Personal Styles

Carl Jung developed many psychological concepts including the archetype, the collective unconscious and synchronicity, in addition to a conceptual model of classifying personal styles, or ways of interacting with the world around us, which included three psychological spectrums.

  • Extraversion – Introversion (E – I) How our energies flow.

The difference between Extraversion and Introversion is related to how you get your energy and where you focus your attention. Extraverts get their energy and inspiration by being around others and focussing their attention outwards on the world around them, whereas Introverts are the most creative when they can work alone, observing and reacting to their world through their thoughts, feelings and ideas. The inner world is more important than the outer world. Basically then, Extraverts are action oriented, while introverts are thought oriented. Extraverts seek breadth of knowledge and influence, while introverts seek depth of knowledge and influence. Extraverts often prefer more frequent interaction, while introverts prefer more substantial interaction. Extraverts recharge and get their energy from spending time with people, while introverts recharge and get their energy from spending time alone.

  • Sensing – Intuition (S – N) How we learn information

Sensing and Intuition is about how the individual processes information from the world around them. Sensing people tend to be practical and realistic people, where Intuitive people tend to be more abstract and imaginative. Sensing people will talk about facts and concrete things whereas Intuitive people tend to talk about their gut feelings about something and conclusions not necessarily based on the facts of the matter. Sensing and intuition are the information-gathering (perceiving) functions. They describe how new information is understood and interpreted. Individuals who prefer sensing are more likely to trust information that is in the present, tangible and concrete: that is, information that can be understood by the five senses. They tend to distrust hunches, which seem to come “out of nowhere”. They prefer to look for details and facts. For them, the meaning is in the data. On the other hand, those who prefer intuition tend to trust information that is more abstract or theoretical, that can be associated with other information (either remembered or discovered by seeking a wider context or pattern). They may be more interested in future possibilities. They tend to trust those flashes of insight that seem to bubble up from the unconscious mind. The meaning is in how the data relates to the pattern or theory.

  • Thinking – Feeling (T – F) How we make decisions

Thinking people tend to rely on logic and reason, whereas Feeling people make decisions based on their values, relationships and personal concerns. Thinking people tend to prefer occupations that involve the use of analytical, technical and sceintific skills, while Feeling people prefer to make a difference in people’s lives working in careers such as such as nursing and social work, for example. Thinking and feeling are the decision-making (judging) functions. The thinking and feeling functions are both used to make rational decisions, based on the data received from their information-gathering functions (sensing or intuition). Those people who prefer thinking tend to decide things from a more detached standpoint, measuring the decision by what seems reasonable, logical, causal, consistent and matching a given set of rules, while those who prefer feeling tend to come to decisions by associating or empathizing with the situation, looking at it ‘from the inside’ and weighing the situation to achieve, on balance, the greatest harmony, consensus and fit, considering the needs of the people involved. Thinkers usually have trouble interacting with people that are inconsistent or illogical, and tend to give very direct feedback to others. They are concerned with the truth and view it as more important than being tactful.

Isabel Briggs Meyers added a fourth spectrum in the development of the Meyers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

  • Judging – Perceiving (J – P) How we deal with the world.

This spectrum concerns how you prefer to organize your life. Judging people prefer structure, planning, predictability and organisation, whereas, Perceiving people prefer spontaneity and flexibility. Judging people like to keep everything neat and tidy, and they like to stay on a schedule, whereas, Perceiving people prefer to do things at the last minute and enjoy frequent adventures.

The combination of these four spectrums reflects a specific personal style type, and knowing your personal style type can assist you to understand your motives, needs and preferences and help you plan for the future in terms of career choice and indeed, life planning overall.
The purpose of learning about your personality type is to help you understand yourself better. When you know what motivates and energizes you, it helps you to seek opportunities that most suit the way you are. This insight also helps improve your relationships with others. The more you recognize your own tendencies, the better you are able to monitor and control your behaviour around others. When you know the personality types of those around you, you can use that information to improve the way you work and communicate with each other.
For example, Thinking people and Feeling people often have a challenging relationship. The thinking types can’t understand the need to agree, because they see debate as a healthy way to discover the truth. They enjoy debate and see conflict as a natural part of a relationship. However, feeling people, on the other hand, can’t understand why someone would want to argue, because they’re focused on having harmony in their relationships. This is an example of where knowledge of the other’s personal style can help build and maintain relationships.

A brief overview of each personal style type.

ESTJs are hardworking traditionalists, and they like to take on leadership positions. They respect tradition and hierarchy and prefer order. They rely on experience and logic and like to get things done in a systematic , structured and organised fashion. Types of careers that may appeal to the ESTJ personal style type can include, pilots, police officers, paralegal, military, business administrators, managers, police/detective work, judges, financial officers, teachers, sales representatives, government workers, insurance agents, underwriters, nursing administrators, trade and technical teachers. Tough, no nonsense natural leaders, they work best when they are in charge and enforcing the rules.

