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 INTJ is the patient visionary clear on how the future should look and will work with quiet, logical determination to make it happen. The INTJ loves an intellectual challenge and is stimulated by the abstract, the complex, the new and the untried; facts and figures bore them. They can seem a little detached from others as they quietly process so much information inside their heads.
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
For the INTJ everything has a scientific base so getting close would be difficult initially, as they don’t see the need for emotional connection. Their engagement tends to come via intellectual arguments with like-minded 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
For INTJs emotion doesn’t compute and so they may not understand their impact on others or indeed gauge the emotional reactions of others, which can make them appear as insensitive or a little cold.
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
INTJs are private and can often be naturally impassive as well, which makes them easy to misunderstand. INTJs want people to make logical sense and so feelings are difficult for them to fathom.
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
INTJs are intellectually curious and love complex problems and analysing data to and come up with unique solutions, driven more by concepts and abstract ideas than by the emotions of 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.
Building stronger relationships
Learn what INTJs are like in a relationship. Understanding the differences between two types is a really great starting point for getting along. For practical guidance on building strong relationships take our practical tutorial.
Get along better with an ENTJ. Understanding the differences between two types is a really great starting point for getting along. For practical guidance on building strong relationships take our practical tutorial.
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 INTJ is often impervious to their environment as they are deep and private and love getting their heads into complex problems. They love the intellectual robust debate and won’t really ‘see’ conflict.
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
For the INTJ it is about creating something new and worthwhile and this will be their focus. They won’t really see the emotional issues and will work at a more cerebral level where they are more comfortable.
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
INTJs work more at an intellectual than emotional level and so would see conflict, if they did engage, as simply an extension of the debate and their arguments would be well thought through, based on data.
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
As the INTJ inhabits an internal world of complexity, ideas and possibilities, working towards conclusion, any conflict would simply be seen as part of that process, enacted then it’s time to move on.
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.
Dealing with conflict
Some types dislike and avoid conflict, whereas others use it to solve problems and get things done. Understand how an INTJ deals with conflict in our practical tutorial.
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
INTJs will overturn established practice be forward thinking and truly radical. They love the intellectual challenge, coming alive with difficult problems to solve then step back again when it becomes mundane.
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.
The INTJ will be at their best with the facility to work for long periods on their own. If they do lead they prefer like-minded people who also love the intellectual debate and complex challenges.
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.
The INTJ will often find the mundane and routine tedious and energy sapping and may prefer individual contribution excelling at deep diving and working on the unique, the interesting and the complex.
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
INTJs are perfectionists, with an endless capacity for improving upon anything that takes their interest. They will work long and hard on such tasks, driving towards closure, impervious to the outside.
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.
INTJs are ideas people. Anything is possible. INTJs love developing unique solutions to complex problems, and, conversely, if it were not complex or interesting then why would they bother?
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.
Getting the best and motivating
Find out how to get the best out of an INTJ and what motivates them in our practical tutorial. Are they more motivated by the task at hand, or by the people around them?
Get the best out an ENTJ and learn the way to motivate them. Are they more motivated by people, or by the task at hand? Find out more in our practical tutorial.