ISTJ vs ESTP

ISTJ

The Inspector

ESTP

The Adventurer

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.

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.

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 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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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 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.

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 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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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 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.