarily without support. A perceptive companion can reassure them that getting going on implementing a “good enough” plan, that is, one that eases their suffering and allows trusted others to participate, will make them better off in both the short and the long term.

Self-Discovery Tool Number 79
If you prefer INTJ (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.

  1. How can you find ways to enrich your experience by connecting with others and reaching out to share stories, time, and strategies?
  2. How can your past experiences be a guide to what might help you manage things more successfully now?
  3. How can you assess the impact of your actions on those you care about?
  4. How can you build flexibility into your goals and plans to take advantage of learning opportunities as they appear?

Sixteen Months of Type — ENTP

This is the eighth post in our 16 Months of Type series and we focus here on ENTP. 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 and soon to be available on CareerPlanner.com – stay tuned!) 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!

ENTP, Extraversion, Intuition, Thinking and Perceiving
When facing an LCE, ENTPs typically want an approach that that has few restrictions and allows for questions. If your preferences are for ENTP, you tend to do best in times of change when there are opportunities to ask probing questions, debate concepts, and explore multiple options for moving forward. You want to brainstorm with others as well as try things out. ENTPs tend to prefer to keep things fluid, allowing for improvisation and adaption as new data become available. Sticking to a plan just for the sake of it can be a recipe for frustration, boredom, and loss of energy for ENTPs. After all, who knows when new information will come along requiring a complete rethink from the ground up?!

When ENTP preferences are overdone, people who prefer ENTP may be so focused on what might coming up next and how they can make it happen more quickly, that they tend to overlook the present moment, both specific facts and their feelings about these facts. This future and action-oriented approach can mean that they fail to attend to important details — including practical necessities and their own and others’ current physical and emotional needs — and thus inadvertently create more work in the long term. When things are done in a less than careful manner, they will most likely need to be reworked or reexamined later. Those who prefer ENTP may also withdraw their participation if things seem too routine or mundane, not recognizing that a little time spent in the necessary “grunt work” of reviewing genuine limiting factors will add veracity and strength to their vision as well as engender the support of more cautious folks.

When facing an LCE, ENTPs typically need a creative companion to mentor, guide, and support them on their transition journey. Since those who prefer ENTP are usually curious and enthusiastic, they seek companions, whether friends, colleagues or helping professionals, who aren’t afraid to question the status quo, look at things critically as well as playfully, and enjoy robust banter. No topic should be off limits and spirited and vigorous discussion is paramount. ENTPs are usually open to all kinds of information and a source’s expert status due to rank or title holds little weight with them. Any companion helping ENTPs on their journey needs to be broad-minded as well – information has to be good in and of itself, and something that is traditionally seen as true is not enough to convince ENTPs of its value.

When such a companion is not present in the life of people who prefer ENTP, they may struggle to keep up their motivation when things feel slow, dull, or tedious. A clever companion can help ENTPs see that those around them might need things to evolve more slowly and judiciously and encourage the ENTP to be patient with those who are less action-oriented and spontaneous. Without this forthright and sage feedback, people who prefer ENTP may assume that others are trying to thwart the change process when instead they most likely just require a more measured approach. Having a companion who can challenge them to recognize the differing needs of others can also act as a springboard for ENTPs becoming better able to identify their own feelings and needs. Together they can brainstorm ways to get these needs met during the rough spots, stuck points and “doldrums” periods common to all transitions (and remind them that these will not last forever) while at the same time understanding that others may need more in the way of specifics or reflection time to the appreciate the future potential that ENTPs see so readily.

Self-Discovery Tool Number 79
If you prefer ENTP (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.

  1. How can you find time to check-in with yourself and discover what matters most – in people terms as well as in terms of the bottom line?
  2. How can your past experiences be a guide to what might help you manage things more successfully now?
  3. How can you assess the impact of your actions on those you care about?
  4. How can you create plans, schedules or routines to help you manage your new way of living more easily?

Let us know if you would like to be informed about the launch of our new reports for military personnel in career transition, soon to be available through CareerPlanner.com

Sixteen Months of Type — ENFJ

This is the third post in our 16 Months of Type series and we focus here on ENFJ. To remind you, we are using material in our booklet 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!

ENFJ, Extraversion, Intuition, Feeling and Judging
When facing an LCE, ENFJs typically want an approach that highlights people’s strengths and is aligned with values. If your preferences are for ENFJ, you most likely see a life-changing event as an opportunity to involve others and find a solution that enhances your relationships. People who prefer ENFJ often use their own transitions as the inspiration to become leaders of community organizations or groups that support others facing similar challenges. ENFJs seek to balance the need for immediate action and a desire for group harmony, so they typically strive to craft plans that promote the greatest common good in the hope that such plans will be embraced readily by all concerned so that good will can restored as quickly as possible.

When ENFJ preferences are overdone, there can be a tendency overcommit to helping others, often at the expense of self-care. Moreover, in their drive for action and interaction, people who prefer ENFJ may not take the time to examine their motives and as a result may substitute keeping busy for a careful investigation of their own and others’ true needs and values. In addition, because they generally want to be agreeable, when ENFJs are in a position of needing care and validation, they can find it challenging to express anger or disappointment at a significant other’s inability to provide support during an LCE. Further, the ENFJ’s desire to see the best in people can also mean that even after this sort of distressing experience they may fail to prune such relationships even when they are no longer sustaining, thus leaving themselves open to be hurt again.

ENFJs typically need an encouraging companion to mentor, guide, and support them on their transition journey. The support of such a mentor is particularly important when it comes to exploring the emotional impacts of an LCE. Since people who prefer ENFJ typically feel comfortable sharing thoughts and feelings openly, they desire companions who will validate their displays of emotions, both positive and negative. These companions can also assist those who prefer ENFJ to use their insights into emotional states to discern which relationships feel reciprocal, which might be better dissolved and when they might require downtime to regroup and re-energize.

When such a companion is not present in the life of people who prefer ENFJ, they may fail to grapple with the conflict between how they actually feel and how they believe that someone in their position should be feeling. Without the benefit of a reassuring companion, they may avoid or repress what they deem to be socially unacceptable feelings, inadvertently adding more stress to what is already a tough situation. In addition to the loss of integrity this creates, suppression of such thoughts and feelings can create a snowball effect, turning what were initially small concerns into bigger issues. An uplifting companion can get them back on track by helping them to look inside for the sources of their worth and value; reminding them that strong character is built upon grappling with difficult emotions.

Self-Discovery Tool Number 74
If you prefer ENFJ (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.

  1. 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?
  2. How can you explore the larger meaning of your experiences in order to discover new ways of proceeding that might help you to manage your transition more successfully?
  3. How can your past experiences be a guide to what might help you manage things more successfully now?
  4. How can you build flexibility into your action plan to take advantage of learning opportunities as they appear?

 


 

Lines in italics adapted from pp. 40-41 Hirsh, E., Hirsh, K. W., & Peak, J. (2011). Introduction to type® and reintegration: A framework for managing the transition home. Mountain View, CA: CPP, Inc.