The Debater personality type is the ultimate devil’s advocate, thriving on the process of shredding arguments and beliefs and letting the ribbons drift in the wind for all to see. Debaters don’t do this because they are trying to achieve some deeper purpose or strategic goal, but for the simple reason that it’s fun. No one loves the process of mental sparring more than Debaters, as it gives them a chance to exercise their effortlessly quick wit, broad accumulated knowledge base, and capacity for connecting disparate ideas to prove their points.
Playing the devil’s advocate helps people with the Debater personality type to not only develop a better sense of others’ reasoning, but a better understanding of opposing ideas – since Debaters are the ones arguing them.
This tactic shouldn’t be confused with the sort of mutual understanding Diplomat personalities seek – Debaters, like all Analyst personality types, are on a constant quest for knowledge, and what better way to gain it than to attack and defend an idea, from every angle, from every side?
Knowledgeable – Debaters rarely pass up a good opportunity to learn something new, especially abstract concepts. This information isn’t usually absorbed for any planned purpose as with dedicated studying, people with the Debater personality type just find it fascinating.
Quick Thinkers – Debaters have tremendously flexible minds, and are able to shift from idea to idea without effort, drawing on their accumulated knowledge to prove their points, or their opponents’, as they see fit.
Original – Having little attachment to tradition, Debater personalities are able to discard existing systems and methods and pull together disparate ideas from their extensive knowledge base, with a little raw creativity to hold them together, to formulate bold new ideas. If presented with chronic, systemic problems and given rein to solve them, Debaters respond with unabashed glee.
Excellent Brainstormers – Nothing is quite as enjoyable to Debaters as analyzing problems from every angle to find the best solutions. Combining their knowledge and originality to splay out every aspect of the subject at hand, rejecting without remorse options that don’t work and presenting ever more possibilities, Debaters are irreplaceable in brainstorming sessions.
Charismatic – People with the Debater personality type have a way with words and wit that others find intriguing. Their confidence, quick thought and ability to connect disparate ideas in novel ways create a style of communication that is charming, even entertaining, and informative at the same time.
Energetic – When given a chance to combine these traits to examine an interesting problem, Debaters can be truly impressive in their enthusiasm and energy, having no qualms with putting in long days and nights to find a solution.
ENTP – Debater in workplace
Debaters have straightforward expectations in the workplace, but ones that aren’t always easy to meet. Strong believers in meritocracy, people with the Debater personality type expect their ideas to be heard by those above them, expect robust debate among their peers, and demand that those they manage offer up new solutions and ideas regardless of their positions. While this isn’t always how things play out in reality, Debaters know what to look for, and can avoid those strictly hierarchical institutions that they would otherwise struggle with.
ENTP – Debater Subordinates
This dynamic is clearest with Debater subordinates, as they are comfortable challenging their managers’ ideas and have a strong (and well-expressed) dislike for restrictive rules and guidelines. Debaters back this unorthodox behavior with their keen minds and curiosity, and are as capable of adopting new methods as they are of suggesting others do so. If something can be done better, it’s as simple as that, and Debater personalities gladly take criticism, so long as it’s logical and performance-oriented.
The biggest challenge for Debater subordinates is that it is often the fate of the “lower” positions to implement the details, do the dirty work and follow through on plans set out by their managers. This couldn’t be further from what Debaters prefer to spend their time on – they can’t stand simple, routine work, and monotonous tasks are the stuff of nightmares. Things go over much better if managers are able to properly utilize Debaters’ preference for tackling complex challenges and diverse projects.
ENTP – Debater Colleagues
It is as colleagues that Debaters prove most polarizing, as their passions for brainstorming, debate and over-analysis drive more practical, task-oriented colleagues crazy, but serve as stimulating inspiration for those who appreciate the innovation Debaters bring. Nothing bothers people with the Debater personality type more than getting out of a meeting where everyone agreed with the first plan presented, only to hear everyone complain about how stupid the plan was ten minutes later – but they “didn’t want to make waves”. Debaters strive for honest, direct and objective assessments of these ideas, so much so that they often earn reputations for their insensitivity and condescension.
Luckily Debaters know how to relax too, and their witty wordplay, healthy sense of humor and outgoing nature win new friends quickly and easily. Always willing to draw on their repository of knowledge, conversations with Debater personalities are informative and entertaining, which makes it easy for them to be the go-to person for tough problems that stump more rote approaches. Peer-to-peer relationships with Debaters aren’t always easy, but it’s tough to argue that they don’t work.
ENTP – Debater Managers
While not always their goal, management is often where Debaters are most at home, allowing them the freedom to fiddle with different approaches and come up with innovative ways to tackle new challenges without having to handle the tedious step-by-step implementation of these plans. Debaters are open-minded and flexible managers, not just granting but also expecting the same freedom of thought that they themselves enjoy. This can lead to disorder, conflicting ideas and approaches being put forward, but Debaters are also great at accurately and objectively assessing which plan is likely to be most effective.
This doesn’t always make friends, but being liked is less Debaters’ goal than being respected and seen as intelligent and capable. And liked or no, people with this personality type hold firm ground in rational debates, making them fearsome advocates for their teams. The challenge for Debaters is focus, as they may find themselves jumping from project to project in a quest for challenge and excitement before their teams are able to wrap up the details of their existing goals and obligations.