INFJ vs ESFP | Personality at Work

INFJ vs ESFP

INFJ

The Confidant

ESFP

The Entertainer

Personality

Serious minded and caring, values are so important to the INFJ. Integrity is their watchword and they will be excellent listeners, supportive and with a strong desire to ‘do the right thing’ often the catalyst for making things better. The INFJ will work patiently long and hard behind the scenes to maintain harmony but they are also intensely independent of thought and spirit.

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.

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

Although introverted, the INFJ has very strong opinions, honed over much private reflection and will voice these strongly, less concerned with self and ego than with the cause.

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.

Leading

INFJs can make inspiring leaders as followers will believe in them and want to ‘sign up’, having a devotion to the cause that borders on evangelical so people will have a crystal clear vision of what could be.

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.

Being managed

Meaning is at the heart of who the INFJ is and they would not be motivated by ‘doing a job’ but need a cause, something which is important to them, something to believe in.

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.

Attention to detail / focus

Strongly humanitarian, INFJs tend to be idealists, and because of their desire for closure and completion, they are generally ‘doers’ as well as dreamers, who take on a disproportionate amount of responsibility.

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.

Creativity

The INFJ is the innovator, coming up with genuinely radical and different ideas and solutions a great driver for the team, often taking on far too much but this is simply due to the INFJ desire to complete.

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.

Culture fit

How will an INFJ 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 ESFP, 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

Deep and private the INFJ will keep their own counsel. Yet they have such deeply held beliefs that others may be surprised how forthright they can become to defend values or those they feel need support.

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.

Issues they'll fight on

Although the INFJ prefers and will create harmony, they have such strong and deeply held values, these honed over a long time and they will defend those values vigorously if they are transgressed.

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.

Conflict style / communication

Because the INFJ is basically private, they will fight only on issues that really mean something to them and thus they can switch from being quiet to incredibly crusading, assertive and stubborn.

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.

How they feel after

All interactions, given the nature of the INFJ as champion and supporter, will eventually deplete their energies and they will need to recharge on their own, thinking deeply about issues and connecting the dots.

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.

Creating harmony

Understanding INFJs 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

ESFPs 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

Although quite gentle, and preferring to be out of the limelight, the INFJ will work long and hard behind the scenes to maintain harmony but they are also intensely independent - both of thought and spirit.

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.

Dealing with emotions

This is a necessary escape valve for INFJs providing both time to rebuild their depleted energy and a filter to prevent the emotional overload to which they are so susceptible as inherent ‘givers.’

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.

Openness and sharing feelings

Although at times strident and outspoken, INFJs can only be emotionally open about themselves with a chosen few. At times INFJs will withdraw into themselves, shutting out even their close friends.

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.

Drivers and values

Values are at the heart of the INFJ and they will take relationships as seriously as they do their causes and their global outlook and big picture focus may mean that it is difficult to get on their wavelength.

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.

Personal development

INFJs 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 ESFP 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.