ESFJ vs ENFJ | Personality at Work

ESFJ vs ENFJ

ESFJ

The Supporter

ENFJ

The Coach

Personality

People focused and action oriented the ESFJ is driven by a sense of duty. Cooperative and helpful, ESFJs are pragmatists, disliking anything woolly, preferring practical solutions to people issues and they will work hard to make this happen. Incredibly organised and great planners the ESFJ can become overly controlling in their desire to help sometimes believing their way is best.

The ENFJ is the harmonious people champion, warm, caring and extremely organised. The ENFJ will be the one people turn to for help. They are authentic, insightful and great at tuning in to how others are feeling and making people feel truly special. They are found at the emotional heart of a group, selfless, acting as the glue, an unusual combination of bossy and caring.

At Work

We all bring something different to the team and we all agree that difference and balance are good things. However when someone is different from us we might not understand them so well so in this section we allow you to compare the differences at work, how these might manifest themselves and how best to manage them.

Contribution to the team

The ESFJ will ensure the team is protected from mistakes, and will focus on the people issues and the detail. They are painstaking, orderly, duty-driven, conscientious and fretful to get it right.

Contribution to the team

ENFJs will bring structure and impetus whilst at the same making sure the needs of all the people are taken care of. Often at the flipchart they capture ideas giving everyone the chance to contribute.

Leading

As the ESFJ has the twin focus of getting things done and taking care of the people they will make sure that everything is planned and that the team are equipped and ready to drive for closure.

Leading

The ENFJ will assume the leadership role simply because they want to drive for closure and ensure that people are happy. They need to satiate their need for action and their passion for people.

Being managed

As the ESFJ is driven by a sense of duty, they will take their roles seriously and work long and hard to get it right. They may get bogged down in detail and have to lift their heads to see the wider context.

Being managed

Naturally service-driven the ENFJ really does care and will want to apply this energy to tangible outputs, preferably that will help people. They need clarity, real meaning, a worthwhile output and closure.

Attention to detail / focus

The ESFJ will want a plan and closure, they do not like loose ends or anything they perceive as impractical. Great at follow-through they may struggle with anything woolly, or not clearly getting the intended result.

Attention to detail / focus

The ENFJ loves a plan, a clear picture of where they are going and they will work diligently towards the goal. Indeed the ENFJ will feel less comfortable with too many options open, as they need closure.

Creativity

The strength of the ESFJ is their focus on people and detail, not in coming up with the original ideas. They will be super organisers and excel at getting people to stick to the plan and making things happen.

Creativity

ENFJs focus on the organisational and people aspects and so are not primarily creative preferring to work on making sure that what has been agreed is properly planned and that people are happy.

Culture fit

How will an ESFJ fit with your team? Often, when recruitment decisions go wrong, we realise that it was all about personal chemistry. Assess potential candidates for your team

Culture fit

Knowing the real drivers, motivations and aspirations of an ENFJ, and their unique strengths, helps you see how they will fit into your team. Assess potential candidates for your team

Conflict

Some people seek harmony, some see conflict as simply robust discussions, some people are emotional, some more factual. So there is no right or wrong about this and what we are trying to do is help two different people each understand how the other might deal with conflict and what it will mean for how they work together.

Initial response to conflict situations

Because of their natural ‘take charge’ style, the ESFJ will want to diffuse conflict and ensure that harmony is created. This will be done with a no-nonsense, factual common sense approach.

Initial response to conflict situations

The twin attributes of insightful caring and organisational ability will mean the ENFJ will see all the interconnections between people, pick up on the cues and work tirelessly to help solve people issues.

Issues they'll fight on

Down to earth and practical the ESFJ feels that social obligations and responsibilities come before personal fun or relaxation and they will work hard to ensure that harmony is creative and maintained.

Issues they'll fight on

The ENFJ is an enthusiastic champion of people who wants to make sure the needs of the people are and taken care of. Excellent networkers who tune into people and popular among their colleagues.

Conflict style / communication

Under pressure the ESFJ may become quite parental in their desire to control and create harmony. They are the natural people organisers and although emotional will feel it’s their duty to sort things out.

Conflict style / communication

Articulate and confident the ENFJ will be persuasive and tenacious; the one voted the leader or committee chairperson. Everyone knows they can depend on the ENFJ who will fight the cause of the people.

How they feel after

For the ESFJ it is about the end result: did the problem get sorted, are people happy now, was the plan followed? For themselves on occasion the ESFJ can feel that other people do not appreciate them.

How they feel after

The ENFJ may bite off more that they can chew, as their first priority is to say ‘yes’ and take the pain away for others. During such times they may feel weighed down, overwhelmed and underappreciated.

Creating harmony

Understanding ESFJs pressure points will help you adapt to one another. We all ‘get’ people who are like us, but for a team to work to its optimum level, we need people who are not like us, so the whole is far greater than the sum of the parts. Map your team and get them collaborating.

Creating harmony

ENFJs deal with conflict in their unique way. Getting team members to understand the differences, where the potential areas of conflict might be and, more importantly, showing them how they can quickly overcome them is key to team success. Map your team and get them collaborating.

Interpersonal

We all have different motivators, values and views on the world, in part driven by our personalities. The section below describes how each person is likely to engage with others, and how others may see them.

Being around them

ESFJs are cooperative, sympathetic pragmatists who dislike anything ethereal or woolly as they prefer practical solutions to people issues and they'll work hard at planning to making this happen.

Being around them

The ENFJ is empathetic and insightful, seeing and making connections between people. Action-oriented, and people-centred they make sure that everything is planned, scheduled, organised and people are happy.

Dealing with emotions

The ESFJ is emotional but will tend to deal with the emotions of others in a practical way making sure there is a clear plan and it is followed. However the ESFJ may not like anything they perceive as criticism.

Dealing with emotions

ENFJs are emotional but tend to focus on other people, tuning in and bringing incredible empathy and organisational ability to bear. This means they can get ‘emotioned out’ themselves as they give so much.

Openness and sharing feelings

ESFJs are extremely talkative and will voice their feelings easily, including clearly telling others what they should do and also have their own strong views on issues which are important to them.

Openness and sharing feelings

Whilst the ENFJ will encourage trust and openness they may not be so open about how they are feeling, indeed they may not really think about that so focused are they on caring for, and organising others.

Drivers and values

ESFJs are driven by a sense of duty, of being at the centre of things and making sure that everything is taken care of with a clear plan of action and that people are following this, in detail.

Drivers and values

ENFJs tune into others. They have thin psychological boundaries, and are at risk of being hurt or by those who are less sensitive, often taking on more of the burdens of others than they can bear.

Personal development

ESFJs require a specific approach to being managed, motivated and developed, so that they are best able to contribute to the wider team. To find out how best to develop different personalities take a look at our development tool.

Personal development

Understanding what makes an ENFJ tick will help bring out the best in them, support them and know how they can play to their strengths. To find out how best to develop different personalities take a look at our development tool.