ESFP Personality Type – Extraverted Sensing with Introverted Feeling
The ESFP personality type (as outlined by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® Assessment, or MBTI® Test) is the Extraverted Sensing with Introverted Feeling type. Those exhibiting the ESFP type preference have a thirst for adventure and an overwhelming adoration for their lives, finding happiness in the material world around them, as well as in experiences. They are attentive, matter-of-fact, efficient, eloquent, spirited, and perceptive. In a work environment, Myers-Briggs® test ESFP types are apt at finding out-of-the-box solutions to meet the needs of the company and their peers, and their success in their careers is often seen most in situations with others.
- Find themselves in the role of pacifist, doing whatever it takes to find solutions that will make themselves and others happy
- Adept at communicating with others in a way that is constructive and beneficial for themselves and their employer. This also makes them exceptional group members
- Oftentimes have a good idea of what others are thinking and feeling, allowing them to read the feelings of others and adapt that information to the situation they are in
- Their enjoyment for spontaneity and new experiences helps them delve straight into new projects, even if they aren’t sure where to begin at first
- Motivational and inspiring, helping them get people moving and working together in moments of great stress or emergency. This also helps them react promptly to the needs of their peers
- Their excitement and energy in their everyday lives makes others want to work with them
World-Learners, Taking Life Lessons to Heart
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test -assessed ESFP types are world-learners, with a large majority of their expansive knowledge being formulated by their environment and their experiences with the world around them. Because of this preference, this personality type learns much more efficiently through doing as opposed to through traditional learning methods or reading.
With a carpe diem mentality and a thirst for excitement, those with an MBTI Test ESFP type work toward completing assignments in the most enjoyable way possible. They are versatile, cooperative, pleasant, and carefree. When it comes to making decisions or forming opinions, the ESFP personality type first and foremost consider their personal emotions, beliefs and sensibilities. This also helps them relate and commiserate with others. Myers Briggs-assessed ESFP types also enjoy people-watching, gaining knowledge from their observations.
Positivity Flows Through the ESFP
Individuals with the ESFP type preference are thoughtful, positive, compassionate, understanding, and often make good confidantes and friends. Their peers find them to be inventive, amicable, convivial and joyous, bringing light and excitement to every room they enter. An ESFP types genuine interest in the well-being, happiness, and lives of others makes them enjoyable to be around, both in their personal lives and in a professional atmosphere.
Occasionally, the ESFP personality types inclination to live in the moment can have negative effects on their work and relationships. Because of their desire to seize the day, Myers-Briggs test ESFP types can get so caught up in the moment that they feel as though nothing is holding them down and keeping them grounded. This can also affect their decision-making skills, disabling them from realizing the long-term consequences of these decisions and actions, especially when it comes to something that affects their senses. ESFP types are often driven by their pleasure principle, and their sensual desires can take precedence over reasoning and logic, which can lead to regrets and danger. Long-term consequences are not something that the ESFP personality type focuses on, and because of that, their spur-of-the-moment decisions can often distract them from their long-range wants or needs.
Another possible consequence of the preferences exhibited by the MBTI test -assessed ESFP type is that they can become exceedingly spontaneous and unpredictable, keeping them from completing their work without getting sidetracked. This causes them to often fail at sticking to schedules and due dates, choosing to focus on immediate pleasures as opposed to their duties elsewhere. However, if a Myers-Briggs test ESFP type can balance their spontaneity and thirst for momentary excitement, they can utilize their people skills and jovial natures to create a fun and effective work environment.[Personality type information was referenced from the following publication- (Isabel Briggs Myers, 1998, CPP Inc.)]
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator ESFP personality type thrives in professional environments where they are either using their skills to aid others or where they can utilize their people-person skills. Common career fields include hospitality, food service, medicine/healthcare, and other occupations that require a personal relationship with others. Some examples of job titles that are common for the Myers-Briggs Test -assessed ESFP personality type are restaurant worker (both front-of-the-house and back-of-the-house), receptionist/secretary/personal assistant, and medical worker (could include human medicine or animal medicine), such as a nurse or a veterinarian. Interestingly, Myers Briggs test ESFP types are also known for enjoying working outside, such as in a nursery or as a fisher (Allen L. Hammer, 1993, CPP Inc.).
To become an employee that everyone wants to hire, those with the ESFP type preference can hone in on their people skills and flexibility while still keeping in mind their long-term goals and aspirations. The spontaneous nature associated with the ESFP type often leaves no time or attention for long-range dreams, both in their careers and personal lives. By taking time to formulate these future goals (five-ten years) and taking steps to stick to them, you can help yourself think twice before making split-second decisions that may have larger consequences than you originally can see.
