ESTJ Personality Type – Extraverted Thinking with Introverted Sensing

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The eleventh of the personality types (as outlined by the Myers Briggs Type Indicator® Assessment, or MBTI® Test) is the Extraverted Thinking with Introverted Sensing type. Those who exhibit the ESTJ personality type are unbiased, discerning, detailed and empirical. They succeed most in situations where they must discover an already established solution to a present issue. Myers-Briggs® Test-assessed ESTJ types find themselves often living in the “now”, choosing to believe in what is happening around them and what they have discovered is empirically sound. With such a drive to find solutions for problems and their go-getter attitude, ESTJ types have several desirable skills as employees:

  • Skilled at managing and coordinating different endeavors, and use their skills to work toward completing that scheme
  • Work well in group settings where their partners/participants are accountable and pull their own weight
  • Succeed in leadership or administrative positions because they have an innate ability to understand how things work internally, such as the hierarchy of a company
  • Can see projects’ timelines from the get-go, as well as how they will develop and grow, including any probable issues that may arise within the ESTJ types carefully concocted plan
  •  If something isn’t giving them the solution that they were looking for, they will devise a new way to come to that solution, even though they prefer pre-standing standards

Well-Organized Information Sponges

MBTI Types Build ConfidenceMBTI Test -assessed ESTJ personality types enjoy surrounding themselves with others of similar levels of intelligence, aptitude, and proficiency, and try their best to exhibit their vast knowledge in their careers and personal lives. They are systemized in work and in play, and are always looking for a way to apply their knowledge.

Individuals with the ESTJ personality type hold their morals and beliefs very dear to them and do everything in their power to follow them—also wishing for their peers to do the same. They are conclusive, sensible, commonsensical, and reasonable. They enjoy instant fulfillment from their enterprises, and are always ready to take on a leadership role, taking their authority seriously.

As leaders (and as peers), Myers-Briggs test ESTJ type individuals find pleasure in being around other people, whether this includes in a work meeting, in some friendly competition, at a familial outing, or in another fun activity that involves human interaction. They are often incredibly open and honest, so their friends and coworkers never need to wonder if there is an underlying meaning behind their words. Others often allow the ESTJ personality type to fulfill their natural leadership roles and watch as the ESTJ takes control of a situation.

The ESTJ Can be Overwhelming to Peers

Occasionally, their need to fulfill these positions of authority can make the ESTJ personality type overwhelming to their peers, with these people not understanding how the ESTJ type can be so sure of themselves and the plans that they choose to take. Similarly, if the plans of the ESTJ type are not as strictly adhered to as they would like, they can become irritated with those who have any level of doubt about their ideas.

ESTJ personality types aren’t always the best at expressing their emotions or being aware of another’s. Occasionally, the MBTI test -assessed ESTJ type individual can find it difficult to appraise or assess current situations, people, or opinions, making them seem unsympathetic or insensitive. Also, especially when appraisal is needed by another, or if a peer is seeking advice, the ESTJ type may disregard their peer’s feelings, seeing them as unnecessary to the situation that is currently occurring.

Another problem that individuals with the ESTJ type preference can run into is that they are occasionally ostentatious about their levels of knowledge, not allowing others to put in their two cents. Similarly, with this over-confidence in their own abilities, Myers-Briggs Test ESTJ types can rush to conclusions without surveying all of the knowledge available to them, trusting too much in their own level of intelligence to worry about anything else. With a slightly heightened awareness of how emotions can come into play, along with a consciousness of their confidence in themselves, individuals with the ESTJ personality type can work towards becoming a more modest and well-rounded employees.
[Personality type information was referenced from the following publication- (Isabel Briggs Myers, 1998, CPP Inc.)]

Ideal Careers for the ESTJ type

"Image courtesy of Ambro /".

“Image courtesy of Ambro /”.

MBTI test ESTJ types are successful in a wide variety of fields, such as technology, agriculture, business, and production, especially those where they may be placed in a leadership position. Executive positions are common, as are supervisory occupations such as manager of agricultural workers, mechanic supervisor, industrial production manager, or a manager of building maintenance. MBTI test-assessed ESTJ types also often find themselves in counseling or law positions where their empirical-centered minds are challenged and solutions can be found. This includes occupations such as financial counselor or judge. Other common occupations include infantry member, civil engineer, sales manager, and electrician (Allen L. Hammer, 1993, CPP Inc.).

In order to become the most well rounded employee that an ESTJ can be, it is important for them to broaden their focus away from the immediate satisfaction that comes on a per-project basis, and instead create goals for themselves that stretch beyond the present.

Also, for success in the professional world and in their personal lives, the ESTJ type must step outside of the fact- and intelligence-based world in which they are so comfortable and focus more of their attention towards what is important to them, regardless of whether or not they feel it is sensible or reasonable. Allowing their emotions to come into play will make them more sympathetic to their peers and will humanize them.

