ENFP in the Workplace

There are two basic things that ENFPs seek most in the workplace: The chance to explore new ideas, and the chance to conduct that exploration alongside other people who share their excitement. These qualities show through at all levels of hierarchy, though much like other Diplomat personality types, ENFPs would prefer that there be hardly a hierarchy at all. People with the ENFP personality type possess warmth, creativity, and an open-mindedness that makes them excellent listeners. If these qualities are recognized by their employers, they will always be able to count on their ENFP employees to innovate and boost morale.

ENFP workplace habits

ENFP Subordinates

ENFPs are growth-oriented, and as subordinates they’ll impress their managers with their creativity and adaptability. People with the ENFP personality type are excellent listeners, able to analyze and understand others’ perspectives effortlessly. It’s perhaps this quality that most makes ENFPs intolerant of micromanagement – the way they see it, they understand what’s been asked of them, and all they require is the freedom to accomplish their task. If this need isn’t met, managers may find a quickly stressed ENFP subordinate.

To a certain extent though, some direct management is often necessary, as ENFPs are notorious for letting their attention slip from one project to the next before they’ve dotted their I’s and crossed their T’s. ENFPs love exploring new ideas and learning new things, and once something becomes familiar, its allure starts to fade. But, if managers are able to maintain a spirit of guidance and camaraderie instead of "bossiness", they will find loyal and devoted contributors in their ENFP subordinates.

ENFP Colleagues

ENFPs are people-people, and as far as the workplace is concerned, this quality shows through best among colleagues. More than just coworkers, ENFPs view their colleagues as friends, people who they take a genuine interest in, providing support and cheer when they’re down or stressed. People with the ENFP personality type are warm and optimistic, always searching for and usually finding win-win situations for everyone.

Brainstorms among equals are ENFPs’ forte, and they listen to different viewpoints and suggestions not just with tolerance, but genuine excitement. Their ability to relax and have fun will always make them popular around the water cooler, but what sets ENFPs apart is that they can transition that popularity into natural leadership, instinctively picking up on colleagues’ motivations and pulling their teams together, pushing them forward towards whatever truth they’ve been tasked to find.

ENFP Managers

ENFPs are not great fans of heavy hierarchy and bureaucracy, and this is most evident when they take on the role of manager. As managers, ENFP personalities behave much like they do as colleagues – they establish real friendships, and use their broad popularity to inspire and motivate, taking on the role of leader, working alongside their subordinates, rather than shouting from behind their desks. ENFPs will tend to believe in the concept of intrinsic motivation, the idea that things are worth doing for their own sake, not because of some convoluted system of punishments and rewards.

Unfortunately, not everyone buys into this philosophy – challenges arise when faced with subordinates who actually prefer to be closely directed, with clearly defined objectives and timetables, people who are just doing their jobs. More challenging still are those rare moments when a reprimand is simply necessary – while ENFPs prefer to meet dissent with an open ear, and to use their excellent capacity for sensing mood and morale to preempt such an act to begin with, sometimes the carrot and the stick are necessary, and using them is the biggest challenge for the ENFP personality type. But ENFPs’ capacity for adjusting their communication to most any style will always shine through, helping to smooth things over and adapt to the needs of their team.

