ENFP vs. ESFP

Compatibility

So much has been written about whether opposites attract or difference is the key but in real life it is all about understanding the differences, accommodating and managing them. This section will help you see where the potential for conflict exists between personality types and help you manage it.

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?’

People-centric thrill seekers, ESFPs are interested in people and experiences. They dislike rules and routine, justified as they see their reason for existing is to bring harmony, sympathy and support to peoples' lives. An ESFP may ignore rules, regulations and obligations on the grounds that they just had to jump in and help. They are warm and caring and practical in equal measure.

Relationships

There is no perfect type and in the same way there are no perfect matches. We can all learn to adapt and modify our behaviour if we choose and this section is therefore not designed to suggest particular specific matches but to demonstrate areas of similarity and difference so that a true understanding can happen and thus reduce the risk of misunderstandings.

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.

ESFPs are life loving, fun loving people-centric thrill seekers, with a real caring side and a desire to offer practical, emotional help. They throw themselves into relationships and will be positive to be around.

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.

ESFPs are so expressive and giving, always there in a crisis when people need them yet there is a far more emotional side which means that the ESFP can also easily get hurt.

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.

The ESFP may be very animated, caring and talkative but are not so keen to share more private, personal information. There is a more reserved side but only those allowed close would see this side.

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.

The ESFP is driven by a desire to help and to please. In a crisis, the ESFP will be there, taking charge, offering support, revelling in their ability to help, loving the drama with their energies and infectious enthusiasm.

Building stronger relationships

Learn what ENFPs are like in a relationship. Understanding the differences between two types is a really great starting point for getting along. For practical guidance on building strong relationships take our practical tutorial.

Get along better with an ESFP. Understanding the differences between two types is a really great starting point for getting along. For practical guidance on building strong relationships take our practical tutorial.

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 the relationship.

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.

The more sensitive side means that the ESFP will take criticism very personally and to heart, and they do not like conflict, seeing their job as to bring peace and harmony.

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.

The ESFP will not allow conflict to occur and they will use their incredible likeability and charm to make sure that conflict is nipped in the bud early so that harmony is restored and people are happy.

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.

ESFPs will be excellent at diffusing tension in difficult situations as they find confrontation uncomfortable and their need for immediacy mean they just have to jump in and sort it all out right now.

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.

For the ESFP there is a difference between conflict between themselves and other people, they take as personal criticism, and conflict BETWEEN other people which they love to resolve. 

Dealing with conflict

Some types dislike and avoid conflict, whereas others use it to solve problems and get things done. Understand how an ENFP deals with conflict in our practical tutorial.

Manage conflict with an ESFP by taking our practical tutorial. Do they use conflict to solve problems and get things done, or do they dislike and avoid it? Find out more.

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

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.

The ESFP will look to have an immediate and positive impact on the team and as such will be a good catalyst for action, and cutting through anything woolly and ensuring people are taken care of.

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.

ESFPs are excellent glue, who will make sure that harmony rules. They will immediately jump in and create harmony. However they prefer the positive and may not be good with tough calls or bad news.

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.

Managing an ESFP will be about understanding that they have such a good heart and add most value when they are unconstrained and allowed to be at the beating heart of the organisation.

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.

An ESFP may slide out of rules and regulations on the grounds that, 'I just had to do something to help.' They have an intense need to jump in and offer practical help and need the space to be allowed to do this.

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.

The ESFP may creative but it will be in a practical, people-centric way, rather than as a reflector and the ones who comes up with novel ideas, although they will be such great supporters of those types.

Getting the best and motivating

Find out how to get the best out of an ENFP and what motivates them in our practical tutorial. Are they more motivated by the task at hand, or by the people around them?

Get the best out an ESFP and learn the way to motivate them. Are they more motivated by people, or by the task at hand? Find out more in our practical tutorial.

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