ESFJs are conscientious helpers who are generous with their time and are sensitive to both the feelings of others and the perception that others have of them. They are serious, practical, productive and keep regular schedules. Careers that can appeal to the ESFJ personal style type can include, dental assisting, massage therapy, paralegals, ministers, nursing, teaching, administrators, child care, GP, clergy, office managers, counsellors, social workers, bookkeeping, accounting, secretaries, organizational leaders, radiology, receptionists, religious educators, speech pathologists. Basically, this personal style type excels in jobs where they can apply their natural warmth at building relationships with other people.

ISTJs are responsible organizers. Although introverted, ISTJs like to participate and understand where they fit in organizations. They value predictability more than imagination and are logical and methodical in systematically solving problems. Careers that can appeal to the ISTJ personal style type can include, computer programmers, stockbrokers, pharmacists and surgeons, business executives, administrators and managers, accountants, police, detectives, judges, lawyers, medical doctors, dentists, systems analysts, computer specialists, auditors, electricians, math teachers, mechanical engineers, steelworkers, technicians. Like the ESTJ type, they have a knack for detail and memorization, but work more behind the scenes instead of up front as a leader.

ISFJs are industrious caretakers who are motivated to provide and protect others. They appreciate tradition and seek to preserve values and standards. ISFJs work best and are most committed when their duties involve the welfare of others. Careers that can attract ISFJs include, graphic artists, radiology technicians, nutritionists, funeral directors, Interior decorators, designers, nurses, administrators, managers, secretaries, child care/early childhood development, social work, counselors, paralegals, clergy, office managers, shopkeepers, bookkeepers, homemakers, gardeners, clerical supervisors, curators, GPs, health service workers, librarians, medical technologists, typists. Tradition-oriented and down-to-earth, they do best in jobs where they can help people achieve their goals, or where structure is needed.

ENTJs are strategic leaders who like to organize change. They are quick to see new solutions to problems. They tend to be blunt and critical but are good at making logical but often tough decisions to accomplish their goals. Career areas attracting ENTJs include, financial planners, business consultants, physicians and attorneys, business executives, CEOs, organization founders, business administrators, managers, entrepreneurs, judges, lawyers, computer consultants, university professors, politicians, credit investigators, labor relations worker, marketing department manager, mortgage banker, systems analysts, scientists. They are born to lead and can steer the organization towards their vision, using their excellent organizing and understanding of what needs to get done.

ENTPs are inspired innovators who seek to understand people, systems and values without applying judgment. They are easygoing but often take the upper hand in debates and love to offer critical analysis. They tend towards careers such as, photographers, architects, public relations specialists and human resource recruiters, entrepreneurs, lawyers, psychologists, photographers, consultants, sales representatives, actors, engineers, scientists, inventors, marketers, computer programmers, comedians, computer analysts, credit investigators, journalists, psychiatrists, public relations, designers, writers, artists, musicians, politicians. Very freedom-oriented, they need a career which allows them to act independent and express their creativity and insight.

INTJs are analytical problem solvers and intellectuals who enjoy analysis and complex problem solving. They typically don’t like to be around people, who can be unpredictable and sometimes illogical. INTJs put a committed, concentrated effort on achieving their goals. They are usually attracted to career areas such as, computer programmers, astronomers, graphic designers and financial planners, scientists, engineers, professors, teachers, medical doctors, dentists, corporate strategists, organization founders, business administrators, managers, military, lawyers, judges, system analysts, computer specialists, psychologists, photographers, research department managers, researchers, university instructors, chess players. They have a particular skill at grasping difficult, complex concepts and building strategies.

INTPs are theoretical innovators who can get so absorbed in thought that they often become oblivious to the world around them. They are nontraditional and prefer their own unconventional way of doing things rather than following the crowd. Careers and jobs that attract the INTPs can include, psychiatrists, photographers, web developers, neurologists, physicists, chemists, biologists, photographers, strategic planners, mathematicians, university professors, computer programmers, computer animators, technical writers, engineers, lawyers, forensic researchers, writers, artists, psychologists, social scientists, systems analysts, researchers, surveyors. Highly analytical, they can discover connections between two seemingly unrelated things, and work best when allowed to use their imagination and critical thinking.

