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How to support ENTJ personality types in the workplace


ENTJ personality types, known as Commanders, are the natural leaders of any team. Their confidence, vision, and determination make them outstanding in senior- and management-level positions.

However, Commanders can suffer a lack of empathy in dealing with both team-based and organizational inefficiencies, creating pressured team environments. 

Getting the best out of this personality type requires understanding and supporting them properly.

In this guide, we explore ENTJs as one of the 16 personalities in the workplace and show you how to capitalize on their strengths and navigate their challenges.

Overview of ENTJs in the workplace

  • Extroverted (E): Recharge in quick-paced environments and prefer social interactions that allow them to express their ideas freely.

  • Intuitive (N): Look at the big picture, and make sense of the world based on patterns, trends, and abstract concepts as opposed to concrete facts. 

  • Thinking (T): Make decisions rooted in rationality, logic, and objective analysis over personal feelings or societal expectations.

  • Judging (J): Prefer structured, planned, and organized work with clear direction over spontaneity. 

Strengths and contributions to the workplace

Key ENTJ strengths include:

  • Strong leadership skills: As natural leaders, ENTJs inspire teams with their decisiveness and ambition to achieve challenging goals.

  • Long-term vision: Commanders have a natural ability to look at the big picture and excel in navigating complex challenges.

  • Effective problem-solving abilities: Commanders deal well with high-pressure situations, confidently identifying and implementing solutions faster than other team members might be able to alone.

  • Clear communication: ENTJs are direct and assertive. This helps teams easily understand them, driving projects forward.

  • Results-driven: Commanders hunger for achievement and success. When they harness this, they deliver concrete results for their team and business.

Common challenges and pain points

When working with Commanders, be wary of their natural weaknesses. These include:

  • Impatience: ENTJs don’t like inefficiency and incompetence – despite inefficiency often being a natural part of many business settings. Conflict and frustration in team settings can arise when ENTJs point this out.

  • Bluntness: While honest communication is typically a good thing, it can hurt others if it goes too far. Commanders tend to have thick skin, but that doesn’t apply to all personality types, who might find ENTJs abrasive or intimidating – causing resentment and misunderstanding within teams.

  • Challenges with delegating: “If you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself” may be the ultimate ENTJ mantra. Commanders don’t always trust others with tasks or decisions, which can lead to micromanagement.

  • Overestimation of abilities: ENTJs can easily take on more than they can handle because they’re so driven to succeed. As a result, they might be prone to burnout if they struggle to meet their self-imposed high expectations and standards.

  • Overlooked personal needs: More than many other personality types, ENTJs often neglect well-being – both their own and others’ – which can strain team relationships and personal performance in the long run.

Commander personality types are naturally assertive and strategic, making them a critical part of successful, high-achieving teams. But because they’re so direct and efficiency-driven, conflicts and communication challenges are also rife in team settings.

You can maximize ENTJ strengths and foster a harmonious team environment by deploying different strategies and practices. We cover a handful below.

Effective communication strategies for ENTJ personality types

When communicating with ENTJs:

  • Aim for concision. Commanders appreciate when people get to the point, so you can make the right impression with them by addressing issues quickly and firmly. 

  • Provide solid rationale. Clear reasoning and logic help ENTJs understand the bigger picture regarding decision-making and changes at your company. So, always explain the “why” behind decisions. For example, if your company is adopting new software, detail the pain points it helps resolve and the benefits it provides.

  • Encourage open discussion. ENTJs like to express their ideas and concerns openly, which helps create a culture of collaboration and constructive feedback. Setting up regular “office hours” where employees can speak with you or other managers can be a great way to do this.

Best practices for integrating ENTJ personality types into teams

Follow the strategies below to keep dynamics as harmonious as possible with ENTJs on your team.

1. Encourage delegation

ENTJs – especially those already in leadership or management roles – should be encouraged to recognize their team members’ diverse strengths and delegate tasks based on those strengths. This helps foster trust and collaboration while empowering others in the same way ENTJs like to be empowered themselves.

2. Promote emotional intelligence

Empathy isn’t always an ENTJ’s strong suit. But when ENTJs consider others’ perspectives and feelings, they can help build stronger relationships with their teammates. 

To promote emotional intelligence among your Commander employees, offer training on active listening and encourage them to ask their colleagues questions to better understand their perspectives and experiences.

3. Facilitate team-building activities

When Commanders personally connect with their teams, there’s a better sense of camaraderie, which translates into more effective team dynamics in the workplace. Team-building events both in and outside work – such as evenings out or weekend retreats – can be a great way of helping ENTJs get more in touch with their interpersonal side.

