Production Blogs

It’s not my fault I’m an ENFP

Using Myers–Briggs to understand, and solve, my shortcomings as a television news producer.

A month ago, I set a goal to become more of a micromanaging producer. Have I gotten there? Debatable. But turns out I’m an ENFP, so at least I have an excuse.

During this semester’s cursed midterm season (shoutout to all the wellness days I spent working), Annenberg TV News’s acclaimed faculty advisor, Ms. Stacy Scholder, asked us producers to determine personal goals to work toward for the rest of the semester. One of mine went as follows:

Micromanagement, though seen as a negative trait in most circumstances, is actually a news-producing asset! Can you believe it? Maybe this is why the world hates journalists. Producers need to know the status of every story in their show at all times, so they can make editorial decisions and guide where the show is headed.

I feel the importance of this practice every time I meet with Stacy to go over the show’s rundown mid-day, and she asks me to explain what’s going on with every single element there is. And every time I realize I don’t have an answer for something, I swear, I count my days… (Kidding! The add/drop deadline for this class passed a long time ago, so she’s stuck with me.)

For me, it can seem daunting to balance micromanaging in a productive way and worrying that I’m coming off as too pushy to everyone, which is honestly partially a symptom of internalized misogyny and imposter syndrome, and therefore something I shouldn’t let myself consider at all. I’m working on it. As I near my entrance into the professional world, I’ve been thinking more about how I can develop better interpersonal skills in the workplace. I want to contribute constructively to any team I’m on, and build a heightened self-awareness that will make me a better newsroom leader.

And what better way is there to build self-awareness than to take an internet personality test?

After much reflection, I decided to go on 16 Personalities to determine my Myers-Briggs type, one of the more popular personality scales out there. And honestly, when I read over my results, I learned a lot about myself. I’d highly recommend taking the test yourself (or redoing it with a fresh perspective), because I feel like I know exactly how to adjust my thinking now in order to be better at achieving my producing goals.

(Wow, I sound like an ad. I swear they’re not paying me for this.)

(But off the record, if you’re from 16 Personalties, hit my line. I’d totally take your money.)

What is an ENFP?

I have the personality type known as “The Campaigner.” According to the description on 16 Personalities, this means I get excited about exploring new ideas, and getting the chance to “conduct that exploration alongside other people who share their excitement.” (No wonder spearheading Wine Wednesday felt so invigorating!)

Campaigners love to inspire people, so 16 Personalities says good career options for them are writing, journalism, acting, and TV reporting, because those jobs allow them to “explore something new every day and stir the pot a little while they’re at it.” Anyone who knows me at all would most definitely describe me as a pot-stirrer, so at least I know I’m in the right profession now.

Good traits aside, being an ENFP also means I can be independent to a fault. The campaigner personality hates “being micromanaged and restrained by heavy-handed rules,” 16 Personalities states, so when it comes to managing others, it feels much more comfortable to be seen as a colleague and an equal, not a boss. ENFPs like to “use their broad popularity to inspire and motivate,” carrying out their leadership roles by “working alongside their subordinates, rather than shouting from behind their desks.”

I resonate with this description a lot – the internet really knows me! I always want to be able to give reporters creative freedom, and I have an almost intrinsic trust in them that they’ll try to do their best work for the sake of the show. There are so many brilliant people who work on ATVN, and I always feel so proud and impressed to see what they come up with. But as Stacy says, you can’t be that trusting as a producer – you need to involve yourself constantly, ensuring everyone’s elements are on track and communicating more clearly so potential issues can get solved earlier in the day.

I realize now that I need to get over my fear that checking in with people constantly will come off as me stifling their creativity, because in reality, that’s not what checking in with them does at all! Rather, it’s me trying to work with them, and lift everyone up to their full potential.

I think if I see it that way from now on, I can do a much better job at working toward my goal. And now that I understand myself a little better, I can become that much more of a confident, professional, tear-free career woman.