So much has been written about whether opposites attract or difference is the key but in real life it is all about understanding the differences, accommodating and managing them. This section will help you see where the potential for conflict exists between personality types and help you manage it.
The ENFP is caring, creative, quick and impulsive, energised by the possibilities life can bring. They love devising new ways of doing things, and bring a totally unique and fresh perspective to people and situations. People-centred, fresh and spontaneous, they will embrace things with energy and enthusiasm but may not follow through or get into detail as their focus is on ‘what’s next?’
The ENTJ is the master of change, the big picture conceptualist who loves the new and the challenging who devise the long range plan then relentlessly drive it towards conclusion. Confident and authoritative the ENTJ will take the lead rarely hesitating and with a directness that can often leave others reeling in their wake having no time for anything seen as woolly or obstructive.
There is no perfect type and in the same way there are no perfect matches. We can all learn to adapt and modify our behaviour if we choose and this section is therefore not designed to suggest particular specific matches but to demonstrate areas of similarity and difference so that a true understanding can happen and thus reduce the risk of misunderstandings.
Being around them
Optimistic and hopeful, the outgoing and cheerful nature of the ENFP belies a more sensitive soul who can take criticism to heart and who needs to be liked. They are outgoing, fun, and genuinely like people.
The ENTJ will be assertive, energetic and will love a robust debate, as this is their method of conversation. Because they are so confident and outspoken they may inadvertently upset people with their directness.
Dealing with emotions
ENFPs are emotional people who tend to be at the heart of dramas. Their genuinely caring nature means they will ensure that the mood is kept light, that everyone feels valued and that the ideas will flow.
The ENTJ doesn’t really understand emotions, preferring to deal with issues as problems, or concepts and certainly trying to appeal to their emotional side will not be the best way to resolve issues.
Openness and sharing feelings
An ENFP will wear their heart on their sleeve and has no problem being open. However their values are so important and these are internalised so it may be possible to inadvertently hurt the ENFP.
The ENTJ shares their thoughts easily but is not really an emotional person. They are open and assertive and everyone will be clear where they stand but this will probably remain at a cerebral level.
Drivers and values
The ENFP cannot help but see possibilities. Future oriented they will look far beyond the obvious often seeing things that others fail to, driven by the new, the complex, the interesting and caring for people.
As an ENTJ is primarily concerned with making things happen they may not realise that other people may take a little longer to understand or may not be as forthcoming or direct and assume silence is agreement.
Some people seek harmony, some see conflict as simply robust discussions, some people are emotional, some more factual. So there is no right or wrong about this and what we are trying to do is help two different people each understand how the other might deal with conflict and what it will mean for the relationship.
Initial response to conflict situations
The ENFP does not like conflict and will be the one at the heart of the action bringing peace and understanding. Warm, affectionate and disconcertingly spontaneous people will like and trust the ENFP.
The ENTJ likes conflict as a means to discuss and inform and get things done. They enjoy a good argument and will be robust and strident in their views and will forget conflict as quickly as they enter into it.
Issues they'll fight on
ENFPs are by nature very caring and they do not like seeing anything they perceive as unfair or unjust. However their style is to bring it all together in harmony, rather than go into battle.
The ENTJ does not like anything preventing progress and they will make their views known on that directly and clearly. Their whole purpose is to make change happen and they do not like a slow pace.
Conflict style / communication
As the ENFP is comfortable with emotions they are fine at using emotional language and being tactile and people will tend to open up to them and this allows conflict to be resolved amicably.
The ENTJ is extremely direct, at times bone-jarringly so and they may therefore not pick up on sensitivities, especially around the fact that other people may not enjoy conflict and some may even fear it.
How they feel after
For the ENFP it will depend on if the conflict was resolved and was everyone happy or did the person who was upset get over it. It is because the don’t like conflict that they’re great at diffusing it.
The ENTJ will often think they have had a gentle discussion whilst the other person feels they have been in battle. Arguments are the way of getting clarity to the ENTJ and once it’s over, it is completely forgotten.
We all bring something different to the team and we all agree that difference and balance are good things. However when someone is different from us we might not understand them so well so in this section we allow you to compare the differences at work, how these might manifest themselves and how best to manage them.
Contribution to the team
ENFPs take a warm, genuine interest in others, they can 'read' people well, and will act as the catalyst for new initiatives and creative ways of solving problems. They will bring a radical perspective to the team.
The ENTJ is the leader: impatient, driven and with a strong desire to agree the strategy then drive relentlessly for closure. They will be superb at preventing complacency and giving pace to the team.
ENFPs are so insightful and people centric they will be caring leaders taking a genuine interest in those in their care. They may not be so good at giving bad news or creating systems and processes though.
If the ENTJ is not the elected leader they will still assume leadership, as their nature is to change things and make it happen now. At the centre of what’s happening and will relentlessly ensure a focus on goals.
ENFPs do not like bureaucracy or rules and regulations and they will argue long and eloquently defending their reasons. They are quick and nimble, working in short bursts of energy and need flexibility.
Managing an ENTJ is about providing the right conditions to let them lead, whether people or a project or a task, to allow them the authority to do and occasionally pull them back to ensure people are with them.
Attention to detail / focus
ENFPs need variety, stimulus and to be surrounded by people. Solitary tasks, targets, repetition, formal structures or hierarchy don’t suit, as they work best in a flexible workplace where relationships are valued.
The ENTJ loves a goal, something to run at and they will excel at making sure other people are just as enthused and understand the need to get on and drive for closure. They will focus the team clearly and often.
The ENFP is creative, quick, and impulsive. They are excellent at devising new ways of doing things, and bring a totally unique and fresh perspective to people, projects and situations.
The ENTJ loves the complex and the big picture. They strategise and consider but once they are clear it is all about getting to the end as quickly as possible and when the plan is agreed - no more thinking.