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Sixteen Months of Type — ESTJ

This is the 16th and last post in our 16 Months of Type series and we focus here on ESTJ. To remind you, we are using our material on managing life transitions with psychological type from Building Your Career Transition Strategy 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!

ESTJ, Extraversion, Sensing, Thinking and Judging
When facing an LCE, ESTJs typically want an approach that is definitive, accurate and drawn from experience, as well as being practical, goal-driven, and action-oriented. If your preferences are for ESTJ, you most likely want to direct and manage your own process as much as you can and get going as soon as possible. Those who prefer ESTJ tend to be especially open to input from respected others who have “been there” and who can give examples of what has worked and what to avoid. A transition plan that is consistent with available evidence and promises tangible results is one that ESTJs tend to champion. During times of change, people who prefer ESTJ will usually work energetically with and for those who are willing to take responsibility, participate fully, and be realistic about what’s happening and what may happen. ESTJs can be tireless leaders when their work ethic and commitment are respected.

People who have preferences for ESTJ may be impatient with those who don’t speak up immediately and/or need more time to reflect before making a decision or taking action. Decisive by nature, ESTJs can, especially in times of stress, assume that those whose pace is slower are being difficult or stubborn. Thus those who prefer ESTJ may not wait to hear what these people think before getting started, or, they may discount those opinions when they are voiced, because they came in “too late.” ESTJs may need to remind themselves to pause to assess whether they have enough information to move forward and consider inviting those who have not yet shared to offer their opinions. Further, it is important for them to examine the emotional impacts of any plan with others. Seeking the guidance of those with more of a gentle, people-focused style can be a great way to support and enrich the ESTJs task-focused thinking. As expert factual analyzers, ESTJs may be missing a crucial part of picture, which given proper consideration, would foster greater collaboration and make the implementation and success of any strategy much more likely.

When facing an LCE, ESTJs typically need a battle-tested companion to mentor, guide, and support them on their transition journey. A skilled companion can offer them specific, objective, and authoritative feedback on how they are doing and what they could do to be even more effective. Such a companion can also help those who prefer ESTJ to define and prioritize short- and long-term goals, as well as challenge them to slow down and take the time to more thoroughly investigate the value of any strategy. This capable companion would serve as a debate partner and font of knowledge for the ESTJ, unafraid to confront any concern brought forth. This person could also help spell out, in concrete terms, what might happen if the feelings of the ESTJ and their transition partners are not considered. A companion with personal experience in what’s going on can help those with ESTJ preferences see that feelings of anxiety or vulnerability are normal, even in the typically strong ESTJ. An expert helper like this can help ESTJs see that one cannot get the complete picture unless emotional impacts are recognized and considered.

When such a companion is not present in the life of people who prefer ESTJ during an LCE, they may become so focused on their objectives and the tasks that need to be accomplished to reach them that they neglect to evaluate how these very things are affecting the overall well-being of all involved – themselves included. Indeed, they may be so single-minded that they over-extend themselves, experience burnout, alienate significant others or inadvertently keep others from contributing fully as they drive to get things done. ESTJs may need to be reminded to slow down and take stock of how they and others are feeling and recalibrate accordingly. It’s not a waste of time to pause to make the effort in order to maintain health and well-being during challenging times, and doing so increases camaraderie, buy-in, and the success of any strategy. Even if you can do it all, you shouldn’t — neither the end result nor your welfare will be as good!

Self-Discovery Tool Number 86

If you prefer ESTJ (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 expand your perspective and manage your transition more successfully?
  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?
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Sixteen Months of Type — ESTP

This is the fourteenth post in our 16 Months of Type series and we focus here on ESTP. To remind you, we are using our material on managing life transitions with psychological type from Building Your Career Transition Strategy 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!

ESTP, Extraversion, Sensing, Thinking and Perceiving When facing an LCE, ESTPs typically want an approach that is straightforward and to the point. If your preferences are for ESTP, you tend to need a utilitarian plan that has the strong potential for immediate efficiency gains in order to feel motivated to run with it. ESTPs typically have a good grasp of the present circumstances and the practical challenges associated with them. This can be especially useful when tackling, or helping others to tackle, changing conditions. ESTPs also tend to be able to act decisively where others might be hindered by convention; setting aside established policies and procedures in order to respond flexibly to situational demands. They can be energetic risk takers once they feel they have an accurate assessment of the current context. This solid grasp of concrete facts helps them meet and manage difficulties as they move forward. The often bold ESTP style may at times meet with resistance from those who are more cautious, and they may need to practice patience with those who are more circumspect and traditional.

