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« 6. EQ at work: ENTJs at their best »

Written by Rachel Green. Director, The Emotional Intelligence Institute. MBTI coach with over 25 years MBTI experience, and author of the new book: "INFJ: What's it like to be one."

Statistical analysis has demonstrated clearly that personality theory and emotional intelligence are not the same theoretical constructs.

Is it therefore reasonable to discuss them in the same article?

Yes, because different personality types react differently to their own and other people's emotions.

I will draw on data collected using the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI - 16 personality types) to discuss personality and emotional intelligence and specifically focus on one of the MBTI types: ENTJ.

ENTJs are said to make-up about 5% of the population, although I have personally met a higher percentage than this in my work, probably because they are drawn to executive and leadership roles. Hence the importance of their EQ at work.

ENTJs, (Extraversion, iNtuition, Thinking, Judging) are one of the most forthright and decisive personality types. They have many strengths and are skilled at seeking out problems, grasping complexity and finding solutions. They deal with things in a rational and logical way and are natural leaders who like to take charge. They get things done. 

However, they do not always have excellent people skills and may be perceived as blunt, critical or domineering. They can seem very confident and be sociable and affable, but may take over. They are often quick to form judgements and may express these in a forceful way. More about that later.

It is important to say that not all ENTJs are the same; naturally each ENTJ has his or her own characteristics that go far beyond either personality type or emotional intelligence. 

Nonetheless, while all ENTJs will not have the same levels of emotional intelligence, nor be identical in character, they may find some aspects of emotional intelligence harder to develop than other types, may use their emotional intelligence in different ways, and may benefit from focusing on different applications of EQ at work. 

I also appreciate that some ENTJs will have little interest in emotional intelligence, preferring instead to focus on rational logic. However, ENTJs often lead people and if they are not interested in their EQ at work, the people they lead probably are, as it impacts directly on them.

This is one of a series of articles on personality and emotional intelligence. This article examines:

  • The emotions that may typically arise in an ENTJ in particular situations.
  • The emotional impact they may have on others.
  • Ways that an ENTJ may manage these emotions and be at their best.

Here are three ways, out of the many, that an ENTJ can use his or her EQ at work. 

Different types have different aspects of emotional intelligence they find harder and easier. However, developing their emotional intelligence is vitality important for each type. Come join with me in this exciting new emotional intelligence coaching package and I will make sure it is personalised to you and your type.

EQ at work - ENTJ: 1. Watch out for burnout

Enthusiasm can be common amongst ENTJs - enthusiasm for getting things done.

ENTJs are hard working types. They may strive to maintain efficiency at work and to implement strategies to move an organisation towards its goals.

ENTJs are also one of the visionary types. They see things that can be improved, and have the ability to marshal people to implement their ideas. 

In the process they may demand high standards of themselves and others. Competency and expertise are core values for them.

All INtuitve types generate what I call "good ideas", including ENTJs, but ENTJs not only generate good ideas they act on them. There can be an emotional and physical cost of being so active and capable. ENTJs can be workaholics and burn out.

Thus, it can be helpful for ENTJs to monitor their emotions to ensure they are not becoming tired or stressed. Emotional self-awareness is an important part of EQ at work, but it is not the primary mode of operation for an ENTJ.

If you are an ENTJ, pace yourself and don't follow every good idea you have. Just because you see an inefficiency in an organisation, club or workplace doesn't always mean you have to be the person to lead the charge to correct it,  even though you know you would do an excellent job.

You don't need to put your hand up to lead or take over an organisation because it isn't run as well as you would run it. There is a limit, even for an ENTJ, as to how many good jobs you can do at the same time, so prioritise and don't change your enthusiasm for exhaustion.

You need your EQ at work so you can select those jobs you are most passionate about and which have the most far-reaching outcomes.


EQ at work - ENTJ: 2. Choose how you give feedback and opinions

ENTJs have as the dominant part of their personality, Extraverted Thinking. They tend to speak their thoughts out loud.