hridayesh srivastava
5 years ago
i am teacher and counselor , often involved in knowing other. it is quite interesting to know myself.certainly recommendable!
5 years ago
This is pretty interesting. My fiancee "made" me take this test and although I am a skeptic about such things (primarily things such as horoscopes, etc.) as they tend to be too general and therefore oftentimes hit the mark without actually doing so, I have to say I am intrigued by this. Now if I could only get a bank to believe in this and give me a loan for my current restaurant concept! My fiancee is an INFJ and thus she seems to possess all of the traits that I lack and vice versa. If nothing else, this is an interesting tool for couples to read to better understand why people do what they do, and it can save you a lot of money by avoiding couples therapy :). I have always had difficulty figuring out what I wanted to do for a living. I joined the Air Force after college because I realized I didn't want to be a teacher. I spent 4-years in the military and afterwards spent an additional 3 1/2 working as a civilian analyst with the military (deploying twice to Iraq). I was often the butt of friendly jokes from my colleagues as I had about 15-20 career choices in mind at all times, and I left this career to initially go to Journalism school to be a broadcast journalism with an emphasis on Sports Broadcast Journalism. I lasted one semester, and although I did well, I decided to pursue a long time passion for cooking, enrolling in culinary school. I have now been operating my own food truck, along with my fiancee, for the past year. We have managed to get some nice recognition (being filmed by the cooking channel within 9 months of opening), but decided that we needed more control over our future and goals, thus deciding to work towards opening our own restaurant. This is where I find myself now. I write all this to simply say that the ENFP label certainly seems to fit me well, and if you are a banker willing to take a chance on a dedicated and hard-working dreamer, feel free to contact me :)!
5 years ago
Yes, I hate routine, I have to have a job that is different every day-school lab technician suited me for 15 years, Artist, musician in spare time. New job coming up as a teacher of English as a foreign language. I wish I had more ENFP friends .....
5 years ago
I've been so worried about what others want and need, it took me 30 years to figure out I can be a director. It took other people I admired telling me I could do it before I finally gave it a shot. Shot two short films so far. I can't wait to get back into another production. This is so hallmarky, but looking at the descriptions on this site make me feel good about finding a path that fits.
Ron Wohl
5 years ago
I was identified as an ENFP at age 26 at the very beginning of my Nursing Education. It was a real milestone in my development as a professional, and as an adult. I had been in the military as a nuclear weapons loader, and then had two years working for Bell Telephone as an installer/repairman. Both jobs were performed well, but were not "me." Then I tried an undergraduate as an Aerospace Engineer. I did not do that very well, and I did a summer job serving with the Army Corp of Engineers as an engineering technician. I hated it. The constant routine drove me nuts. I took some psychological counseling at the University Counseling Center, and they admitted they could not tell me what career path to take. They suggested I go toward the life sciences, rather than Engineering. They told me I had a "Nuturance Complex" I had a very strong need to help others. This has been the hallmark of my entire professional career. My marriage and two kids prevented me from pursuing an career as a doctor so I went into nursing, with the hope of advancing to the newly developed Nurse Practitioner situation. As a nurse I found the routine of the hospital floor almost as bad as the regularity of the engineering technician. I eventually dropped out of Nursing and became a professional Paramedic. It was actually the best two years of my professional life. I so enjoyed the challenge of each new prospect every call provided. However, I was unable to make a living at it. One of my sons has gone on to become a big city Fire/Rescue department Lieutenant, and he is making six figures. I went into teaching paramedics, and finally found a place in the Emergency Department. I stayed there 20 years, finally getting to become a nurse practitioner years behind schedule. This has been my fullest achievement. I truly enjoy serving a population who appreciates my potential. There is always the challenge of each new case presentation. My ability to communicate and teach is used constantly. I am often left with a sincere discussion about how my patient has never experienced a more detailed discussion about their health status. I truly enjoy using my communication skills to do what I do so well.
6 months ago
Thanks so much for sharing this- I love reading detailed bios, especially on this topic. I've heard of stories like this before- and it's in a book called "Analyzing Character / The New Science of Judging Men; Misfits in Business, Home and Social Life" by Katherine Blackford and Arthur Newcomb, which I believe they invented this "science"- I used quotes but it is a science - Our title in their method is "The Impractical Man" [or woman!] We often choose wrong career paths, try money making schemes that end up breaking us, and never find our true careers which leads to broken lives and families and sometimes utter destitution. It is an amazement to me when one acknowledged their "true path" and I wish more therapists, career counselors, anyone else in the personal life fields would implement this science. I know of one couple who's marriage was literally saved by them taking the test and adjusting their lives accordingly to suit each others' quirks and idiosyncracies. "You can't defang a tiger" is one way of putting it, as this couple each tried to change one another instead of simply acknowledging their respective differences. A free marriage counseling provided by our county (couple is not myself and husband- it's a friend, really) and they said without it, they wouldn't be together right now. That story so fascinated me I looked up the method he (the husband of this couple) highly recommended, he is now a devout student of this method & is about the topic in all his small talk. I am so glad you found out what you're made of Mr Wohl, and I hope you find another option of sharing how this science changed your life. No, I am not part of this company, I'm not even a subscriber, the topic just interests me a great deal.
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