When ESTP preferences are overdone, people who prefer ESTP may rely too heavily on improvisation and action as their primary means of handling difficulties. This can be problematic if it comes at the expense of investigating future implications — in their drive for spontaneity and the opportunity to make a difference right away, ESTPs may underestimate the need for formal, long-range planning. Similarly, with their desire to be able act autonomously and in the moment, people who prefer ESTP may neglect to include the concerns of others in their calculations or shy away from options that require long-term commitments. The ESTPs’ typical knack of knowing when to respond, adapt, and even change course to meet demands, is a tremendous gift when it is balanced with prudence and forethought. By taking time to reflect, any strategy the ESTP champions will be strengthened and improved. Furthermore, this added step may well help them to foresee and thus avoid obstacles in the first place, reducing the likelihood of a crisis erupting or hurt feelings occurring when they spring into action.

ESTPs typically seek a no-nonsense companion to mentor, guide and support them on their transition journey. Such a companion can help them look at the facts, determine priorities, and connect those facts to the most logical and practical approaches to the challenges at hand. Straight talk about strategies that have worked for others in similar situations as well as simple, clear, actionable advice based on experience gives a solid foundation upon which ESTPs can improvise, tailor, and rearrange things to best handle the new landscapes LCEs have produced. ESTPs usually want the opportunity to ask a lot of questions as well as have the chance to try out new ways of thinking and doing in order to test their merits. A good companion will honor and respect this curiosity as well as encourage them to apply it to an exploration of feelings – both theirs and those of the others involved – in order to get a more complete picture of what’s happening and what’s truly important.

When such a companion is not present in the life of people who prefer ESTP, they may forge ahead too quickly, not realizing that their energetic, fast-paced approach is taking them off track instead of carrying them toward their goal. ESTPs may need to be reminded to apply their excellent problem-solving skills and inquisitive nature to uncovering other options and points of view. To make this process less laborious, ESTPs may want to include others — engaging in lively debate, acting out potential scenarios, seeking examples from those who’ve been there, etc., which can assist them in reflecting on how to craft a better solution. Having this sort of stimulating interaction also helps ESTPs cope with the more mundane parts of managing transitions. While pausing to get the details right may at times seem dull or tedious to those who prefer ESTP, this phase is often very important to others and can be crucial to the success of any effort. A straight talking companion can bluntly but caringly hold them accountable, inspiring them to take their time, to consider and incorporate the needs and feelings of others, and use their elegant and pragmatic tactical skills to find new ways of doing things that are more productive and advantageous for all involved.

Self-Discovery Tool Number 84
If you prefer ESTP (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 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?

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?

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 — ISFJ

This is the seventh post in our 16 Months of Type series and we focus here on ISFJ. 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!

ISFJ, Introversion, Sensing, Feeling and Judging
When facing an LCE, ISTJs typically want an approach that is well established and supportive as they come to grips with their altered circumstances. If your preferences are for ISFJ, you most likely want to find peace and quiet to enable you to digest all that has been happening and to consider carefully how you can sequence any next steps so that they are most beneficial for all concerned. ISFJs tend to prefer plans that emphasize security and maintain predictability (as much as possible) and seek methods to assure them that what they are doing what is sensible and appropriate. People who prefer ISFJ often find that activities that produce a tangible or useful product – knitting, gardening or woodworking, for example – can help them feel more relaxed as they work through the ambiguities that usually accompany an LCE. Engaging in activities with specific steps and specific goals can help them regain a sense of stability and comfort when so much else feels uncertain.

When ISFJ preferences are overdone, people who prefer ISFJ may fail to recognize that their interest in preserving tradition is keeping them stuck in routines and processes that are no longer meeting their needs. This tendency may also keep them from utilizing and adapting to new data that could improve circumstances and create new and better practices and procedures. Moreover, in their desire to serve others, ISFJs may put their own concerns on the back burner. If they don’t get encouragement from significant others to make self-care a priority, they may see play or relaxation as a dereliction of duty rather than as an appropriate way to recharge that all of us need (even the highly dedicated ISFJ!). With their typically strong sense of loyalty and commitment, those who prefer ISFJ may shy away from expressing divergent views and postpone discussions about where views clash out of a fear of stirring up conflict. Counter to their intentions, this approach may increase the likelihood of misunderstandings and exhaust them as they try to do the impossible and keep all parties happy.

