ISTJ vs ESTJ

ISTJ

The Inspector

ESTJ

The Supervisor

Personality

Logical, detached and detailed, ISTJs use their experience and store of knowledge, to plan and will work quietly and steadily behind the scenes towards conclusion. The ISTJ has a strong sense of duty, loyalty and tradition and once they are clear on what’s expected, they will work in a methodical way to complete. Risk averse they prefer the known, and prefer facts to concepts.

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

ISTJs bring a strong sense of planning, agreeing objectives and working steadily towards closure. They have a strong eye for detail and can therefore protect the team from going off in a wrong direction.

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

ISTJs will be great at ensuring everyone is clear on what is expected, everyone knows what the plan is and their part in it and ensuring that the plan is enacted, so more task- than people-focused.

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

Best managed by clear tasks, ISTJs need plenty of time to fully understand what is expected then let them get on, working with consistent steady energy towards completion, not micro managed.

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

ISTJs have and incredible eye for detail, focus and a desire to drive for closure. They will want to slowly assimilate information and be sure of their facts before moving forward and this will be as per the plan.

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

ISTJs are more factual than creative and their value is exactly that: ensuring that was has been agreed is delivered exactly as agreed and translating everything into a plan that is clear and can be delivered.

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 ISTJ 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

ISTJs prefer to keep themselves to themselves and so in conflict situations they will struggle with overt conflict, ie with someone who wants to engage verbally. They are fine with more formal conflict.

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

ISTJs have a strong sense of right and wrong and this tends to be around what has been agreed. They believe if you have said you’ll do something then it is akin to a contract and you should fulfil that

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

Formal processes such as writing letters of complaint or going through the proper channels plays to ISTJ strengths. They are measured and formal and so will be very factual and non-emotional.

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

It is all about right and wrong. ISTJs do not like conflict if it involves emotion, as they prefer to see things far more factually and in a binary way. For them it will be about did it play out fairly and as agreed?

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 ISTJs 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

Because of their intense focus ISTJs may be seen as slightly detached, cold and impersonal, possibly even as uncaring. This is not deliberate but it can alienate those trying to get close or get to know them.

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

Detached and factual ISTJs often find it difficult to deal with emotions as they see this as irrational and when others display emotions they have to translate the emotion into factual language that they can understand.

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

Deep and private ISTJs will tend to keep their feelings to themselves and until they have the measure of people will be unlikely to proactively share their feelings. Too much interaction sucks their energies.

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

ISTJs like people to stick to agreements and commitments and may not understand that this is human nature, not human deficiency as they themselves take such commitments incredibly seriously.

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

ISTJs 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.