Wednesday, 12 October 2016

ENFJ - What is this and what does it have to do with teaching?

ENFJ – what does this mean and how does this affect my teaching style and my engagement activities?

E – xtravert

iN – tuitive

F – eeling


Here is a brief summary of the characteristics of someone with this personality.

ENFJs are the benevolent 'pedagogues' of humanity. They have tremendous charisma by which many are drawn into their nurturant tutelage and/or grand schemes. Many ENFJs have tremendous power to manipulate others with their phenomenal interpersonal skills and unique salesmanship. But it's usually not meant as manipulation -- ENFJs generally believe in their dreams, and see themselves as helpers and enablers, which they usually are.

ENFJs are global learners. They see the big picture. The ENFJs focus is expansive. Some can juggle an amazing number of responsibilities or projects simultaneously. Many ENFJs have tremendous entrepreneurial ability.

ENFJs are, by definition, Js, with whom we associate organization and decisiveness. But they don't resemble the SJs or even the NTJs in organization of the environment nor occasional recalcitrance. ENFJs are organized in the arena of interpersonal affairs. Their offices may or may not be cluttered, but their conclusions (reached through feelings) about people and motives are drawn much more quickly and are more resilient than those of their NFP counterparts.

ENFJs know and appreciate people. Like most NFs, (and Feelers in general), they are apt to neglect themselves and their own needs for the needs of others. They have thinner psychological boundaries than most, and are at risk for being hurt or even abused by less sensitive people. ENFJs often take on more of the burdens of others than they can bear. (Butt, J, n.d.)

If you are reading this blog I recommend you trying the Jung Typology test at This is a free personality test and is based on Carl Jung’s and Isabel Briggs Myers’ personality type theory. Many people have heard of the Myers Briggs Type indicator Test and this is a short 64 questioned test that can give you an idea of your personality type.

I was inspired to find out more about my personality type after watching the Ted talk: “The Power of Introverts” by Susan Cain (2012). It evoked a lot of questions on what I was doing in the classroom. Was I looking for the same response from students that I would have if I was the student doing this activity? And if I was, was I only looking for similar traits to myself as an indicator of student engagement?

If a student was vocal and energetic I consider this engagement but what about the introvert that requires time to ponder and come up with creative responses and potentially deeper connections to the material than someone who is just “blurting responses” out. Just because a student is not verbally engaging does not mean that they are not engaged. I have to remind myself of this as I need feedback as an instructor and sometimes verbal feedback is all I am looking for.  

I have learned the importance of knowing your audience and what assessment and engagement activities to include so all students can succeed. A variety might be best so as not to exclude anyone and to also allow an extrovert to have a chance to be an introvert and vice versa as we are normally not just an extrovert or introvert. Our personality tends to change with each situation.



Butt, Joe (n.d.)  ENFJ – Extraverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging  [article] Retrieved from

“Susan Cain: The Power of Introverts.” Ted Talk, uploaded by Ted Talks, February 2012,



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