Probably the most dominant personality of the 16 personality types, ENTJs are "in it to win it" in every sense of the phrase. As high achievers they will do everything in their power to achieve success; many will casually trample over people's feelings in their race to the top. They do not do this because they are cruel or cold-hearted - it's more that ENTJ personalities genuinely enjoy the battle of wits that comes with pursuing victory.
The problem is, when you're a natural-born powerhouse, people are typically more inclined to follow your orders than get close to you. If you're tired of being "The General" in your relationships, you need to learn to show compassion and become more trusting of others. These four tips can help you soften your approach and start connecting on another level.
1. Clearly Communicate Your Intentions
If your overall desire is to have more positive connections with people then you have to go beyond the usual ways of communicating which, for ENTJs, may come across as harsh and domineering. Barking orders is fine in a few, very limited situations. But most of the time it causes fear which is unsettling for everyone.
Stating your intentions can help grease the wheels of communication. This means expressing the reason why you are having the conversation and what you hope to get out of it. Clearly communicating your intentions shows that you have an end goal in mind and can help your conversation partner react positively to what you are saying. So remember to make your motives clear.
2. Display Empathy
When you give your loved ones or co-workers any type of feedback, show empathy. Being compassionate towards people's feelings shows that you have their best interests in mind. This builds trust. When trust is established, the other person will be able to accept your advice without feeling obligated, intimidated or threatened.
How to show empathy? In the simplest terms, it involves listening with the intent to understand what the other person is saying, and only sharing your knowledge when it is actively asked for. Often, the other person will need a sounding board more than they will need your direction. As natural leaders, ENTJs can garner a great deal of respect by putting other people in the driving seat and being a mentor rather than being a dictator.
3. Accept Mistakes
Tolerance isn't a strong suit of ENTJs. Most of them have a remarkable ability to crush the sensitivities of those they regard as incompetent, weak or lazy. This tough-love attitude can make people very fearful of the ENTJ personality, particularly in an environment where one harsh opinion, poorly expressed, can have a negative influence on a person's self-esteem.
A person who is shot down whenever they make a mistake typically will become defensive. ENTJs may find that a friend or coworker will open up more when the ENTJ accepts them, warts and all, and gives them the support they need to move forward.
4. Stop Prioritizing Achievement Over Everything
Prioritizing achievement over everything can put a lot of strain on relationships. Friends and partners may feel sidelined by your continuous pursuit of victory, especially if they have a different world view and are not motivated by prestige, power and success.
For ENTJs, it is especially important to take regular reality checks. Try to see situations from others' points of view. Recognize that some situations require feelings more than logic, and this will help you connect with your networks on a deeper level. Showing your vulnerable side won't make you soft. If anything, you'll find that you can connect more authentically with your friends and family, and that will only increase the support you get as you strive to achieve.
So there you have it -- four tips to help ENTJs forge respectful, loving relationships. What strategies have you used to help you emotionally connect with people?