ESFP vs INFP | Personality at Work

ESFP vs INFP

ESFP

The Entertainer

INFP

The Dreamer

Personality

People-centric thrill seekers, ESFPs are interested in people and experiences. They dislike rules and routine, justified as they see their reason for existing is to bring harmony, sympathy and support to peoples' lives. An ESFP may ignore rules, regulations and obligations on the grounds that they just had to jump in and help. They are warm and caring and practical in equal measure.

Meaning, harmony and personal values are at the heart of the INFP. It is essential to the INFP that their beliefs and actions are totally in sync. An INFP is unlikely to take any action which they don’t believe in their heart is right. Sensitive, caring and empathetic INFPs are excellent in supporting roles. Deep and private, they do not like being boxed in or constrained by rules.

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 ESFP will look to have an immediate and positive impact on the team and as such will be a good catalyst for action, and cutting through anything woolly and ensuring people are taken care of.

Contribution to the team

Although gentle and sensitive the INFP will bring a sense of conviction and what is 'the right thing to do.' Though quiet, the INFP can glue the team together and support others fostering great team spirit.

Leading

ESFPs are excellent glue, who will make sure that harmony rules. They will immediately jump in and create harmony. However they prefer the positive and may not be good with tough calls or bad news.

Leading

The INFP will tend to prefer a less visible role as their strengths are working from the back and supporting others, using their insight and wisdom and lack of ego rather than being the leader.

Being managed

Managing an ESFP will be about understanding that they have such a good heart and add most value when they are unconstrained and allowed to be at the beating heart of the organisation.

Being managed

The INFP does not want to be constrained by rules, and they dislike the routine. Others will see the INFP as flexible, gentle and difficult to understand. They do not appreciate criticism or a hard taskmaster.

Attention to detail / focus

An ESFP may slide out of rules and regulations on the grounds that, 'I just had to do something to help.' They have an intense need to jump in and offer practical help and need the space to be allowed to do this.

Attention to detail / focus

Flexible and spontaneous INFPs will need their space and freedom to work their way. They dislike routine and need meaning to be part of something special, and they will be loyal and diligent and productive.

Creativity

The ESFP may creative but it will be in a practical, people-centric way, rather than as a reflector and the ones who comes up with novel ideas, although they will be such great supporters of those types.

Creativity

Spontaneous and creative the INFP inhabits the internal world of imagination and is not bound by traditions. The ideal world is one where they can immerse totally in interesting and meaningful tasks.

Culture fit

How will an ESFP 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 INFP, 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

The more sensitive side means that the ESFP will take criticism very personally and to heart, and they do not like conflict, seeing their job as to bring peace and harmony.

Initial response to conflict situations

INFPs have a deep desire for harmony and balance and will prefer to see the good in people, focusing on the positive issues and the interconnections between people rather than with the negatives.

Issues they'll fight on

The ESFP will not allow conflict to occur and they will use their incredible likeability and charm to make sure that conflict is nipped in the bud early so that harmony is restored and people are happy.

Issues they'll fight on

For a type so caring and gentle there is a surprisingly crusading side to the INFP. When a personal value is trodden on, the INFP can become uncharacteristically outspoken and champion of the cause.

Conflict style / communication

ESFPs will be excellent at diffusing tension in difficult situations as they find confrontation uncomfortable and their need for immediacy mean they just have to jump in and sort it all out right now.

Conflict style / communication

The INFP does not like conflict and will seek to be the one who brings harmony, diffusing tension and seeing things from the other person’s perspective, excellent supporters and empathetic friends.

How they feel after

For the ESFP there is a difference between conflict between themselves and other people, they take as personal criticism, and conflict BETWEEN other people which they love to resolve.

How they feel after

Conflict, aggression or even extended people interaction will sap the energy of the INFP who will need to disappear back into their own inner sanctum, reflect deeply on how it made them feel and recharge.

Creating harmony

Understanding ESFPs 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

INFPs 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

ESFPs are life loving, fun loving people-centric thrill seekers, with a real caring side and a desire to offer practical, emotional help. They throw themselves into relationships and will be positive to be around.

Being around them

The INFP has two contrary characteristics, curiosity and shyness. They love to know what's going on, feel excluded if not kept informed but do not like to be the centre of attention, shunning the limelight.

Dealing with emotions

ESFPs are so expressive and giving, always there in a crisis when people need them yet there is a far more emotional side which means that the ESFP can also easily get hurt.

Dealing with emotions

INFPs are incredibly emotional, indeed they can actually feel what others are feeling and this can even stay with them. They are tuned in and insightful and they are happy to deal with the emotions of others.

Openness and sharing feelings

The ESFP may be very animated, caring and talkative but are not so keen to share more private, personal information. There is a more reserved side but only those allowed close would see this side.

Openness and sharing feelings

The INFP will often display their reactions to their feelings, rather than their feelings, and may bottle things up which then leak out at strange moments thus adding to the 'difficult to understand' image.

Drivers and values

The ESFP is driven by a desire to help and to please. In a crisis, the ESFP will be there, taking charge, offering support, revelling in their ability to help, loving the drama with their energies and infectious enthusiasm.

Drivers and values

It is essential for the INFP that their beliefs and their actions are totally in sync at all times. An INFP is unlikely to take any action which they don’t believe in their heart is right.

Personal development

ESFPs 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 INFP 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.