Tips for preventing and resolving conflicts

To minimize conflict at work involving ENTJs:

1. Address issues directly but respectfully

When disagreements arise, speak openly and candidly – ENTJs can typically take it. Also, you can often best diffuse heated conflicts involving ENTJs by looking for practical data-driven solutions rather than focusing on emotional weak spots.

2. Highlight common goals

It’s an obvious but frequently forgotten fact that the best teams work well together toward common ends. Remind Commanders of the big picture, and they’ll see the value in collaboration and cooperation – even if there are personal differences between team members.

3. Acknowledge their contributions

When ENTJs demonstrate their talents through drive and leadership, recognize and appreciate it. This helps them stay motivated and feel like a valued team member.

4. Provide structured feedback

The best way to give feedback to an ENTJ is to create and communicate concrete steps for improvement, which rely on real data and logical ideas. 

For example, if you’re addressing concerns about their communication style during meetings, you might say, “I noticed you tend to focus on the downsides when discussing solutions with team members. I suggest considering and encouraging others’ ideas by looking at the potential upsides, too. This will help foster a more collaborative environment and showcase how inspiring you can be.”

How to motivate ENTJ employees and keep them engaged

You need to keep your top talent motivated and engaged so they don’t jump ship. What keeps commanders on course? Let’s discuss.

What motivates ENTJ personality types at work

Commanders need challenge, autonomy, and opportunities for growth and advancement within an organization. As such, they thrive most in work environments that offer them the chance to take on new responsibilities and lead pioneering initiatives.

Businesses that want to motivate ENTJs should allow them to take on leadership or management roles as early as possible. With the right background and training, they’ll typically rise to the challenge.

You should also give ENTJs chances to tackle difficult business problems, such as optimizing a process to cut costs, and pursue professional development opportunities, such as completing a leadership certification course.

Strategies for engaging ENTJ types

To keep ENTJ employees engaged and growing: 

  • Assign them challenging projects: Give Commanders something to work for and show what they can do. Leadership-based roles and projects aligned with their strengths and interests can help get more out of them.

  • Encourage innovation in the workplace: Workplace cultures that reward creativity and innovation are the perfect breeding ground for experimentation. Empowered ENTJs embrace risk to explore new, potentially highly productive ideas in an accepting space.

  • Offer professional development opportunities: Leadership development programs and courses, mentorship opportunities, and executive coaching are all great ways to help ENTJs grow in their careers – and want to stick with your company.

  • Promote results: When Commanders achieve results, recognize and reward their efforts. Every company wants rockstar employees who drive the business forward, and reinforcing their motivation is how you keep them around. Give ENTJs the what, and leave the how up to them.

  • Provide professional networking opportunities: Encourage ENTJs to expand their influence and expertise with peers and industry leaders – and act as business ambassadors – by networking and attending conferences and professional associations.

Guidance on personal development and career growth for ENTJs

When given what they need to grow, ENTJs give their very best back to the business. Here’s how to support Commanders’ development at your company:

1. Provide targeted, relevant skill development

Commanders love to hone their expertise and master additional skills. So, encourage them to work for certifications in strategic planning, negotiation tactics, and advanced leadership techniques. These tailored learning experiences that align with their specific interests and career goals will enhance ENTJs’ effectiveness and satisfaction with their workplace.

2. Identify and nurture leadership potential early and often

ENTJs are born to organize – they just need to be given the chance. Early management opportunities help ENTJs shine and make a larger long-term impact, so try regular leadership assessments and performance evaluations for outstanding employees. Consider placing them in a more senior role if they're leadership material.

3. Engage in strategic initiatives

ENTJs excel in efficiency. So, involve them in cross-functional (e.g., between marketing, sales, and product teams) or process improvement projects and watch them put their analytical skills and strategic intelligence to good use. ENTJs can help eliminate inefficiencies, improving workflows to benefit your whole organization.

4. Facilitate mentorship and peer learning

Pair Commanders with mentors and peers who complement their talents and abilities. INTP personality types similarly value growth, advancement, and the need for intellectual stimulation at work and can help ENTJs navigate the workplace, especially early in their careers. 

Meanwhile, INFPs can provide fresh perspectives on other ways of achieving the same goals. These can include becoming more in touch with the emotions and feelings of other team members, which ENTJs can struggle doing. 

Maximize ENTJ potential with TestGorilla

ENTJs, aka Commanders, are a vital asset to the workplace – if they’re supported properly. At their best, Commanders bring unique vision and leadership abilities to businesses and can help them achieve new heights of success. Though they can be impatient with inefficiency and very direct in communication, they’re often the driving force behind the most strongly-led business cultures.

TestGorilla’s 16 Personalities test can help you identify the strengths, weaknesses, and potential of ENTJs and other personalities. By doing so, you can better support your employees, make smart decisions to retain talent, and supercharge your business growth and success.

Create your free account on TestGorilla and explore our test library today.


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