People can differ vastly in the way they prefer to communicate- from reserved and soft-spoken to having to be at the center of every conversation. These differences can be particularly stressful in the workplace, where projects need to be completed as accurately and efficiently as possible, and where a miscommunication can have serious financial or even legal consequences. Fortunately, recent research connecting personality type and communication (e.g., Dunning, 2003) can help us anticipate potential mishaps and help organizations, companies, and departments become more aware of communicative styles, why they matter in the workplace, and what can be done about them.
According to Dunning (2003), an individual’s communication style is best predicted by their Myers-Briggs® Personality Type. People with different MBTI® personality types tend to communicate in very different ways. This blog focuses on The ESTJ Myers-Briggs Type—Extraverted-Sensing-Thinking-Judging personality. ESTJ personality types are referred to as “practical expeditors” (Dunning, 2003, p. 42). They tend to be objective and results-oriented, focused on producing high-quality products or services that will have a measurable impact on their organization or on society at-large. They also seek structure and organization at all stages of a project, from the initial project description to the division of labor and assignment of tasks, all the way through the presentation of the final product, and are often highly concerned with accuracy and details in production. ESTJ’s are extremely practical, and draw heavily on past experiences in order to evaluate whether a particular strategy or intervention can be realistically implemented. In this vein, they may consider the availability or efficient use of material, financial, and human resources, as they develop a strategy for tackling a particular project.
When working closely with those whom share The ESTJ personality, it is helpful to keep communication concrete, specific, and relevant. Especially when assigning them a task, make sure that their final goal is clearly explained, and that they are given all of the constraints, considerations, or variables that need to go into their process of developing a strategy for completing it. They should also be provided with any relevant data, as well as sources for verifying it or for obtaining further information when necessary. Nothing is more stressful or irritating to an ESTJ than inefficiency, vagueness, or incompetent leadership, so be sure to get the details of an assignment worked out before you present it to them. Similarly, when giving ESTJ’s feedback or evaluating their work, be as specific as possible and draw attention to the root causes of issues as well as action-steps to resolve them.
Many of these tendencies, the directness, conciseness, and attention to detail, are also evident in ESTJs’ ways of expressing themselves to others. For instance, their objective, “cut-to-the-chase” attitude may seem overly controlling, impersonal, or even harsh, even though they have no intention of presenting themselves as such. They enjoy debates and question ideas and facts readily, though it is important to keep in mind that in these situations they are critiquing ideas—not people! When you communicate with ESTJs in the workplace, try to keep your relationship professional and establish clear levels of supervisions—ESTJs separate work and personal life fairly seriously and often view attempts to make small talk as inefficiencies or as having some kind of sub-text. Being clear, reliable, and above all efficient is of the utmost importance for ESTJs.
If you are an ESTJ yourself, try to be patient with those who may not think as logically or linearly as you do. Different people have different strengths, and you should work to acknowledge that. In the same vein, notice if you are taking too much control over a project that is not yours—create spaces for others’ contributions as well. At the end of the day, improving communication will make the workplace a more efficient and effective place for everyone, including you!
Learn to communicate more efficiently by understanding how your personality type best interacts with others with the MBTI test below:
Learn about your conflict-resolution style to help you resolve problems and issues as effectively as possible with the TKI test below:
- Introduction to Type and Communication. (Dunning, D. CPP, 2003)
Learn More About the MBTI ESTJ Personality Type
Visit Our ESTJ Personality Type Information Page to Learn More About The ESTJ Personality Type
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- How the MBTI ESTJ Type relates to Emotional Intelligence
- How the MBTI ESTJ Type relates to Leadership
- How the MBTI ESTJ Type relates to Decision-Making
Click on one of these corresponding popular ESTJ Careers for detailed information including Career Stats, Income Stats, Daily Tasks and Required Education: Auditor, Commercial Pilot, Computer, ATM, Office Machine Repairer, Construction Manager, Correctional Officer & Jailer, Criminal Investigator, Home Health Aide, Personal Financial Advisor, Police & Fire & Ambulance Dispatcher, Sheriff & Deputy Sheriff.
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Click on a link below to read more about different MBTI Personality Types