ESFP vs. ESTP

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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 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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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. 

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.

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 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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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