According to the Myers-Briggs assessment, I have an ENFJ personality. If you’re unfamiliar with Myers-Briggs, it is an introspective self-report questionnaire indicating differing psychological preferences in how you perceive the world and make decisions. The test attempts to assign four categories: introversion or extraversion (I or E), sensing or intuition (S or N), thinking or feeling (T or F), judging or perceiving (J or P). You can read more about it and take a free version of the test here.
ENFJ’s are teachers at heart. We are the benevolent pedagogues of humanity. According to the Myers-Briggs type, we possess the following personality:
- We have tremendous charisma by which many are drawn into our nurturant tutelage.
- We have tremendous power to manipulate others with our phenomenal interpersonal skills and unique salesmanship, but it’s usually not meant as manipulation because we generally believe in our dreams, and see ourselves as helpers and enablers, which we usually are.
- We are global learners and see the big picture. Many of us have tremendous entrepreneurial ability.
- We are organized in the arena of interpersonal affairs. Our offices may or may not be cluttered (mine is cluttered, yet orderly).
- We know and appreciate people.
I offer this insight to raise awareness about the importance of knowing yourself. How you’re made. How your wired. With increased self-awareness, you can start to understand why you’re here and build habits that allow you to experience passion and purpose. Such purpose ultimately yields clarity of calling, i.e. how you deliver your purpose to the world.
Understanding that I have the personality of teacher, enables and empowers me to focus on that gift in all that I do. Good teaching requires kindness, gentleness and patience. Being able to teach indicates an inward, temperamental aspect to compliment the external effectiveness with others. And being entrusted with such ability means being a good steward of the talent on loan from God.
It’s one thing to be a teacher in practice and another to be a teacher at heart. Good teachers see possibilities in people. They are hopeful that others can learn and grow. They don’t assume people are what they are and will never change. Rather, good teachers want to influence, to shape, to guide. They want to inform, present facts and provide motivation. They want to teach and through words change people, not simply judge them for where they are.
Good teachers are called to a kind of patience that is forgiving, a type of forgiveness that hears someone say or do something wrong and doesn’t give up on them. Rather, we take a deep breath pray for patience, and begin the hard work of teaching. We make our case and without being patronizing, we teach. We just keep teaching and teaching and teaching.
For those of us with teaching personality-types, let’s cultivate the heart and approach of a good teacher. Let’s give the space and provide the gracious teaching that forgiveness makes possible. Let’s hope for change, and pray for change, and under God, let’s seek to change people through careful patient, teaching.
Jesus Christ is the single greatest teacher the world has ever known, and it’s no accident. God gave Jesus his heart and his Spirit to teach because God loves to teach.
God is a teacher at heart.