ESTP vs ISFP | Personality at Work

ESTP vs ISFP

ESTP

The Adventurer

ISFP

The Artist

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.

The ISFP is quiet and introspective. Harmony and respect for values are important to them and if trust is broken the ISFP will walk quietly away, no fuss, but stubbornly refusing to engage again. The ISFP will live life quietly to the full, savouring the present moment, and enjoying the more private, sensory and practical activities of life, keeping things as uncomplicated possible.

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 ISFP will bring a quiet sense of conviction and what is 'the right thing to do.' Although not vocal, the ISFP can glue the team together and be quietly vocal in their support of new ideas and contributions.

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 ISFP will not generally want to push themselves forward to lead as they prefer to remain slightly behind the scenes as a supporter and the glue which allows them to be trusted and help others.

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

ISFPs need freedom, and is not motivated by goals, or targets - and indeed may shy away, quietly, non-confrontationally, from schedules, and set priorities preferring the flexibility to work in their way at their pace.

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

ISFPs are driven by values, making them incredibly loyal but they tend not to work best with detail or plans, preferring a flexible approach allowing them the freedom to contribute in their own unique way.

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

The ISFP is very creative, as they have a great talent for noticing all the details and relationships between things giving them a subtle artistic approach and to come up with unique ways of seeing things.

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 ISFP, 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 ISFP does not like conflict partly due to their need for harmony and partly due to their intense need for privacy and not to be ‘known’ and so they will tend to quietly walk away from fractious situations.

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

The ISFP is a complex type and whilst they have extremely strong values and beliefs they do not like to open up except to those few they trust and so, even if pushed they will tend to walk away.

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

Quiet and unobtrusive the ISFP will rarely project their feelings and so they will be difficult to know and even when they are upset or riled will tend to walk away and keep their own counsel.

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

Emotional situations, indeed any people-centric situations can deplete the ISFP energy levels and they will need to go back inside themselves to recharge their batteries, enjoying quiet sensory time.

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

ISFPs 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 ISFP is a person of few words, intensely loyal to friends and family and the causes for which they stand - although this manifests itself much more in deeds than in words, as they are very private.

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 sensitive nature of the ISFP means they can be easily hurt, but only really by those whom they have allowed in. From such people the ISFP will expect them to understand, to ‘get’ them.

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 ISFP is extremely deep and private and so only those whom they had allowed close would really get to know how they are really feeling. A passive stubbornness will see the ISFP simply walk away.

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

ISFPs are driven by the need for harmony. The ISFP doesn’t use logic or intuition but genuinely FEELS things, through the senses, including how others are feeling if those others are part of their life-space.

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 ISFP 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.