Furthermore, being people-lovers as they are, MBTI test -assessed ESFP personality types must pay attention to their frequent personal interactions, making sure that their networking time is being used efficiently and effectively.
Lastly, one of the most important actions that this MBTI Assessment Type Indicator personality type can take is to create deadlines and a schedule, and most importantly, to stick to that schedule. With a spontaneous yet organized life, Myers-Briggs test ESFP types can become everyone’s favorite (and most productive) workers.
Click on one of these corresponding popular ESFP Careers for detailed information including Career Stats, Income Stats, Daily Tasks and Required Education: Barista, Billing, Cost, and Rate Clerks, Dental Hygienist, Mail Clerk and Mail Machine Operator, Medical Assistant, Municipal Clerk, Nanny, Radiation Therapist, Statement Clerk and Surgical Technologists.
Further Understanding ESFPs
ESFPs tend to be outgoing and easygoing. They live in the moment and are exuberant, passionate individuals. They are characterized by flexibility, and prefer to live outside the confines of institutional rules and social norms, focusing instead on their own personal satisfaction and making an effort to improve the lives of others. Meeting new people and having new experiences is the most fulfilling for them, especially since they learn by doing rather than by reflecting. With this said, ESFPs are also practical people for the most part, and are highly observant, making decisions based on their personal values and the realities of the world around them. They are also keen observers of people, and are able to motivate and mobilize others to accomplish certain goals or work together to complete certain tasks.
Others know and love ESFPs for their resourcefulness and supportiveness, as well as for their fun-loving, playful nature. They generally have large groups of friends, and derive a great deal of pleasure and fulfillment from having deep, interactive relationships with others. This joy is contagious, and ESFPs are known for lifting the spirits of those who are around them, encouraging them to make the most out of life. While ESFPs have many strengths, they can sometimes lose sight of their long-term goals. They can be so focused on enjoying the moment, that they do not always consider the future implications of their behavior. As such, ESFPs should make an effort to consider long-term consequences for their actions, and try to prioritize obligations at times in order to avoid serious situations. With a little support and personal development, ESFPs can be the life of any party and the keystone of any organization.
ESFPs’ Learning Style: Adaptive and Responsive
ESFPs are extremely observant. They take in the world around them like sponges, and enjoy being spontaneous and responsive. They have a dispreference for taking too much time to ponder or consider the world around them in a reflective or philosophical manner, and instead prefer to interact with it directly. As a result, they tend to be easily bored inside the classroom, which they perceive to be terribly isolated from the real world. However, they do tend to be receptive to group exercises or interactive tasks that are closely related to real-world experiences, though it is important to keep in mind that, group discussions and similar activities that are theoretically oriented even though they are technically social, are not as appealing or engaging to them. Instead, ESFPs especially enjoy “field trips” or opportunities to complete real-world tasks in a simulated environment, or supervised tasks in the real-world. The more realistic the experience, the better it will be for ESFPs.
As such, ESFPs benefit from instructors who are able to develop activities and tasks that are highly social and interactive. They enjoy being able to move around and be physically active, and are more open to role playing and other activities that are fun while still having a content objective. They prefer to receive immediate feedback on their behavior and procedures, and appreciate the opportunity to evaluate themselves using rubrics, checklists, or procedural flow charts. In this way, the act of evaluating becomes an additional activity from which they can glean even more benefit.
When it comes to interacting with their peers, ESFPs generally enjoy hearing anecdotes and real-life stories that connect the information they are learning to the real world. They enjoy working with others to practice skills, and they may open to having discussions with others providing that these discussions are not overly theoretically focused. The key to ESFPs’ learning is to maximize activity—asking and answering questions, completing tasks, moving around in the real world, and evaluating themselves or others, can all be ways of increasing the amount of activity in the environment in which ESFPs are learning.
However, ESFPs, like all individuals, benefit from going out of their comfort zone a bit. As such, they should make an effort to remain interested and motivated even when the assignment or task is not particularly interactive. They may be surprised by what they can learn by sitting and reading, or by completing a more traditional assignment individually.
