INFP vs ESTJ | Personality at Work

INFP vs ESTJ

INFP

The Dreamer

ESTJ

The Supervisor

Personality

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.

Outspoken and organised the ESTJ will take charge, bringing order, structure and focus to situations. Their desire to get things done may mean that they ignore the people issues, as they act on the facts and so are not so tuned in to peoples’ feelings. However everyone will know where they stand and they will use their vast store of knowledge and experience to plan and deliver.

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 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.

Contribution to the team

The ESTJ will be the organiser, of materials, of people, of deadlines and team, making sure tasks are planned and coordinated and that everyone is clear what is expected and what should happen next.

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.

Leading

ESTJs are conservative and predictable with great organisational ability, ensuring everyone is clear where they stand. They like a plan and like people to stick to the plan working towards the known.

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.

Being managed

ESTJS need to know exactly where they stand and what is expected of them and then they will work long and hard to get it done. They dislike anything they perceive as woolly and will act on the facts.

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.

Attention to detail / focus

ESTJs have practical common sense and a good deal of self-control and discipline, they work hard and tackle problems in a systematic fashion moving in a straight line from beginning to end.

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.

Creativity

ESTJs have a practical, factual nature, and enjoy hard work, although they may lack flexibility and be unresponsive to new or unproven ideas, as the ESTJ prefers the known and rely on their experience.

Culture fit

How will an INFP 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 ESTJ, 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

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.

Initial response to conflict situations

ESTJs are happy with conflict, as they are essentially impervious to their environment and so would see conflict as simply an element of getting things done, and may not ‘get’ others who are more sensitive.

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.

Issues they'll fight on

The ESTJ wants to plan the work, work the plan in life as well as work. So if things are not moving forward, as agreed, they will be extremely vocal as driving for closure is what they’re built for.

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.

Conflict style / communication

Direct and factual the ESTJ may inadvertently upset others who are more feeling as they see honesty and incredible directness as the same thing and so may at times project an honesty that is brutal.

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.

How they feel after

Conflict is all part of getting things done and so the ESTJ will not let it affect them nor harbour ill feelings. It needs to be said, it has been said, we’re all clear so now let’s move on would be their motto.

Creating harmony

Understanding INFPs 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

ESTJs 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

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.

Being around them

ESTJs are built to take charge, at work, at play and in relationships. They are essentially caring and traditional but they will express themselves with a directness that can at times be bone jarring.

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.

Dealing with emotions

The ESTJ doesn’t really get emotions or indeed anything they see as irrational and if someone is upset they will have to translate this into practical issues that they can then deal with factually and practically.

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.

Openness and sharing feelings

ESTJs are extremely open and direct but they don’t really truly ‘get’ or understand emotions. Everything is translated into facts and data and presented in a logical way that can leave people feeling processed.

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.

Drivers and values

The ESTJ is built to get things done, taking charge, helping and making sure that the plan is stuck to. They may not demonstrate empathy but they will care in their way, which is practically.

Personal development

INFPs 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 ESTJ 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.