ISTP vs ENTJ

ISTP

The Craftsman

ENTJ

The Leader

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 ENTJ is the master of change, the big picture conceptualist who loves the new and the challenging who devise the long range plan then relentlessly drive it towards conclusion. Confident and authoritative the ENTJ will take the lead rarely hesitating and with a directness that can often leave others reeling in their wake having no time for anything seen as woolly or obstructive.

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

The ENTJ is the leader: impatient, driven and with a strong desire to agree the strategy then drive relentlessly for closure. They will be superb at preventing complacency and giving pace 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

If the ENTJ is not the elected leader they will still assume leadership, as their nature is to change things and make it happen now. At the centre of what’s happening and will relentlessly ensure a focus on goals.

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

Managing an ENTJ is about providing the right conditions to let them lead, whether people or a project or a task, to allow them the authority to do and occasionally pull them back to ensure people are with them.

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

The ENTJ loves a goal, something to run at and they will excel at making sure other people are just as enthused and understand the need to get on and drive for closure. They will focus the team clearly and often.

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 ENTJ loves the complex and the big picture. They strategise and consider but once they are clear it is all about getting to the end as quickly as possible and when the plan is agreed - no more thinking.

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 ENTJ likes conflict as a means to discuss and inform and get things done. They enjoy a good argument and will be robust and strident in their views and will forget conflict as quickly as they enter into it.

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

The ENTJ does not like anything preventing progress and they will make their views known on that directly and clearly. Their whole purpose is to make change happen and they do not like a slow pace.

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

The ENTJ is extremely direct, at times bone-jarringly so and they may therefore not pick up on sensitivities, especially around the fact that other people may not enjoy conflict and some may even fear it.

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

The ENTJ will often think they have had a gentle discussion whilst the other person feels they have been in battle. Arguments are the way of getting clarity to the ENTJ and once it’s over, it is completely forgotten.

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

The ENTJ will be assertive, energetic and will love a robust debate, as this is their method of conversation. Because they are so confident and outspoken they may inadvertently upset people with their directness.

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

The ENTJ doesn’t really understand emotions, preferring to deal with issues as problems, or concepts and certainly trying to appeal to their emotional side will not be the best way to resolve issues.

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

The ENTJ shares their thoughts easily but is not really an emotional person. They are open and assertive and everyone will be clear where they stand but this will probably remain at a cerebral level.

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

As an ENTJ is primarily concerned with making things happen they may not realise that other people may take a little longer to understand or may not be as forthcoming or direct and assume silence is agreement.