Similarly, by assessing all of the different dynamics of their projects and issues, they can stop themselves from making hurried choices based only off of facts that they feel confident about, and can instead use their thoughts and feelings together to find answers. By opening their minds to emotions and their own long-term goals, the ESTJ type individual can be better prepared to work in the world around them.

ESTJ Careers

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 AdvisorPolice & Fire & Ambulance Dispatcher, Sheriff & Deputy Sheriff.

Further Understanding ESTJs

ESTJs are among the most organized personality types. They live by a clear set of standards and beliefs, and value competence, efficiency, and results above all else. They tend to be highly practical and systematic, focusing on the present and what is realistic to accomplish immediately and efficiently. For this reason, they tend to make excellent administrators; they also have a proclivity for systems and logistics, and are able to consider multiple interrelated aspects of a problem simultaneously and reconcile them so that they can work synergistically with one another.

While ESTJs do enjoy interpersonal interaction, it is of the utmost importance to them that others, especially those in their professional teams or departments have the same high standards and attention to detail as they do—they have little patience with confusion or the incompetence of others. As such, others may perceive Myers-Briggs® ESTJs to be overly confident, sometimes bordering on arrogant. Nonetheless, they are known to be dependable and conscientious individuals who take their responsibilities seriously. That said, ESTJs may wish to make an effort to respond more considerately to the emotional needs of others, as well as well as to begin to consider in a more flexible manner the possible implications or unintended side-effects of a particular decision or action.

ESTJs’ Learning Style: Analytical and Decisive

ESTJs are highly organized, analytical, and decisive individuals. When confronted with a problem, they quickly analyze it, take control, and mobilize others to solve it immediately. They prefer learning information that is directly linked to results, and they pride themselves on efficiency above all else. In the classroom, they benefit from instructors and trainers who communicate clear goals, so they can see the ending destination before they set out. They also tend to learn by asking questions, and so they benefit from having educators who are comfortable with, rather than threatened by, constant questioning and curiosity. Along the same lines, it is important to them that their instructors are highly knowledgeable, and who are able to present their sources for particular information, and who can make explicit connections between their content and the real world. MBTI® ESTJs are highly critical, and these connections are essential for them to be able to internalize and value information.

ESTJ Type Photo

Learn about The MBTI® ESTJ’s Learning, Leadership and Emotional Outlook styles

ESTJs are not known for their patience, and they may get frustrated with instructors or peers who are particularly long-winded, or when they are not as motivated or organized as they are. That said, they do benefit from discussions and group learning experiences that are challenging and engaging, especially when they are able to be given leadership roles or where they can establish their own organization within their learning environment. ESTJs also excel in competitive environments, focusing on the success of their output, whether this is in achieving the highest grade on an exam or completing a given task in the shortest amount of time. Part of their fulfillment and feeling of accomplishment comes from being more productive than their peers. A friendly competition fulfills this need.

When it comes to feedback, ESTJs prefer explicit, timely feedback that clearly evaluates their work, and points out areas of improvement. They tend to dislike feedback that is subjective, unstructured, or that is directed towards large groups rather than their own individual performance.

ESTJs’ Leadership Style: Efficient and Focused

ESTJs are focused, efficient, objective leaders. They are able to divorce personal relationships from workplace relationships, and are able to like an individual while still not wanting to work with them if they do not actively contribute to the team’s performance or the organization’s bottom line. They decide on goals and a direction quickly, and are able to identify and articulate intermediate objectives quickly and thoroughly. They are highly practical, and are able to modify plans depending on changing circumstances whenever necessary. However, because they tend to be highly focused and opinionated, and have little patience with explaining their positions to those who do not intuitively understand, ESTJ leaders may have difficulty articulating their positions clearly in a way that can change others’ minds or that can inspire a broad and diverse audience. In general, they expect that their position will be so self-evident as to necessitate minimal explanation, thinking instead that the results will speak for themselves.

Once they reach a decision, ESTJs focus on their goal exclusively, often ignoring peripheral information or context. However, they are among the most efficient deployers of human, material, and pecuniary resources, and are able to consider the long-term payoff of individual investment decisions with ease. In addition, ESTJs tend to consider deadlines, bureaucracy, and organizational structure highly important. While this makes ESTJs in some ways ideal for reporting to higher institutional levels, it may make it difficult for ESTJs to work with other individuals with different personality types who may prefer a more flexible work environment.

As ESTJs continue to grow and develop as leaders, they may make an effort to promote collaboration on their teams and to consider more carefully others’ input and opinions. They should also make an effort to experiment with styles and organization, and remember that the environment that may be optimal or preferable for them as individuals may not actually be ideal for the entire team. As such, encouraging feedback and input from others can be instrumental. An additional area of growth is for ESTJs to make a concerted effort to developing their interpersonal style – for relating to others’ emotional needs and to structuring a workplace environment in which those needs can be met more easily.