ISFJs typically need a kind companion to mentor, guide, and support them on their transition journey. By being available on a regular and consistent basis, a caring companion can provide the ISFJ with non-hurried, one-on-one time to discuss their hopes and fears. Such a companion can help them to sort through the facts and help make these more meaningful by connecting the personal specifics the ISFJ is dealing with to the larger picture. Since ISFJs are usually concerned with how they might be perceived by others, a sympathetic companion can gently nudge them to check the accuracy of these perceptions; reminding them to examine whether their beliefs about what others want or expect of them are accurate. Further, things have changed, therefore what’s expected or what’s appropriate is likely changing, too. Some confusion or awkwardness during the transition is normal and is not a character failing of others or of the ISFJ!

When such a companion is not present in the life of people who prefer ISFJ, they may be left staggered and adrift with all the new data coming at them and feel unable to sift through it in such a way as to create an outline of what’s happening and prioritize their actions. Similarly, if there is insufficient information, or the available data are vague, ISFJs may struggle to commit to any plans for the future, wanting to wait until they are certain of all the necessary steps. Caring companions who have “been there” can serve as role models and help the ISFJ get unstuck. Together they can list and clarify what is already or still working so that these things can become part of new plans and traditions. With this thoughtful help, ISFJs can be reassured that many current practices – albeit some requiring updates or tweaks – will continue to be usable, thereby creating a bridge from the past to the future. Through this support, people who prefer ISFJ can begin to evaluate their options more realistically, find solutions in line with their values, and perhaps even start to celebrate some of their successes – or at the very least their hard work – in forging a new way forward.

Self-Discovery Tool Number 78
If you prefer ISFJ (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 the ways to enrich your connections with others by reaching out to share stories, time, and activities?
  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?

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.

  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 your past experiences be a guide to what might help you manage things more successfully now?
  3. How can you take an objective inventory of the pressing facts as they relate to the transition taking place?
  4. How can you incorporate a few plans, schedules, or routines to help you manage your time and energy more easily?

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.

Sixteen Months of Type – ISFP

This is the second post in our 16 Months of Type series and we focus here on ISFP. 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!

ISFP, Introversion, Sensing, Feeling and Perceiving

When facing an LCE, ISFPs typically want an approach that is friendly and flexible to their individual needs. If your preferences are for ISFP, you most likely want to get a read on your new situation before taking action and will need others to be tolerant of your internal, private search for emotional clarity. ISFPs tend to prefer a plan that feels supportive and gives them time to make sense of disconcerting or unusual experiences. If they are rushed or forced into a “one-size fits all” approach, they may tune out or reject the process altogether – they want to consider things carefully in order to find methods that foster the wellbeing of those they care about and increase their personal sense of peace.

When ISFP preferences are overdone, people who prefer ISFP may fail to consider the logical implications of an approach and instead base their choices on the drive to preserve harmony or protect feelings. Their temperate, careful approach can mean that they delay action, or fail to ask for what they need, if doing so could cultivate conflict. They may also assume that things will get better on their own if they simply leave them as they are. If they were instead to take a more active role, by envisioning where they would like things to end up – in both bottom-line and personal terms –and then trying out a few things to move them along this path, this could be much more beneficial.

ISFPs typically need a sympathetic companion to mentor, guide, and support them on their transition journey. Since those who prefer ISFP are often self-effacing, they seek companions, whether friends, colleagues or helping professionals, who are caring, low-key and able to remind them of their strengths and talents when they forget. Providing gentle, open-minded encouragement, tailored to them specifically, is crucial for people who prefer ISFP. They seek practical help delivered in a flexible way that enables them to improve connections with their significant others. In short, this help should be from someone whom ISFPs feel will champion them in a personl and sincere fashion and also be attentive to the demands of their day-to-day lives.

When such a companion is not present in the life of people who prefer ISFP, they may struggle with the ambiguity that accompanies LCEs and interpret this confusion as incompetence on their part. A savvy companion can help them to see that it’s OK to participate more fully, even if the steps taken are experimental or tentative. Due to the careful consideration ISFPs typically put into all they do, any actions taken will often improve the situation for all concerned regardless of how imperfect they might seem to the ISFP. Without friendly but firm encouragement, people who prefer ISFP may devalue the good they could do for themselves and others due to their modest self-assessment. Having a consistent companion cheering them on helps remind ISFPs of their unique strengths; including their tendency to pursue solutions that benefit all involved, in useful, hands-on ways. Having support that reinforces the value of their unique approach allows ISFPs to feel more confident voicing their opinions and taking action – often exactly what is needed to make things better for all concerned.

Self-Discovery Tool Number 73
If you prefer ISFP (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 the ways to enrich your connections with others by reaching out to share stories, time, and activities?
  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 create plans, schedules, or routines to help you manage your new way of living more easily?

 


Lines in italics adapted from p. 28-29 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.