ENTJ Development
The Unique Growth Path of the ENTJ

This section ENTJ Development is about the unique development path of the ENTJ personality from birth to midlife. While each individual’s development path is unique,  personality type provides a good general framework for you.  

To understand ENTJ development, we have to understand the hierarchy of mental functions for the ENTJ. The hierarchy of mental functions for the ENTJ is about which mental function (Sensing, Intuiting, Thinking or Feeling) the ENTJ is most comfortable with using and which they are least comfortable in using.

Without going too much into Type dynamics, let’s look at the ENTJ’s hierarchy of mental functions:

The ENTJ is most comfortable with using their Dominant Function Extraverted Thinking and least comfortable with using their Inferior Function Introverted Feeling. 

From Childhood to Puberty:
Development of Extraverted Thinking

As a child, the ENTJ will develop the Extraverted Thinking function. They will want to know reasoning and explanations behind the actions of their parents.

They will not accept a “It is true because Mom says so”. They will also generally be less expressive than their Feeling counterparts, not showing emotion as readily and hence not crying or laughing as much.

If they have not properly developed this function in their youth, they may not know how to evaluate their thoughts and therefore constantly change their stands or decision.

From Puberty to about Age 30:
Development of Introverted Intuition

At puberty, the ENTJ will start developing the auxiliary function, Introverted Intuition. They will develop a strategic mind and enjoy games and activities that require them to stretch their thinking and imagination.

They will display quickness of understanding and often do very well in their studies. They will enjoy subjects that deal with abstract theory like Mathematics (depending on how it is taught).

If they have not properly developed this function, they may grow up to be extremely overbearing and stubborn, not willing to listen to the viewpoints of others and coming to conclusions prematurely.

Areas for ENTJ Development

Assuming an environment supportive to their development, most ENTJs would have developed Extraverted Thinking and Introverted Intuition by 20 years or so.

Their areas of improvement will most likely come from the underdeveloped sides of Extraverted Sensing and Introverted Feeling.

Here are some suggestions for improvement:

  • Obtain more information before coming to a decision
  • Give encouragement and praise to others for good work
  • Be attentive to detail
  • Use specific and concise language in communication
  • Be more sensitive to the feelings of others

From Age 30 to Midlife:
Development of Extraverted Sensing

At the age of 30, the ENTJ will feel the tension to continue growing and start developing the tertiary function, Extraverted Sensing.  The ENTJ may start taking notice of details like colour, shape, size that they have not noticed before. They may also start making observations or insights about people that they have never noticed before.

The ENTJ can further develop the Extraverted Sensing function through these simple exercises:

  • Pick up a new skill or sport which requires full total present focus and attention.

  • Eat a food leisurely, fully appreciating its texture, its flavour, its smell. There is no need to describe it, but pay attention to it.

  • Purchase something you like (not too expensive!) without thinking about what you need it for or where will you place it. Let yourself enjoy having it before keeping it or giving it away.

From Midlife onward:
Development of Introverted Feeling

At midlife onward, the ENTJ's focus turns toward the inferior function, Introverted Feeling. The underdeveloped Introverted Feeling of ENTJs comes out in a childish and undeveloped way when under stress, so the ENTJ becomes extremely emotional or feel uncontrollable depression.

But in midlife, there is an unconscious shift and desire to develop that inferior function in order to achieve wholeness and continual growth. It is an uncomfortable but necessary transition.

Here are some simple exercises to consciously develop the Introverted Feeling function:

  • Think about a good quality of another person that you think is important and find a time to share it with that person about it.

  •  If you have a conflict with another person, think about what is important to that person in that particular situation and ask yourself if you can suspend your need to be right in order to preserve the relationship. Think about what it makes you feel.

  • In a group meeting, observe the verbal and non-verbal cues of others and try to gauge the thoughts and feelings of people by just observing their body language.

Conclusion

The developmental paths of individuals are unique to themselves according to the environment, culture and social norms they were brought up in.

Some cultures value certain personality traits more than others, affecting the personality development of an individual.  Lastly, it is good to remember that no two people need to develop the same way, and hence only some of the above may apply to you.

This page only serves as a general guide for anyone using it as a reference. If you like to learn more about your unique developmental path, please contact me.



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