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Over the past 5 or so years, I taught a series of classes for nontraditional students. It was a program called “Success in College,”  a three-credit class for a local university, and it offered nontraditional students a chance to build their confidence before going to college. It was fun and rewarding to engage these students in a positive way and later to hear and see “success stories” happen in my other college class, English Composition, which I taught in the fall semester for 4 years at a community college in southern Maine. Both classes were fun to teach.

While teaching the “Success in College” workshop series,  my students took the Myers-Briggs personality questionnaires, and at one point, I joined in taking it. It was really not a surprise to find out I was an ENFP, the “Champion” personality, since I’d taken it in my 20s and was an ENFP then, too, and once in high school during a leadership training workshop experience for teens. (LOFT?) ENFP stands for Extrovert, Intuitive, Feeling(based) and Perceptive. Charlotte Bronte was most likely an ENFP, too. She’s one of my favorite authors of all time. (I dressed as Jane Slayre, a vampire-slaying version of Jane Eyre, for Halloween last year. I was very fond of my red slayer boots.) 

The Champion is one of the Idealist personality types. And I’m no stranger to the behaviors of a Champion! My mother and step-dad are both ENFPs, like me, so I have seen and experienced the exciting drama, the high energy, the vivacious spilling-over-the-top sensation that is everything that interests a Champion. Like my mother, I write. I speak. I teach. I aim to inspire, to engage, to empower others. I love to improve things, to protect them, to champion a cause (or two, or three or four.) And I put my whole self into a cause as if my very life depended on it. This applies to my job (writing about protecting wetlands), my family and friends, my personal writing projects and even raising a rescue dog. (And my dog is definitely an extrovert. No assessment necessary. The vet said my pointer-dachshund is a “nanny” personality type, which means she likes to play nanny, to raise things, even weird things, like acorns and rinsed-out tuna cans, in her doggie bed.)

Sophie-Bea in her former modeling days

When I was asked to go to some employee training workshops to improve myself, I thought that was cool  since I’ve taught this kind of workshop myself, and attended them before for other jobs in the past.  Some people think these kinds of seminars are boring but I like them.  Topics like “dealing with stress at work,” which is different for everyone and for me (ENFP) is described like this:

“The Champion is usually a bundle of energy, but they can become exhausted if they are overloaded with work. They also will experience stress if their values and principles are violated and they see others in the company being hurt by policies that kill the human spirit. Then they become hypersensitive to what is going on around them. To regain their equilibrium, meditation will help (or in my case, swimming!) Kindness and support by others, but not patronization, will help them get back to normal.” – according to the Keirsey personality philosophy. I’m certainly a passionate type, so whatever I do at work, it’s not exactly subdued. It is especially interesting for me, as an extrovert, to work with a lot of introverts. My boss, all of my co-workers, are all introverts. So I’m sure sometimes they think I sound like a martian, when I’m just communicating in an extroverted way, and they receive information in an introverted way. There is something to that!

On a personal note, this insight into women in relationships based on personality type, e.g. Champion – for me, it’s right on the nose. Check out the sections on dating and mating based on your Myers-Briggs personality, regardless of your personality type. If you don’t know what your Myers-Briggs personality type is, I think there’s a way to find out on the same website. It’s certainly helpful to understand about yourself in a working environment and for those looking for a new job or figuring out what they want to do for a career after college.


Poet. Artist. Ecoheroine. Human ecologist. Spiritual mermaid and Mystic. I write about literary ecology, wetlands, water, Romantic ecology, and quirky adventures with my dog.

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Charles P. Martin-Shields

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