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 INTJ is the patient visionary clear on how the future should look and will work with quiet, logical determination to make it happen. The INTJ loves an intellectual challenge and is stimulated by the abstract, the complex, the new and the untried; facts and figures bore them. They can seem a little detached from others as they quietly process so much information inside their heads.
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.
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
For the INTJ everything has a scientific base so getting close would be difficult initially, as they don’t see the need for emotional connection. Their engagement tends to come via intellectual arguments with like-minded people.
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
For INTJs emotion doesn’t compute and so they may not understand their impact on others or indeed gauge the emotional reactions of others, which can make them appear as insensitive or a little cold.
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
INTJs are private and can often be naturally impassive as well, which makes them easy to misunderstand. INTJs want people to make logical sense and so feelings are difficult for them to fathom.
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
INTJs are intellectually curious and love complex problems and analysing data to and come up with unique solutions, driven more by concepts and abstract ideas than by the emotions of people.
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.
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 INTJ is often impervious to their environment as they are deep and private and love getting their heads into complex problems. They love the intellectual robust debate and won’t really ‘see’ conflict.
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
For the INTJ it is about creating something new and worthwhile and this will be their focus. They won’t really see the emotional issues and will work at a more cerebral level where they are more comfortable.
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
INTJs work more at an intellectual than emotional level and so would see conflict, if they did engage, as simply an extension of the debate and their arguments would be well thought through, based on data.
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
As the INTJ inhabits an internal world of complexity, ideas and possibilities, working towards conclusion, any conflict would simply be seen as part of that process, enacted then it’s time to move on.
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.
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
INTJs will overturn established practice be forward thinking and truly radical. They love the intellectual challenge, coming alive with difficult problems to solve then step back again when it becomes mundane.
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.
The INTJ will be at their best with the facility to work for long periods on their own. If they do lead they prefer like-minded people who also love the intellectual debate and complex challenges.
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.
The INTJ will often find the mundane and routine tedious and energy sapping and may prefer individual contribution excelling at deep diving and working on the unique, the interesting and the complex.
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
INTJs are perfectionists, with an endless capacity for improving upon anything that takes their interest. They will work long and hard on such tasks, driving towards closure, impervious to the outside.
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.
INTJs are ideas people. Anything is possible. INTJs love developing unique solutions to complex problems, and, conversely, if it were not complex or interesting then why would they bother?
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.