When the critical thinking of their extraverted thinking preference is combined with the decisiveness of the Judging preference, they can sometimes come across as negative, critical or too blunt to other types, (particularly the SFs). This can mean that without meaning to, they can leave others feeling hurt, undermined, dominated or put-down, bullied or even abused.

In order to develop even more EQ at work consider giving your instructions, expressing your opinions and providing feedback with more sensitivity than you might think necessary. If you are an ENTJ you are likely to be honest and direct in expressing your opinions, and value others who respond in like kind. However, not all types respond well to this. You may "say things as they are" or make comments such as, "If they didn't like my feedback, why did they ask for it?" 

One way for you to develop even higher communication skills is to consider the emotional impact that your communication may have on other types. This involves skills in emotional reasoning and emotional prediction, which are sub-components of the fourth emotional intelligence competency on the Genos emotional intelligence model.

You know what needs to be said, you have the opinion, what matters now is HOW the opinion is expressed; there are many ways, not just one.

Consider whether if there is a way of saying what you want to say that will make it easier for other types to listen to you. That way you're more likely to be successful and get your way!

I can imagine you saying "The other types should toughen up, speed up and not be so sensitive!". Well, not necessarily; if you use high levels of EQ at work you may find that give and take on both sides helps you achieve your outcomes faster.

Different types have different aspects of emotional intelligence they find harder and easier. However, developing their emotional intelligence is vitality important for each type. Come join with me in this exciting new emotional intelligence coaching package and I will make sure it is personalised to you and your type.

EQ at work - ENTJ: 3. Pay more attention to your feelings

All types have what Carl Jung called an "Inferior Function" to their personalities.

Your Inferior Function is the part of you that is the least well developed but under times of significant stress may take you over. At these times you may become more negative in some way; in what way is determined by your type.

As an ENTJ, your inferior function is Introverted Feeling.

How does your inferior function influence your behaviour? You may usually thrive on intellectual challenges or constructive criticism of your work from people you respect, but under stress you may become affected by what you perceive as personal attack.

When you're on top of things as an ENTJ your logical thinking is dominant, when you're down you may be more ruled by your emotions. This can feel very uncomfortable for you and you may not trust judgements you make on the basis of what you might consider are irrational feelings.

As your inferior function is Introverted Feeling, you may develop self-loathing, become dejected, feel alone or find it hard to convey your feelings to others. These are not healthy states for an ENTJ to be in. 

One stressed ENTJ told me that he thinks feelings are wishy-washy, airy-fairy things. He rubbished people who expressed their feelings. This is not a good sign of EQ at work, but is not a surprise given his inferior function, and because he is judging feeling types from his experience as a dominant thinking type.

However, other types may be able to help you at this time as they are far more familiar with feelings and may use them more reliably. Talking with people who have Feeling as their dominant may help you work through and value your feelings, providing they don't try and push you too hard.

So be aware of what is happening around you, pick up early on triggers for stress, such as personal criticism, and don't let it sneak under your guard or erode your positive feelings about yourself.

What is your EQ at work? Could you learn more about the other personality types and emotional intelligence?


EQ at work - ENTJ: Get to know your type, increase communication effectiveness and lower conflict

There is so much that you or your team can learn so that you develop greater understanding of, and skills with, your communication, personality and relationships at work and home. The EI Institute has a number of options to help you:

  1. If you live or work with INFJs or other Introverts and wish to understand them better, then this 2018 book by Rachel Green, our Director, is a must read: "INFJ: What's it like to be one."
  2. ENTJs are at risk of burnout. They can benefit from short periods of meditation (longer periods can be purgatory for ENTJs!) We have a very popular audio-download on meditation called: "Happy Not Hassled".
  3. There is superior 1-1 coaching; and the MBTI is included as part of our smart leadership coaching package. You can find out more about your MBTI type and develop the skills you need, with Rachel Green.

For more details or to make a booking e-mail us now or pick up the phone and call us.