ESFJ vs ENFP

ESFJ

The Supporter

ENFP

The Advocate

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 ENFP is caring, creative, quick and impulsive, energised by the possibilities life can bring. They love devising new ways of doing things, and bring a totally unique and fresh perspective to people and situations. People-centred, fresh and spontaneous, they will embrace things with energy and enthusiasm but may not follow through or get into detail as their focus is on ‘what’s next?’

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

ENFPs take a warm, genuine interest in others, they can 'read' people well, and will act as the catalyst for new initiatives and creative ways of solving problems. They will bring a radical perspective to the team.

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

ENFPs are so insightful and people centric they will be caring leaders taking a genuine interest in those in their care. They may not be so good at giving bad news or creating systems and processes though.

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

ENFPs do not like bureaucracy or rules and regulations and they will argue long and eloquently defending their reasons. They are quick and nimble, working in short bursts of energy and need flexibility.

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

ENFPs need variety, stimulus and to be surrounded by people. Solitary tasks, targets, repetition, formal structures or hierarchy don’t suit, as they work best in a flexible workplace where relationships are valued.

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

The ENFP is creative, quick, and impulsive. They are excellent at devising new ways of doing things, and bring a totally unique and fresh perspective to people, projects and situations.

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 ENFP, 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 ENFP does not like conflict and will be the one at the heart of the action bringing peace and understanding. Warm, affectionate and disconcertingly spontaneous people will like and trust the ENFP.

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

ENFPs are by nature very caring and they do not like seeing anything they perceive as unfair or unjust. However their style is to bring it all together in harmony, rather than go into battle.

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

As the ENFP is comfortable with emotions they are fine at using emotional language and being tactile and people will tend to open up to them and this allows conflict to be resolved amicably.

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

For the ENFP it will depend on if the conflict was resolved and was everyone happy or did the person who was upset get over it. It is because the don’t like conflict that they’re great at diffusing it.

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

ENFPs 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

Optimistic and hopeful, the outgoing and cheerful nature of the ENFP belies a more sensitive soul who can take criticism to heart and who needs to be liked. They are outgoing, fun, and genuinely like people.

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

ENFPs are emotional people who tend to be at the heart of dramas. Their genuinely caring nature means they will ensure that the mood is kept light, that everyone feels valued and that the ideas will flow.

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

An ENFP will wear their heart on their sleeve and has no problem being open. However their values are so important and these are internalised so it may be possible to inadvertently hurt the ENFP.

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

The ENFP cannot help but see possibilities. Future oriented they will look far beyond the obvious often seeing things that others fail to, driven by the new, the complex, the interesting and caring for people.

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 ENFP 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.