ESFPs’ Leadership Style: Enthusiastic and Dynamic
ESFPs are active and engaging leaders, who take a great deal of time and energy to ensure that others on their teams are as excited about the team’s goals as they are themselves. As they set the direction of the organization, they enjoy brainstorming with members of their team, generating options that will benefit and motivate individual team members while also meeting the organization’s overall objectives. This also contributes to the creation of a fast-paced, high-energy environment, in which they can remain constantly engaged. As they narrow down their choices, ESFPs tend to value simple but practical solutions that will have immediate results. They have a dispreference for drawn out strategic planning sessions, even though sometimes root causes of problems only become apparent after an in-depth analysis.
While it may not seem so at first glance, ESFP Myers-Briggs® Types can find it challenging to make decisions if they feel that others on their team may be uncomfortable with the direction. They tend to value harmony on teams, sometimes to the extent that it can interfere with their functioning as leaders. However, if they make an effort to explain their decisions to those who may disagree, they may be able to maintain the positive, supportive nature of their workplace environment. In general, ESFPs have a knack for being able to inspire others and build a strong rapport seemingly effortlessly. They value relationships, and almost instinctively cultivate close relationships, many of which may contribute in the long term to their own advancement. They should be conscious, though, of their tendency to be drawn to other extremely outgoing individuals, and should make an effort to make sure that even the quieter, more introverted, or more serious members of their teams are still receiving attention and support from them.
Part of ESFPs’ strength as leaders is in the fulfillment they get from identifying other individuals with potential, and working closely with them and coaching them to success. They have strong interpersonal relationships, and pay attention to the value of seemingly minor acts, like rewarding the completion of milestone tasks or recognizing a job well done. These kinds of efforts help ESFPs keep their teams motivated. That said, not all of leadership tasks are overly exciting. It is important for ESFPs to remember that oftentimes achieving lofty goals necessitates the completion of repetitive, mundane tasks. They need to be careful to value and pay attention to the repetition of successful organized or ingrained processes, and learn the importance of setting and meeting deadlines.
As they continue to grow and develop as leaders, ESFPs need to take the time and energy to consider more carefully their and their team’s long-term goals, and think about how they can position themselves best in the future. Balancing fun and excitement with concrete goals and outcomes can be the perfect recipe for success.
ESFPs and Emotional Outlook: Confident and Fun-Loving
ESFP MBTI® Types are confident individuals who enjoy working together with others and having experiences together. They are highly sensitive to others’ moods and needs, and are often caring individuals with good intentions, though they may at times have difficulty relating to those who are much quieter or more introverted than they are. ESFPs are also impulsive—they enjoy novelty, and so often direct their impulses towards new outlet or opportunities, sometimes without much consideration of the impact of their actions on others or on the long-term consequences of their behavior.
Because of their innate positivity and passion for life, ESFPs can sometimes be overwhelmed or discouraged by a critical, hostile, or unsupportive environment. They often do not take kindly to their desires or actions being interpreted as problematic or negative, particularly since they have a preference for avoiding any kind of confrontation or argument. On the other hand, ESFPs make an effort to build relationships with others and to find common ground. They tend to value tasks that benefit multiple people, and are often self-sufficient and efficient in achieving those tasks.
When it comes to their relationships with others, ESFPs tend to be lively and gregarious, socially at ease, and comfortable in large groups. They genuinely enjoy the active company of others, and communicate that joy openly and freely. They are patient with others’ values, and are explicit in communicating respect and caring even in the midst of discontent and conflict. This care for others’ positions, opinions, and values, also manifests in their openness to solicit and discuss others’ view points, and in their willingness to attempt to approach situations or challenges using others’ suggestions. Finally, because of their active and large social networks, ESFPs usually have a robust support system, that they both draw on and give back to in times of need. This helps them diffuse stress and retain a positive attitude and outlook in all that they do.
Learn More About the MBTI ESFP Personality Type
Explore additional information that delves deeper into the ESFP Personality Type by examining various personality and career based subjects:
- How the MBTI ESFP Type relates to Innovation
- How the MBTI ESFP Type relates to Project Management
- How the MBTI ESFP Type relates to Emotional Intelligence
- How the MBTI ESFP Type relates to Leadership
- How the MBTI ESFP Type relates to Communication
Click on a link below to read more about different MBTI Personality Types
Introduction to Type (Isabel Briggs Myers, 1998, CPP Inc.)
Introduction to Type and Careers (Allen L. Hammer, 2007, CPP Inc.)
Introduction to Type and Leadership (Richmond, S. CPP. 2008)
Introduction to Type and Learning (Dunning, D. CPP. 2008)
Introduction To Type® and Emotional Intelligence. (Pearman, R. CPP, 2002)