Curious, childlike wonder characterizes ENTPs. They are flexible, open-minded, and love possibilities. They tend to view everything as a challenge, seeing opportunities even in the most difficult of circumstances. ENTPs are basically optimists, and major setbacks tend to be seen as challenges that are tackled with determination. But smaller, less significant issues can really get to them, making them scratchy and impatient. ENTPs can at times display impatience with those they consider wrong or less intelligent, and they will, on occasion, show little restraint in demonstrating this.
ENTPs are often verbally and cerebrally quick. They generally love to critique, to argue and engage in robust discussion—often for its own sake—and to demonstrate their often impressive skills. They tend to have a perverse sense of humor and enjoy playing devil’s advocate. They sometimes confuse—even inadvertently hurt—those who don’t understand or accept the concept of debate or argument as a “sport.” ENTPs are as innovative and ingenious at problem-solving and verbal gymnastics as they are bored with the routine, detail, and the “This has been done before.”
• Creative thinker
• Stimulating company
• Alert and outspoken
• Can argue on both sides of an issue
• Confident of abilities
Areas of Growth
• Pay attention to detail.
• Recognize value in other styles.
• Finish projects before starting something new.
• Don’t take on too much at once.
The basic attitude of ENTPs is one of skepticism. While they are open to new ideas, they are skeptical of their validity until logically proven otherwise. They find the ambiguous fascinating and also may be driven to seek clarity.
• Variety and challenging work
• Being taken seriously
• Creating innovative solutions to problems
• Adequate unstructured time
• Being rushed to reach closure
• Being overwhelmed with details
• Having competency doubted
• Bound to strict rules that limit creativity
ENTPs and ESTPs tied for having the lowest stress of all types. ENTPs were among the four most unstressed types for children, intimate relationship, health, care for aging parents, balancing home and work, and “other.” ENTPs did not even appear among the four types that were most stressed for any topic.
Since this type typically is so unworried, the researchers suggested that if an ENTP is stressed, it should be taken more seriously than for other types.
To function at their best
A working environment where they can go from one project to another, solving major problems and leaving details to others. Recognition and support for ideas.
ENTPs move from one exciting situation to another—this is from where they derive their immense energy. ENTPs are capable of enthusing, of energizing and making people feel special. They are also capable of moving on quickly when the situation does not provide the feel they need. ENTPs may be difficult to keep up with, but it will be an exhilarating and memorable journey.
ENTPs are often confused with ENFPs because of their people skills and their ability to charm, cajole, persuade, and get what they want from others. People will want to be part of their gang. However, in the cold light of day, ENTPs display the “T” characteristic and will be pragmatic decision-makers using only empirical data, evidence, and logic to decide. This may be to the surprise of those who believe the ENTP is basically a “people person.” They are, but their decisions are based on evidence, not emotion.
ENTPs are happy with conflict; it allows them to sharpen their debating skills and engage in verbal sparring. They will not really engage at an emotional level, seeing it all as an interesting game instead. Winning the debate is very important to ENTPs, and they will want to be proved right. Telling ENTPs they’re wrong is like throwing down a gauntlet—one they’ll be delighted to pick up. For all their people skills and verbal abilities, ENTPs are analysts at heart. They will use logic, rational argument, and empirical data to enjoy the debate and win the day.
ENTP at work
ENTPs are creative, fresh, and interested in a variety of things—whatever takes their interest at that moment; preferably the new, the novel, the exciting. They are excellent at reading people and situations and possess a wide range of views, interests, and knowledge. This may, of course, be at the expense of depth, in that ENTPs will want to quickly move on to new pursuits, often before “completing the course.” They are unconventional, sporadic, and work with amazing bursts of energy, with an enthusiasm that can be almost tangible. Once they become bored, however, they will be ready to move on.
Verbally quick and incisive, ENTPs have a great gift for language. They are clever with words and are happy to demonstrate this. An aspect of the ENTP character which can alienate them over time is if they continually fail to follow through on their commitments—especially to those whom they have invited close. ENTPs are excellent at considering and selling future possibilities, but if they “fly too many kites,” then others can begin to, at best, see them as dreamers and, at worst, mistrust them. But their energy, enthusiasm, optimism, and plausibility mean that people tend to want to follow them. They will be excellent at selling the vision and will happily take risks and bounce back from setbacks, ready for the next big thing.
ENTPs are among the highest paid of all types—and the type most dissatisfied with their salaries.