The ENTP (extraverted, intuition, thinking, perception) is regarded as one of the rarest personality types identified in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). As such, the number of people who are classified as ENTPs is very low, with only 2% in the female population and around 3% in the male population in the entire US. Generally, these individuals are known to be motivators and innovators, who often go against status quo, and are called visionaries.
ENTP Personality Code
People belonging to this personality type usually get their energy from social interaction and love to take action. They are typically out-going and comfortable with mingling with crowds of people.
Due to this preference, ENTPs would look at situations as a whole, and not in detail. Also, they are more inclined to abstracts and would ignore realities that they are facing, giving more weight to future possibilities instead.
With less preference to feeling and more to thinking, these people are generally objective, often showing this trait in making decisions, where they prefer to weigh the consequences as they see them and not according to how they feel about them.
ENTPs are reluctant when it comes to making judgments about people and things, as they are typically open to changes and possibilities. Sometimes, they are slow in decision-making.
As changes and challenges are highly welcome among ENTPs, telling them something would be impossible because they will most likely take the extra mile in order to prove you otherwise. They are known for not going with the norms in a way that they do not live by the rules, looking at possibilities in all situations.
In a sense, the ENTP personality type is considered as the ultimate devil’s advocate, who would thrive on the process of shredding beliefs and arguments. Unlike the more determined judging (J) personality types, ENTPs try to achieve some deeper strategic goal or purpose for the simple reason that they enjoy it. They really love the process of mental sparring, as it gives them the opportunity to exercise their broad accumulated knowledge base, quick wit and high capacity to connect disparate ideas to prove certain points.
List of ENTP Strengths
1. Quick Thinkers
Gifted with tremendously flexible minds, ENTPs have the capability to shift from one idea to another effortlessly, drawing on their accumulated knowledge in order to prove their points or that of their opponents as they see fit.
These people rarely pass on a good opportunity to learn something new, particularly abstract concepts, which are not usually absorbed for any planned purpose, unlike that of dedicated studying. People who belong to the ENTP personality type just find these concepts fascinating.
3. Excellent Brainstorming Participants
ENTPs are known to enjoy analyzing problems from every angle to find the best possible solutions. Generally, they are considered irreplaceable in brainstorming sessions, with their ability to combine originality and knowledge to splay out all aspects of the subject matter being discussed; reject without remorse options that do not work; and point out even more possibilities.
This personality type has little attachment to tradition, which means that people who belong to it are able to discard existing methods and systems, and then pull together disparate ideas from their extensive knowledge base with creativity to hold them together and formulate new bold ideas. If presented with chronic and systemic problems, they would respond with unabashed enthusiasm to solve them.
When presented an opportunity to combine all their traits to assess an interesting problem, ENTPs can be very impressive in their energy, showing no unease in putting in long periods of time to find a solution.
People having the ENTP personality are gifted with a way with wit and words that other people would find intriguing. With their confidence, quick thinking and their ability to connect disparate ideas in novel ways, they are able to create a communication style that is charming, informative and even entertaining, all at the same time.
List of ENTP Weaknesses
Unless you are able to back up your ideas in a mental sparring with an ENTP, he would likely dismiss not only the ideas, but you as well. A suggestion should be able to stand up to rational scrutiny or else it will not be worth bothering with for such an individual.
Because they are so rational, ENTPs will often misjudge other people’s feelings and tend to push the debate past other people’s tolerance levels. Basically, these individuals do not really consider emotional points as valid in debates, tremendously magnifying the issue.
3. Very Argumentative
If there is anything that an ENTP would enjoy, it should be the mental exercise of a debate. Other personalities that are more consensus-oriented rarely appreciate an ENTP’s vigor with tearing down his opponent’s methods and beliefs, which can lead to a great deal of tension.
4. Dislike Towards Practical Matters
People who belong to the ENTP personality type are interested in potentially malleable concepts, such as plans and ideas that they can adapt and debate on. In terms of day-to-day execution and hard details where creative flair is not needed (and could even be counter-productive), they would lose interest, with their plans even never being realized.
5. Difficulty to Focus
The same versatility that allows ENTPs to develop original ideas and plans also makes them readapt perfectly good ones far too often, even dropping them entirely as their initial excitement fades and newer ideas emerge. They can easily get bored and tend to see fresh thoughts as the solution, even though they are not sure if these are really helpful or not.
Playing the devil’s advocate helps ENTPs to not only develop a better sense of other people’s reasoning, but also have a better understanding of opposing ideas, since they would be the ones arguing them. Like other personality types, ENTPs have gifts that are specific and unique to themselves that are not natural strengths for the other types. By recognizing their traits and abilities, and growing them, these individuals are seeing their place in the world and are more content with their roles.
Keith Miller has over 25 years of experience as a CEO and serial entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur, he has founded several multi-million dollar companies. As a writer, Keith's work has been mentioned in CIO Magazine, Workable, BizTech, and The Charlotte Observer. If you have any questions about the content of this blog post, then please send our content editing team a message here.