How Does an ESFJ Type Prefer to Relate in The Workplace?

In Business and Leadership, Communication and Type, ESFJ, Leadership, MBTI by Geeta Aneja

Miscommunications are inevitable when people work together in any setting, and they become even more likely in the fast-paced environment of today’s world. However, thanks to recent research into personality types and communication (e.g., Dunning, 2003), we now have ways to predict these mishaps and help companies and employees prepare for them, so you can spend your time where it really pays off: on improving the overall function, efficiency, and most importantly, output, of your team or organization.

How do ESFJ’s Express Themselves?  

What Dunning (2003) found is that communication style and Myers-Briggs Types are intimately connected. As a result, different personality types have different communicative tendencies. For instance, ESFJ’s (Extraverted-Sensing-Feeling-Judging) personality types tend to be personal and outgoing with their friends and colleagues, and are generally easy to connect with. They are considerate, and do their best to provide for others’ needs in a practical and efficient way. In terms of behavior, they do their best to make useful contributions that work towards producing concrete and tangible products or services. They also pay careful attention to detail in a variety of ways, from remembering personal information about their co-workers to attuning to social norms to adhering to routines or schedules. They express themselves as clearly and concretely as possible, and enjoy social contact with others. They are able to evaluate situations accurately and schedule time to meet obligations or accomplish goals.

Tips on Communicating with an ESFJ

Image courtesy of scottchan at

Image courtesy of scottchan at

When associating with ESFJ Myers-Briggs Types, it is helpful to give them as much detailed information as possible, especially when giving instructions. When giving background information, keeping it practical and grounded in real-world application is extremely important so that ESFJs understand the relevance and importance of the information with which they are being presented. Similarly, when giving them feedback, it is helpful to pay attention to details and comment on particular aspects of the project, especially those that are positive. While ESFJs do their best to take corrective or constructive feedback in stride, it can actually be challenging for them, as they tend to take it a bit too comfortably. That said, they are more than happy to make changes to their work (more often than not) provided that it is clear that their self-worth is not reflected upon by slight problems in their work.

If you have an ESFJ on your team, try to avoid ambiguity or vagueness. Often ESFJs won’t understand your meaning and will spend significant time asking questions in attempts to clarify their understandings. Being reliable and clear is of the utmost importance, as is providing periodic, but still personal, feedback on their progress. Showing respect and consideration goes a long way with ESFJs.

Are You an ESFJ?  What Can You Do to Be More Effective?

If you are an ESFJ yourself, it is important to be aware individuals’ needs are not necessarily the same as those that are socially acceptable. Try to be more aware of how individual people contribute to projects and function within or without the social norms that you tend to value. On a different note, try to voice opinions and assess situations earlier rather than later. Often, providing constructive feedback at the beginning of a project or process can prevent larger problems or challenges farther down the road.

The more aware each of us is of communicative differences or the individual quirks and tendencies of our peers, colleagues, and friends, the more we can all work together to reduce the number and severity of workplace miscommunications. Each person making small changes in their own behavior can lead to a real change and result in more positive, supportive, and above all effective, working environments for all.


  1. Introduction to Type and Communication. (Dunning, D. CPP, 2003)

Learn More About the MBTI ESFJ Personality Type

ESFJ Careers

Click on one of these corresponding popular ESFJ Careers for detailed information including Career Stats, Income Stats, Daily Tasks and Required Education: Hotel, Motel, or Resort Clerk, Kindergarten Teacher, Meeting, Convention, or Event Planner, Personal or Home Care Aide, Radiologic Technologist, Receptionist or Information Clerk, Registered Nurse,Secretary, Teacher Assistant, and Teller.

Explore additional information that delves deeper into the ESFJ Personality Type by examining various personality and career based subjects:

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Click on a link below to read more about different MBTI Personality Types