INTJ vs ENTJ – The Difference between these Two Personality Types


INTJs (Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking and Judging) and ENTJs (Extraverted, Intuitive, Thinking and Judging) are two personalities with a lot in common. They share every function except for one key difference. An INTJ’s dominant function is introverted intuition and their secondary function is extraverted thinking. In an ENTJ, it is the exact opposite. Their dominant function is extraverted thinking and their secondary function is introverted intuition.

What are the essential differences between INTJs and ENTJs?

While INTJs are primarily inwardly focused, logical and objective, ENTJs on the other hand are outwardly focused planners who tend to look to the future rather than the present. Because of their similarly arranged functions, INTJs and ENTJs have many similarities.

Here are some personality features INTJs and ENTJs have in common:

  • Their careers often take priority in their lives. 
  • They are both intellectually-oriented. 
  • Both are task-oriented as well as being excellent problem solvers who are capable of coming up with creative, out-of-the-box solutions. 
  • Both are interested in self-improvement and love learning. 
  • INTJs and ENTJs both have a very direct communication style. 
  • They can be very competitive and are willing to outwork just about anyone. 
  • Others may find both personalities to be intimidating, even if they don’t mean to be. 
  • Their lives are organized, their homes are orderly and they will usually both stick to some kind of day-to-day routine.  

Here are some personality features in INTJs and ENTJs that are different:

  • Socially, INTJs would prefer to not to be the center of attention. 
  • ENTJs have no problem being the star of the room. 
  • INTJs can be hesitant when it comes to doing something they’ve never done before. 
  • ENTJs are usually willing to try new things. 
  • INTJs want to do everything perfectly, no matter how long it takes for them to get it right. 
  • ENTJs may not be as patient and could rush to get things done. 
  • INTJs talk less and listen more. 
  • ENTJs talk more and listen less. 
  • INTJs often focus on the details before making a solid plan. 
  • ENTJs focus on the plan first and add in the details later. 

Leadership

Both INTJs and ENTJs make excellent leaders but their methods and styles are completely different. 

INTJ

INTJs are often reluctant leaders. They would rather toil away in the background rather than be in the spotlight.

Still, when thrust into leadership roles because of their ability and confidence, they will thrive. Typically, they lead through example rather than making proclamations about how things should be done. People follow them because they are excellent in what they are doing, not because they have rallied anyone together. 

How do INTJs express their leadership? 

  • They enjoy a challenge and are not afraid of leadership if it comes to them. 
  • They tend to be hands-off leaders who are willing to give a wide breadth to employees perceived as capable and competent. 
  • They are very straightforward with people. No one will ever feel unsure about what an INTJ wants them to do. 
  • They are very decisive and do not like to revisit their decisions once they’ve been made. 

ENTJ

Typically, ENTJs love leadership roles. They are the type of leaders who start with a plan and are experts at getting everyone else on board with how they want to approach achieving their goal. People naturally follow them because of their charisma and because of their organized approach.  

How do ENTJs express their leadership?  

  • They are enthusiastic leaders whose energetic and goal-oriented approach will bring people together to focus on a common cause.  
  • ENTJs command attention and loyalty—there is never any question as to their authority. 
  • They are excellent communicators and are not afraid to be blunt with people. 
  • They are decisive and logical in their approach. 

If an INTJ were on a jury about to deliberate, she might wait for others to volunteer to be the foreman. If no one else volunteered, she would raise her hand and take on the job. She would be diligent and work through every piece of evidence, listening to everyone’s opinion.

An ENTJ, on the other hand, would charismatically offer to be the foreman at once, and because of his commanding presence and confidence, everyone would agree. He would logically analyze the evidence and direct the jurors to the correct verdict.  

Intelligence

Both personalities have strong introverted intuition, which means they see a subject from a variety of perspectives, are able to recognize patterns and make logical connections when others might not.

INTJ

INTJs are unquestionably intellectually-oriented. They are naturally curious and have an overwhelming desire to learn as much as possible about a wide variety of subjects. They enjoy gathering information and then logically and methodically analyzing it in an effort to find out the truth. They are also very intuitive and can get a sense of a situation very quickly and make decisions accordingly.  

How do INTJs express their intelligence?  

  • They have an encyclopedic knowledge of many subjects and retain information for long periods of time. 
  • Their problem solving approach is to observe, collect data, logically analyze the data and then form a plan.  
  • They prefer to work independently and do not need reassurance from others regarding the soundness of their ideas. 
  • They are creative and are known for their proficiency with writing. 

