"If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming."
ENFJs at a Glance
- Empathic, encouraging, and inspiring.
- Warm, expressive, and supportive.
- Assertive and compelling communicators who appeal to the best in others.
- Natural diplomats and counselors who "get" where others are coming from.
- Are intensely attuned to others and may over-extend their commitments and engagement in other people.
ENFJs as They Typically Are
ENFJs are warm and empathic individuals who see the best in others and who have the enthusiasm and charisma to inspire their fellow man to take action on behalf of what they know is right. ENFJs tend to have clear ideas about how things should be, but rather than leading by command, as the ENTJ might do, the ENFJ tends to lead by motivating others to live up to and accomplish the common goals.
An ENFJ will frequently have a delightful enthusiasm by which he moves and compels others to align their motives with those of the ENFJ. Perhaps more than any other type, the ENFJ understands the importance of carving out a positive vision for the future which everyone around them can share in. As opposed to the ENTP, who tends to spur others to action through criticism and detached evaluation, the ENFJ prefers to lead by empowerment and inspiration, seizing upon whatever positive qualities and commitments that are already present in the other person in order to magnify them and strengthen them in service of the common goal.
While it would be easy to regard the ENFJ as exclusively a "people person," those who are intimately acquainted with an ENFJ will also notice that the ENFJ tends to have an intellectual, even scholarly, side which they use to delve into abstract problems concerning the whole of society, if not the world. In truth, most ENFJs are quite comfortable juggling complex facts and challenging situations that require a firm grasp of the theory involved, as well as a good measure of structure and planning, which the ENFJ is happy to bring to the table.
These two sides of the ENFJ (the social side and the intellectual side) can often come together to make the ENFJ the natural leader of discussions or groups and to spearhead movements that aim to introduce social change to the public. And while the ESTJ and ENTJ types might rival the ENFJ in their role as group leader, these ETJ types tend to organize the groups that they lead on exclusively rational premises. Here the ENFJ has an additional leg to stand on, besides the purely rational one, as the ENFJ does not merely assign jobs on the basis of which members of the group would do what most effectively, but also acts with an awareness of whether the job at hand would be stimulating for the subordinate to grapple with.
Just like an ENFJ can inspire others with his vision of a common goal, so the ENFJ can himself be inspired by the responsiveness and receptivity of his followers. A well-developed ENFJ is attuned to other people's opportunities for growth and self-development. He picks up on their convictions, values, and world-views as if it was second nature to him. It is by this fortuitous combination of instinctive empathy and intellectual acuity that the ENFJ unite the people in service of a higher ideal.
ENFJs live in a world of people. They are at their best when they can act the diplomat, counselor, and teacher to others, and they can sometimes lose enthusiasm when stuck in situations where there is no opportunity to bond or interact with others. ENFJs tend to consider people their highest priority, and like the INFJ, new intellectual realizations are sometimes made through the medium of people. For example, an ENFJ may use his scholarly side to study some field from afar, but the true realization of the field's full importance is not reached until the ENFJ can relate that knowledge to some specific person or human need in his life.
Because ENFJs are so intensely attuned to other people, they may at times become over-involved in the problems of others, finding themselves unable to turn down requests for counseling and support. An ENFJ will frequently give of himself, willingly and sincerely, until he is down to the last drops of energy and desperately needs some time alone to replenish. Indeed, for many ENFJs, it is a lifelong challenge to learn to balance the fulfilment of others' needs with the fulfilment of their own.
With their empathy, caring, and excellent communication skills, the presence of an ENFJ is a boon to almost any group or organization. Not only does the ENFJ contribute a natural diplomatic ability to find common ground and foster mutual respect among people, he also maintains a positive and empowering vision for the organization as a whole.