ESTP vs ISFJ | Personality at Work

ESTP vs ISFJ

ESTP

The Adventurer

ISFJ

The Defender

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.

ISFJs are quiet, and often understated people-centric doers. Conscientious and hardworking, they are loyal and dedicated to people and organisations, and they take their responsibilities very seriously. They have an incredible store of knowledge and superb memory used to support people and solve problems. Shunning the limelight the ISFJ is often the one who quietly make it all happen.

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

The ISFJ will bring order, clarity, organisation and planning. Although not the most vocal member of the team, the ISFJ will make sure the team moves towards a 'known' conclusion in a planned way.

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

ISFJs are more of the behind the scenes operators rather than being a charismatic leader. Yet their incredible memory, their caring and practical nature and planning ability make them good team leaders.

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

Ironically, because they prove over and over that they can be relied on for their loyalty, attention to detail and high-quality work they can be taken for granted. Give them clarity and trust, they will deliver.

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

The ISFJ is painstaking, orderly, conscientious and anxious with a superb capacity for follow-through although they have a tendency to worry about the smaller things and a reluctance to ‘let go.’

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

ISFJs have a great memory for facts and superb attention to detail. They will be more factual and practical than overtly creative, motivated by an internal anxiety to ensure the team doesn’t fail.

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 ISFJ, 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

The ISFJ will initially close down on conflict as they prefer harmony and indeed will work hard at creating that. Indeed the ISFJ will be a superb diffuser of conflict but they themselves do not enjoy it.

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

ISFJs are often called ‘the defender’ and this is because they will stand up for what is right and the rights of others. So whilst they may shun conflict personally, they will fight for other people.

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

Naturally more quiet and low key, the ISFJ will be conciliatory and seek consensus preferring to see good in people and they will look to get to a resolution that makes everyone happy.

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

Altercations and over interaction in general sucks the energy of the ISFJ and so they will need some private ‘me’ time to recharge their batteries and build up their energy levels.

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

ISFJs 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

ISFJs are deep and caring with strong values and these will be held privately until the ISFJ allows people in. What others will perceive is a helpful, supportive, patient and detailed individual who is under the radar. The ISFJ is sociable but doesn’t like the spontaneity of crowds.

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

The ISFJ is an emotional type, but may struggle at times to deal with these, as they are so private and reflective. It may be possible to deeply offend an ISFJ and not realise it, so private are they.

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

Once allowed close the ISFJ will open up but it will take time and they are not naturally forthcoming. This may mean it emerges in small chunks, often off the back of other conversations.

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

ISFJs have a strong sense of what is right and wrong and will tend to do what they believe is right, even at the expense of themselves. They really do want to support, care and are generous with their time.

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 ISFJ 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.