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(E) Extraverted - (S) Sensing - (F) Feeling - (P) Perceiving
Life-loving, people-centric thrill seekers, the ESFP is interested in people and experiences throwing themselves into relationships and life in general. Their dislike of rules and routine, are justified by their view that their reason for existing is to bring harmony, sympathy and support to peoples' lives. An ESFP may slide out of rules, regulations obligations on the grounds that, 'I just had to do something to help.' The keywords here are 'do' and 'help;' caring and practical in equal measure.
If there is a crisis, the ESFP will be there, taking charge, offering support, revelling in their ability to help, loving the drama. Their energies and infectious enthusiasm, means that other people will like them and they will build relationships easily and often. The ability of the ESFP to drop everything and provide immediate, practical support may come at the expense of an ability to plan, schedule and prioritise. However those on the receiving end will be grateful and left feeling really special.
With their pragmatic desire to help, and do so immediately, the ESFP will not respond well to being time-bound, or locked into a project. The ESFP is not naturally good at follow-through, and will impulsively follow only their own urges - which tend to be the needs of others. Through meeting the needs of others, their own narcissistic needs are also met; there is a paradoxical self-indulgence in indulging others.
On the positive side the ESFP has an ability to make others feel so special, be excellent 'glue' for a team, and good at maintaining morale. As their decisions will be emotional and values-based, people will feel that they are valued and special and, whilst meetings may last longer than average, and little planning gets done, everyone leaves feeling part of something good and indeed feeling good.
Although chatty, open and very expressive the ESFP will keep their own private feelings to themselves and you may be surprised to find that what you see is not the whole picture as the ESFP may be very 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. Always eager to help and to please the ESFP needs to know they have made a tangible contribution as they struggle with complexity and anything they perceive as complex, ethereal or woolly.
They are of the moment and people-centric so great at service roles and at making people feel really special. They do not like slow-paced environment or those where it is quiet and serious. They love being thrown in and just sort it out and they do that really well. The ESFP is not a long-range planner but uses their expediency and desire to ‘do good’ to solve immediate, people-based problems and ensure that harmony reigns within their domain. They would not thrive in an environment where it was based on targets, numbers and recording things. ESFPs are at their best when they have the freedom to operate in the present and jump in and take charge. In that sense they are like the ESTP, but whilst the ESTP is action-oriented and jumps in to difficult tasks, the ESFP is action-oriented and will jump into difficult situations. They have an incredible talent for making people feel special, for diffusing tension and solving even the most difficult ‘people’ issue.
In a team situation, the ESFP will bring an urgency to get things rolling - and make sure they happen right now. 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 or ethereal. In organisations the ESFP is the natural ‘glue’ for the team, excellent at establishing and maintaining relationships and morale and bringing others in.