ESTP vs INFP | Personality at Work

ESTP vs INFP

ESTP

The Adventurer

INFP

The Dreamer

Personality

ESTPs love the action and will jump into activities which interest them but can jump out just a swiftly when they lose interest. The ESTP does not enjoy the constraints of schedules. Pragmatic and tough-minded they act on the facts rather than emotion, using their huge store of facts and knowledge to fix the immediate problem then move quickly and decisively onto the next one.

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 ESTP will bring an urgency to get things moving - and right now, looking to have an immediate and positive impact on the team and will be a great catalyst for action, cutting through anything woolly or ethereal.

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

ESTPs are episodic leaders who will seek to get things done, move on and get more things done. They prefer action-oriented people who don’t slow things down and who cut to the chase and are practical.

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

The ESTP has incredible drive and energy, but all focused on practical application and sorting things right now. They have a low boredom threshold and so will need short, practical difficult tasks to run at.

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

ESTPs will focus forensically on the problem at hand, then once it is done, they will get bored and need another thrill. They work in short bursts of energy and once it becomes steady will need to move on.

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 ESTP is essentially a practical type, preferring to use facts, data, knowledge and experience to fix things and will not really value reflecting or ‘blue sky thinking, preferring to jump right in and do.

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 ESTP 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

ESTPs love a good conflict. Not to hurt or to be self-aggrandising but because it creates the right honesty and tension to get the problem fixed more quickly. Being impervious they rarely take offence.

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 ESTP does not like a slow or steady pace and will want to make sure everyone is doing stuff rather than thinking. Their low boredom threshold means they don’t want to be constrained or told what to do.

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

Direct and economic with words, the ESTP will tell it like it is and expect others to do the same. The robust debate helps them get it done more quickly but those more reflective might find it a bit brutal.

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

Once it’s over, for the ESTP it’s over and they will have moved onto the next big thing. They don’t bear grudges or reflect deeply preferring to sort it out and move on to where the next action is.

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 ESTPs 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

ESTPs are fun loving, adventurous, gregarious types who will be the life and soul of the party - until their boredom levels kick in and they will be off looking for the next big adventure or buzz.

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

Being so practical and action oriented the ESTP will want to jump in and solve problems, which is what they’re built for, impervious to their environment which means emotions don’t really feature.

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 ESTP will easily share their thoughts, factually and directly but will not really see the need for emotions, as they would not really help get the job done or the problem fixed. They need that constant feed.

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 ESTP draws great energy from moving swiftly from problem to problem, coming up with practical solutions and moving on. They are great company, friendly and chatty, but don’t really ‘get’ emotions.

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

ESTPs 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.