ESTPs are energetic thrill seekers who work well under pressure or in an emergency. They are logical, practical problem solvers who are quick on their feet to fix challenges at hand but often put old tasks on the backburner. ESTPs are natural athletes and risk takers who can sometimes be abrupt and insensitive.ESTPs types can be attracted to positions including, sales representatives, marketers, police, detectives, paramedics, medical technicians, computer technicians, computer technical support, entrepreneurs, comedians, agents, race car drivers, firefighters, military, loan sharks, con men, auditors, carpenters, craft workers, farmers, laborers, service workers, transportation operatives. They have a gift for reacting to and solving immediate problems, and persuading other people.

ESFPs are vivacious entertainers. They are spontaneous and fun-loving. ESFPs are warm, talkative, charming and affectionate but they can easily become over-extended or unfocused by over-committing themselves with too many hobbies, tasks and friends. Careers enjoyed by the ESFPs can include, drama or music teachers, emergency room nurses or physicians, travel agents or dental assistants, actors, painters, comedians, adult entertainers, sales representatives, teachers, counselors, social workers, child care, fashion designers, interior decorators, consultants, photographers, musicians, human resources managers, clerical supervisors, coaches, factory supervisors, food service workers, receptionists, recreation workers, religious educators, respiratory therapists.. Optimistic and fun-loving, their enthusiasm is great for motivating others.

ISFPs are gentle caretakers who have a strong aesthetic sense and enjoy the arts. They are flexible and spontaneous but deeply loyal to loved ones and causes that matter to them. ISFPs often don’t prefer to be in a leadership role but are good at building trust and leading by example. Careers that can attract the ISFP personal style type can include, preschool teachers, fashion designers, opticians and respiratory therapists, artists, musicians, composers, designers, child care workers, social workers, counsellors, teachers, veterinarians, forest rangers, naturalists, bookkeepers, carpenters, personal service workers, clerical supervisors, secretaries, dental and medical staffers, waiters and waitresses, chefs, nurses, mechanics, physical therapists, x-ray technicians. They tend to do well in the arts, as well as helping others and working with people.

ISTPs are observant artisans and put a practical understanding of how things work to good use. They get bored easily by theory but prefer working with mechanical things rather than interacting with people. Careers commonly preferred by the ISTP personal style type can include, landscape architects, software developers, firefighters, police, detectives, forensic pathologists, computer programmers, system analysts, computer specialists, engineers, carpenters, mechanics, pilots, drivers, athletes, entrepreneurs, paramedics, construction workers, dental hygienists, electrical engineers, farmers, military, probation officers, steelworkers, transportation operatives. With the ability to stay calm
under pressure, they excel in any job which requires immediate action.

ENFPs are people-centered creators who are excellent communicators and storytellers. They like to use their creativity to help others and are often involved in humanitarian causes. ENFPs are curious and often have a wide range of interests and friends from many backgrounds. Careers usually preferred by the ENFP personal style type can include, marketing consultants, teachers, massage therapists and musicians, actors, journalists, writers, musicians, painters, consultants, psychologists, psychiatrists, entrepreneurs, teachers, counselors, politicians, diplomats, television reporters, marketers,
scientists, sales representatives, artists, clergy, public relations, social scientists, social workers. Very creative and fun-loving, they excel at careers which allow them to express their ideas and spontaneity..

ENFJs are idealist organizers and are often found as enthusiastic leaders, especially in humanitarian projects. They have an ability to see the potential in people and often play the important role as a mentor. Although they are extroverted, they still need time alone to rejuvenate. ENFJs personal style types can be attracted to careers areas such as, journalists, social workers, chiropractors and graphic designers, teachers, consultants, psychiatrists, social workers, counsellors, clergy, sales representative, human resources, managers, events coordinators, politicians, diplomats, writers, actors, designers, musicians, religious workers, writers. They have a gift of encouraging others actualize themselves, and provide excellent leadership.

INFPs are imaginative idealists who are guided by their set of values and what they believe is right. They are not motivated by money or status but instead use their creativity and originality to help others. They are usually unconventional and independent. INFPs are usually attracted to career areas including, graphic designers, massage therapists, librarians and architects, writers, artists, counselors, social workers, English teachers, fine arts teachers, child care workers, clergy, missionaries, psychologists, psychiatrists, scientists, political activists, editors, education consultants, journalists, religious educators, social scientists. Driven by a strong sense of personal values, they are also highly creative and can offer support from behind the scenes.

INFJs are creative nurturers who have a talent for helping others solve personal challenges using creative solutions. They often have a vision for a happier and more ideal future, but they are also motivated and persistent in making their vision a reality. INFJs can be attracted to careers such as, career counsellors, nutritionists, social workers and fundraisers, counsellors, clergy, missionaries, teachers, medical doctors, dentists, chiropractors, psychologists, psychiatrists, writers, musicians, artists, psychics, photographers, child care workers, education consultants, librarians, marketeers, scientists, social workers.. Blessed with an idealistic vision, they do best when they seek to make that vision a reality.