What's It Like To Be an "ENTP"

A Self-Portrait Personality Type Description for ENTPs**

By Linda V. Berens Ph.D. and Dario Nardi Ph.D.

Personality Type:    ENTP - Explorer Inventor
Temperament:   Theorist (NT)
Interaction Style*:    Get-Things-Going
Likely Social Style: Expressive

How to read these Self Portrait Personality Type Descriptions

Life feels like a constant state of moving from one interesting thing to another, and I can get frustrated when there isn’t enough time to pursue all those interesting things.

I have a wide range of interests. I love to explore the world, how other people live, what they believe in, and what their lives are like. I have a deep need to understand the human condition and what brings people to life, even above difficult odds. I like it when the conversation goes wherever it wants to go—deep imaginative, intellectual, or philosophical conversation. Going off on one theory or another is fun, but long stories with nothing to learn frustrate me.

Personality Type Descriptions
by Linda V. Berens, Ph.D.
and Dario Nardi, Ph.D.**


Ideas mean change. When I meet people who have interesting ideas, talents, or projects, I want to get to know them and help them make whatever they want to do possibly much bigger, more successful, or more impactful than they had intended. I start aligning with them and building trust because I want to get invited in— to probably change whatever they want to do because I tend to see more possibilities. Then we cook up the project. It’s fun to learn. I enjoy that in-the-moment experience of connecting things in my mind. Challenge and intellectual stimulation get me excited.

I just see a different world than the one in which I live, and I admire people who have genuine compassion and a commitment to serve others. I really respect people who have the ability to take the slings and arrows that come with leadership roles and working for change, who can cope with all the misunderstanding and resistance, who can say, “This is an idea whose time has come and we’re going to get it done.” It’s important to me to be in a setting where people are committed, where facts are respected, and where there is a space for people to tell the truth or at least look for the truth—and be open to listening.

Colleagues describe me as someone they can go to when they want an idea or help with an issue or problem they’re trying to solve. I often can condense or simplify a complex idea. I really often know the right words to use, not necessarily the right empathetic words but the right words. Coaching and giving ideas I do well. Just giving direction is boring. I don’t feel things have to be done my way, but they have to be done well.

I am very partner oriented, and being creative together is what makes a relationship alive.

I work a lot, always looking for new projects, something to sink my teeth into, and I am constantly challenging myself to make things better. Things I’ve already figured out I like to put together in a format or structure, so I don’t have to sit down and go through all the nitty-gritty details. I think in terms of the future— why am I here, what is this connected to, where are things going, where did they come from and wouldn’t it be better if…? When my intuition is working it produces a lot of excitement and ideas.

I tend to look at things from a very objective basis. Sometimes I don’t take the time to stop and thank people and let them know I’m trying to build on what they have already done. When I look at things, I am trying to figure out the system—looking beneath, behind, or above, somehow looking beyond the sensory data to figure out how it all works. I spend a lot of time trying to figure out in my head everything around me. Competence is a must, trying to perfect things, finding a new way. I am hardest on myself, with incredibly high standards, and I hold others to my standards even though sometimes I wish I hadn’t. And yet I often seem pretty easygoing.

Fairness and consistency are really important. I feel that people should be treated with respect at all times, and I don’t like behavior demeaning to others. When there is conflict I feel a compulsion to figure it out, to resolve it. When I’m personally involved, it can be difficult to initiate a discussion about the conflict. Sometimes I feel inadequate.

I think life is a puzzle and we keep playing with how to fit the pieces together. Something new and challenging is always more interesting to me than something I am already competent at.

This concludes "What's it like to be an ENTP,"
A Self Portrait Personality Type Description.

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**The Personality Type Description shown above is wholly owned and copyrighted by the authors Linda V. Berens Ph.D. and Dario Nardi Ph.D. and is used herein with their permission.

For a complete set of Personality Type Descriptions by Linda V. Berens and Dario Nardi please see: "The 16 Sixteen Personality Types - Descriptions for Self-Discovery"

*Interaction Styles as developed by Linda Berens, is a powerful lens with which to better understand people. For a complete understanding of Interaction Styles see:
"Understanding Yourself and Others, An Introduction to Interaction Styles"

Practitioners, Organizational Development Consultants, HR Managers, Leadership and Teamwork Trainers,
click here for professional level training by Linda Berens in:
Interaction Styles, Temperament, and Personality Type