ISTP vs ENFP

ISTP

The Craftsman

ENFP

The Advocate

Personality

The ISTP moves seamlessly from quiet bystander to being at the heart of solving problems then back again. They get an incredible buzz from difficult situations using their incredible store of knowledge, grasp of facts and practical nature to jump in and fix things but when it’s over, will get bored and withdraw once again to the sidelines, waiting for the next problem to arise.

The ENFP is caring, creative, quick and impulsive, energised by the possibilities life can bring. They love devising new ways of doing things, and bring a totally unique and fresh perspective to people and situations. People-centred, fresh and spontaneous, they will embrace things with energy and enthusiasm but may not follow through or get into detail as their focus is on ‘what’s next?’

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 ISTP will bring their vast store of knowledge and experience to bear on the team, showing great determination but their low boredom threshold means once they have sorted the problem they withdraw.

Contribution to the team

ENFPs take a warm, genuine interest in others, they can 'read' people well, and will act as the catalyst for new initiatives and creative ways of solving problems. They will bring a radical perspective to the team.

Leading

ISTPs are great in a crisis as they love the whole buzz and action of problems and difficulties. They are less good when the going is not tough and not so good at the more sensitive side of leading people.

Leading

ENFPs are so insightful and people centric they will be caring leaders taking a genuine interest in those in their care. They may not be so good at giving bad news or creating systems and processes though.

Being managed

ISTPs are extremely independent and will like the freedom to work in short bursts of energy on difficult action oriented practical problems that hold their interest. Routine and steady detail will bore them and they need their space.

Being managed

ENFPs do not like bureaucracy or rules and regulations and they will argue long and eloquently defending their reasons. They are quick and nimble, working in short bursts of energy and need flexibility.

Attention to detail / focus

Because of their full on or full off nature, ISTPs will either be right at the heart of the detail, surprising others with their vast store of knowledge and data, or if it is boring they will go back to their space.

Attention to detail / focus

ENFPs need variety, stimulus and to be surrounded by people. Solitary tasks, targets, repetition, formal structures or hierarchy don’t suit, as they work best in a flexible workplace where relationships are valued.

Creativity

ISTPs are essentially practical, preferring the concrete and factual to anything they perceive as woolly or impractical. But when they focus on a problem they can be forensic, coming up with practical solutions.

Creativity

The ENFP is creative, quick, and impulsive. They are excellent at devising new ways of doing things, and bring a totally unique and fresh perspective to people, projects and situations.

Culture fit

How will an ISTP 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 ENFP, 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

ISTPs love difficult situations and they will see conflict as something, like everything else, to be fixed then move on. They do not seek conflict but are impervious to their environment so it goes with the territory.

Initial response to conflict situations

The ENFP does not like conflict and will be the one at the heart of the action bringing peace and understanding. Warm, affectionate and disconcertingly spontaneous people will like and trust the ENFP.

Issues they'll fight on

Intensely practical the ISTP will only want to get the problem solved or the issue addressed, practically and as quickly as possible. Personal feelings matter only insofar as they relate to what needs to be done.

Issues they'll fight on

ENFPs are by nature very caring and they do not like seeing anything they perceive as unfair or unjust. However their style is to bring it all together in harmony, rather than go into battle.

Conflict style / communication

The ISTP tends to be economic with words and a little terse in their communications. This is not rudeness just a desire to get everything resolved and so they will have no problem getting to the point.

Conflict style / communication

As the ENFP is comfortable with emotions they are fine at using emotional language and being tactile and people will tend to open up to them and this allows conflict to be resolved amicably.

How they feel after

As ISTP’s are factual and living for the moment, any conflict will just be a small part of getting the problem fixed (which energises them) and then if it becomes chitchat their energies will deplete. They need action.

How they feel after

For the ENFP it will depend on if the conflict was resolved and was everyone happy or did the person who was upset get over it. It is because the don’t like conflict that they’re great at diffusing it.

Creating harmony

Understanding ISTPs 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

ENFPs 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

ISTPs tend to be either full on or full off. They can be passive bystanders until something grabs their interest or a practical problem needs fixing and then they take over, fix it, and withdraw loving the buzz.

Being around them

Optimistic and hopeful, the outgoing and cheerful nature of the ENFP belies a more sensitive soul who can take criticism to heart and who needs to be liked. They are outgoing, fun, and genuinely like people.

Dealing with emotions

Although friendly the ISTP is more practical and factual and so may not understand emotions. They tend to break things down to constituent parts and do not like anything they see as irrational.

Dealing with emotions

ENFPs are emotional people who tend to be at the heart of dramas. Their genuinely caring nature means they will ensure that the mood is kept light, that everyone feels valued and that the ideas will flow.

Openness and sharing feelings

The ISTP is quite closed to emotional issues. It does not make them uncaring but sharing feelings or intuiting how others are feeling doesn’t really compute with their scientific nature.

Openness and sharing feelings

An ENFP will wear their heart on their sleeve and has no problem being open. However their values are so important and these are internalised so it may be possible to inadvertently hurt the ENFP.

Drivers and values

At their heart ISTPs are thrill seekers and will love to be where the action is. However once they have jumped in and experienced they will tend to go back to being passive and quiet.

Drivers and values

The ENFP cannot help but see possibilities. Future oriented they will look far beyond the obvious often seeing things that others fail to, driven by the new, the complex, the interesting and caring for people.

Personal development

ISTPs 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 ENFP 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.