ENTJ

Like their INTJ counterparts, ENTJs tend to have a life-long thirst for learning. They are dogged problem solvers and excellent strategy makers and have no problems brainstorming in groups. Their enthusiasm and drive are usually key components of their intellectual success.  

How do ENTJs express their intelligence?  

  • Their skill with planning and organization helps them to use their gifts for logical reasoning in the most effective way. 
  • While they can interpret information independently, they do not mind seeking the opinions of others in order to find a solution. 
  • They are excellent in developing tactics needed to handle complex situations. 
  • They do not hesitate to explore subjects that they know nothing about and are confident that they can learn as they go. 

If an INTJ and an ENTJ are tasked with organizing a neighborhood watch, they would have different approaches. The INTJ would already possess a base knowledge about local crime statistics but would want to collect more information. She would also want to do a detailed study of the what has worked in other similar neighborhoods. She would do most of this alone and then form a written plan to send to her neighbors.

An ENTJ, on the other hand, would host a neighborhood brainstorming session at her house. Directing the conversation, she would come up with a solid action plan that would eventually be supported by everyone in attendance.  

Communication

Both INTJs and ENTJs are known for their forthright and direct approach to communication. You will never have to wonder where you stand if your boss is an INTJ or ENTJ. They will likely differ in what they choose to tell you as well as in the amount of finesse with which the information is delivered. 

INTJ

INTJs are direct but very measured in what they say. Usually, they will have given a lot of thought to what they wish to communicate and how best to say it without ruffling any feathers.  

How do INTJs communicate?

  • They may not say much but what they do say usually has significant import. 
  • They understand how to speak diplomatically. 
  • INTJs are not afraid to disagree with someone or ask for clarification. If they disagree with you, they will tell you so and explain why. 
  • They do not care for small talk and would prefer to stick to relevant conversation. 
  • They do not do well dealing with highly upset or hysterical people and will wait until a difficult situation has been defused before trying to communicate. 

ENTJ

As leaders, their direct communication style may sometimes be intimidating. They tend to say whatever occurs to them at the moment, whether it’s an observation or a critique.  

How do ENTJs communicate?

  • They may speak without thinking and end up wishing that they’d kept their mouth shut. 
  • Like INTJs, they dislike meaningless small talk. 
  • As they are straightforward in dealing with others, they expect the same treatment in return. 
  • They are talkers. When your ENTJ friend takes you out to dinner, don’t be surprised if they end up doing most of the talking. 
  • They only want to talk for so long before taking action to tackle a problem. 

If an INTJ and an ENTJ were bosses giving employee evaluations, they may have very different approaches. An INTJ would have spent a long time evaluating the work of the employee, concentrating on objective facts. She would have written down points she wanted to cover and would gently explain everything to the employee in very clear terms.

An ENTJ, rather, would address the employee with an off the cuff talk, using his best recollection of the employee’s record. He may not realize that he’s coming off as harsh rather than helpful.   

Am I an INTJ or an ENTJ?

It would be easy to assume that if you considered yourself to be an introvert, then you’d be an INTJ and if you considered yourself to be an extravert, then you’d be an ENTJ. Mystery solved, right?

Unfortunately, although being an introvert or an extravert does factor in, it’s a little more complicated than that. Whether or not you are an INTJ or an ENTJ has to do with how you perceive the world. INTJs are inwardly focused while ENTJs are more involved in things going on outside of their own heads, for example.  

For each of these questions, a “yes” answer means it is increasingly likely that you are an INTJ:  

  • You are more comfortable reasoning out problems inside of your own head rather than with groups of people. 
  • Sometimes, when you’re stressed, you find yourself wanting to retreat from the outside world. 
  • Your hobbies tend to revolve around activities that are done at home, like baking or playing a musical instrument. 
  • Are you someone who has gut feelings about certain things? And more often than not, do those feelings turn out to be correct? 
  • You are a big-picture person rather than a detail-oriented person. 
  • You need to study all aspects of a problem before acting on it.

For each of these questions, a “yes” answer means it is increasingly likely that you are an ENTJ: 

  • You need to have a plan to be happy. 
  • You find it energizing to be around other people. 
  • When problem solving, you like dealing with measurable specifics.
  • Your hobbies tend to involve activities that involve other people.
  • You love to try new things but don’t like surprises.
  • In challenging situations, you are likely to jump in and act before giving it much thought.

Can you be both an INTJ and an ENTJ?

According to the purveyors of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, even though you may share many characteristics of both personality types, it is not possible to be two personality types at the same time.  

Very often it is the INTJs and ENTJs that are the leaders, thinkers and problem solvers of our world. They are very similar but have a different style and perspective that makes them unique. 

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