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Introduction to the 8 Ways of Working

By Donna Dunning

The descriptions below introduce personality type preferences, highlighting typical approaches for each of the 8 ways of working. You may find statements in each approach that are true for you, but after reading all of the descriptions you will likely find one approach that best describes your personal preferences. As you read, think about what you naturally prefer to do rather than what you can or have done.

These descriptions are an overview of the 8 ways of working and not intended to provide an accurate personality type assessment. It is highly recommended that you take an official version of the MBTI® assessment to verify your preferences. You can take the assessment online at the official Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

Please read all statements before deciding which 1 of the 8 ways of working best describes your approach.

Responders (ESTP and ESFP) At Work

  • I seek opportunities to act and move around.
  • I like to troubleshoot and improvise, focusing on practical solutions.
  • I enjoy observing and like to engage my senses.
  • I usually focus on the here and now.
  • I tend to respond to what is most interesting right now rather than following through on less interesting tasks.
  • Routines, predictability, and the theoretical often bore me.
  • I like to engage in hands-on experiences.
  • I trust and understand what I can see, hear, smell, taste, or touch.
  • I like physical challenge and immediate interactions and sensations.
  • I tend to react quickly in crisis or emergency situations

For more information on these personality type preferences click here: Responder 

Explorers (ENTP and ENFP) At Work

  • I like to work with and create new ideas.
  • I don’t enjoy focusing mainly on details and realities.
  • I make connections and see relationships between things and ideas.
  • I am future and possibility oriented.
  • I anticipate, seek, and create change, and help others do the same.
  • I like to be involved in many different and innovative things at once.
  • I enjoy having changing tasks and variety to maintain my interest.
  • I often have bursts of creative energy, usually at the last minute.
  • I would rather initiate and conceptualize projects than complete them.
  • I like to explore and define new ideas more than I like making decisions

For more information on these personality type preferences click here: Explorer 

Expeditors (ESTJ and ENTJ) At Work

  • I strive to make and live by clear rules or principles.
  • I see situations as having clear and definite boundaries between right and wrong.
  • I take a problem-solving, task-oriented approach to situations.
  • I analyze situations quickly and move people to action.
  • I am usually driven to complete tasks and work hard.
  • I want to work within or create an efficient and logically structured system.
  • I like to organize and lead groups strategically.
  • I strongly value competence, clear thinking, and logical analysis.
  • I can, at times, be task oriented rather than people oriented.
  • I engage in play that serves a logical purpose, such as learning a skill or exercising.

For more information on these personality type preferences click here: Expeditor 

Contributors (ESFJ and ENFJ) At Work

  • I like to help others with decision making, planning, and taking action.
  • I am usually warm and caring and enjoy understanding others’ points of view.
  • I like to organize, coordinate, and plan activities that others will enjoy.
  • I act to instill trust and cooperation between people.
  • I work toward obtaining group harmony and consensus.
  • I seek experiences that help me learn about people’s values, opinions, and reactions.
  • I like participating in social events and traditions that reward and support people.
  • I am usually socially responsible and tend to frequently take on social roles.
  • I sometimes neglect my own needs, as I am busy helping others meet theirs.
  • I enjoy organizing, facilitating, and directing groups.

For more information on these personality type preferences click here: Contributor 

Assimilators (ISTJ and ISFJ) At Work

  • I like to collect many useful and relevant facts.
  • I am often considered to be an expert in topics that interest me.
  • I prefer to take a detailed project approach to tasks.
  • I may find that an interesting and complex project will totally consume my time and attention.
  • I loyally and conscientiously apply my personal principles or values to situations.
  • I need to understand and agree with rules or standards before I act on them.
  • I make decisions by considering each and every relevant fact at hand.
  • I come across as deliberate and exacting and can work meticulously with details.
  • I can be patient when completing routine tasks and following procedures.
  • I like to concentrate without interruptions for a long period of time.

For more information on these personality type preferences click here: Assimilator 

Visionaries (INTJ and INFJ) At Work

  • I like to work with and understand abstract ideas and symbols.
  • I create new conceptual categories and visions of what could be.
  • I question and analyze the very nature of knowledge, truth, and understanding.
  • I find challenges in managing the precision and multiple meanings of language.
  • I analyze and challenge basic societal ideas and concepts.
  • I am a determined and ingenious leader or problem solver.
  • I like to work with difficult and complex challenges.
  • I find theory and concepts more interesting than material facts.
  • I like to see and understand the whole picture before I take action.
  • I deal with the world in a decisive way.

For more information on these personality type preferences click here: Visionary 

Analyzers (ISTP and INTP) At Work

  • I like to work independently with opportunities for spontaneity.
  • I focus on the principles underlying a situation rather than on the situation itself.
  • I create logical links between realities and possibilities.
  • I like to examine and reflect on situations to figure out why things happen.
  • I want to see how my actions change the situation at hand.
  • I primarily use logic and objectivity to interpret situations.
  • I am most convinced by reasoning and analysis.
  • I present a quiet, detached, and impersonal demeanor to most people.
  • I enjoy figuring things out more than following through to implement solutions.
  • I am usually adaptable, but will resist changes that are not logical or reasonable.

For more information on these personality type preferences click here: Analyzer 

Enhancers (ISFP and INFP) At Work

  • I like to engage in activities that are personally meaningful.
  • I focus on maintaining internal and external harmony in my life.
  • I want to express my values and personal ideals in my work.
  • I seek a higher purpose and meaning in my life.
  • I am accepting, flexible, and accommodating unless my personal values are challenged.
  • In cases where my values are challenged, I can become inflexible and stubborn.
  • I have a deep sense of humanity as well as powerful personal convictions.
  • Casual observers will not see the values I find important, since they are seldom expressed.
  • I am loyal and demonstrate strong devotion to a valued cause, person, or ideal.
  • Although I may not show it, I can be easily hurt by feedback that is harsh or critical.

For more information on these personality type preferences click here: Enhancer

For more information on occupational choices and type preferences, please click below on your way of working.

Information on this page has been excerpted from

What’s Your Type of Career? 2nd edition


MBTI, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, and Introduction to Type are registered trademarks of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Trust in the United States and other countries.