The Self-Promoting Debater
For an introductory look at self-promotion, please see our article “Everyday Self-Promotion and Personality Types.”
Debaters (ENTPs) will walk into one room and argue that it’s a beautiful day, if someone in the room seems cross about the rainy weather. Then they’ll walk into the next room, filled with people who love rain, and make a case for the gloomy horror of it all. It’s not so much unpleasant contrarianism as it is a love for intellectually exploring all sides of something. They score high in our research surveys for loving controversy, which might even suggest a willingness to create some where none exists. They are also more likely than other personality types to criticize others publicly for their opinions.
While Debaters often commit to things that they believe are true, they view many areas as lying more in the realm of opinion. They may find landing on one side or the other difficult, because they can see rationality on both sides. Or they may see an opportunity for verbal sparring, friendly or otherwise. Let’s see how all this affects Debater self-promotion.
What They Have Going for Them
People with the Debater personality type are likely to make a strong case for themselves, just like how they tend to make a strong case for every other matter that draws their interest. Debaters are likely to present a clear picture of their worth. And they’re usually charming enough to make a discussion about advancing to the next level of employment palatable within a casual conversation. While a lot might depend on how adamant they are to push their case – too much can be too much – they will have their ducks in a row enough to make a compelling argument.
What Gets in Their Way
Give Debater personalities a few minutes with an idea like self-promotion, and they will tell you 25 ways that it’s an unfair or ineffective practice. We’re not here to argue the fairness or effectiveness of the process. However, there are times when self-promotion is good for the employee and, ultimately, for the employer. Debaters might muddy the waters with counterarguments against the practice, even if they might benefit from self-promotion. They often enjoy arguing about the principles behind such things. This form of overthinking and seeing all angles can make it hard for Debaters to commit to a firm direction, including a commitment to attend to their self-promotion needs.
Rather than focus on self-promotion as a practice that deserves scrutiny, focus on why you deserve to advance in your workplace. Then see if any self-promotion strategies that fit your vision for your career come to mind. Keep self-promotion, as a practice, in the background. Don’t allow it to be a separate issue that deserves much thought. And, most of all, don’t allow space in your mind to take on a contrary view of the practice just for fun, as Debaters sometimes do.
(However, if you see genuine problems with practicing self-promotion, honor your insight, but don’t allow yourself to entertain recreational controversies that become unhelpful distractions.)
You May Not Change the System, but You Might Be Able to Change Your Part in It
Self-promotion is about you. Debater personalities generally desire to advance in their careers. That said, they sometimes trade off the practical considerations for the thrill of the argument. The prize in self-promotion is job advancement, not winning an argument. The urge to set others straight may be an obstacle for Debaters wanting to move up the job ladder. So, deciding which prize is more important will likely help Debaters deal more effectively with self-promotion.
If you’re a Debater, let us know if this rings true. What other obstacles are there for Debaters when it comes to self-promotion? What tips do you have for other Debaters? We’d love your take on this in the comment section below.