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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 – 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