ESTJs and Emotional Outlook: Decisive and Structured

ESTJs tend to be highly confident and masterful at identifying goals and structuring and implementing plans to attain those goals. However, they are less certain of how to handle more emotionally-charged or interpersonal situations that may emerge from working with teams of individuals. Nonetheless, regardless of their task at hand—from completing a project to handling another co-worker’s emotional state—ESTJs tend to be highly aware and realistic in their sense of their own capabilities and competencies. In other words, they tend to have a sensitivity to what they can achieve. This awareness feeds into their ability to control their own impulses and to direct their energy in ways that will enable them to achieve and fulfill tasks as efficiently as possible. ESTJs are highly independent and dependable individuals, and rarely get distracted by their emotional state. Instead, they experience emotional satisfaction in their pride of achieving their goals and in their professional discipline and management style. Nothing makes ESTJs quite as happy or fulfilled as a job well done. They love meeting a challenge successfully and efficiently, and genuinely enjoy this sense of achievement.

ESTJ Type Photo 2

Learn about The MBTI® ESTJ Personality Type’s Emotional Outlook & Emotional Intelligence

On the other hand, ESTJs may feel stressed or out of control when circumstances or expectations are constantly changing. From their perspective, it is impossible to aim if the target is continuously moving. Instead, they prefer to work in predictable environments, and appreciate the ability to implement plans that have already been agreed upon. This proclivity also goes along with their tendency to prefer structure—ESTJs can handle variation within a particular expected range that can be accounted for in an initial plan. This way, contingencies have been considered in advance, and goals remain unchanged. This definition of long-term and short-term goals helps keep ESTJs motivated. When they do get overly stressed, ESTJs often find stress relief in physical activity and in social networks. They tend to have large friend circles, and also tend to keep themselves in good physical condition.

In terms of their relationships with others, ESTJs may at times be so focused on the task at hand that they remain oblivious to others’ social or emotional needs. That said, they are trustworthy and make a concerted effort to build that trust by repeatedly demonstrating their reliability and dependability. ESTJs take commitments very seriously, and rarely agree to do something, regardless of how trivial or insignificant it may seem, unless they are completely dedicated to fulfilling it. That said, they tend to place a low value on others’ opinions of them. Their behavior is more focused on fulfilling their word because they consider it important in and of itself rather than as a means to an end.

In terms of improvement, ESTJs may wish to make an effort to focus more of their time on considering larger contextual factors and incorporating them into their decision making. Sometimes factors that may seem peripheral or insignificant may turn out to be the most important of all. One peripheral consideration is the feelings of others. ESTJs should attempt to demonstrate empathy for others and their situation; they may be surprised at the impact that a simple compliment or a more supportive environment can have on one of their team member’s production. By considering these interpersonal relationships more, they will be able to build a more supportive environment for more sensitive individuals, and ultimately improve their contributions to the bottom line of the company as well.

ESTJ Personality Types in The Workplace

Extraverted-Sensing-Thinking-Judging (ESTJ) Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® personality types are logical and organized. They think linearly and are easily able to draw conclusions from large and even unwieldy sets of information. They are hard-working and responsible individuals who thrive in environments where they can solve real-world, practical problems that have an impact on the people and places around them. They have little interest in theoretical explorations or high-level academic discussions, unless these undertakings have a specific application and potential impact.

ESTJs not only enjoy exploring possibilities and developing solutions for complex problems, but they also thrive when given the chance to organize and lead groups of people in making their vision a reality. That said, they do have high standards for their team members, and for themselves, and expect all contributors to projects to be competent, diligent, and punctual. While some team members may become frustrated or stressed because of these lofty expectations, ESTJs believe that high standards are essential for success.

ESTJs and Communication in The Workplace: Direct and Explicit

ESTJs communication style is direct and targeted. They identify the issue at hand and do not hesitate to speak to it without pretense. Their peers always know where they stand with an ESTJ. If an ESTJ thinks a job is well done, they will say so. If they think that a project got off to a poor start because it was mismanaged by a specific person, they will say that as well, and will not shy away from identifying the perpetrator publicly.

While some of their coworkers may feel that this communication style is overly blunt or even forceful, ESTJs value the efficiency and practicality with which they approach conversations. They often start meetings or discussions by honing in on the salient issues or objectives. Then, they identify and analyze information or data that speaks to those issues or objectives and use that analysis to develop a plan of action. ESTJs rarely engage in long-winded, esoteric discussions unless they identify a practical outcome for that undertaking. However, despite their seriousness, ESTJs can also relax and “play hard.” They enjoy games, traditions, and family activities, and are often seen as dependable and confident.

While ESTJs’ focus and dedication to the practical and tangible, as they continue to grow as communicators and participants in workplace environments, they should make an effort to develop a level of tact and diplomacy, and to see the benefit of pleasantries. After all, such social niceties help people feel committed and invested in their teams and builds connections between team members. When people feel that they are a part of something bigger than themselves, they are willing and able to work harder.

ESTJs and Workplace Contributions: Focused and Well-Respected

ESTJs contribute to their workplaces in many ways, the most important of which is their tireless pursuit of excellence in themselves and others. ESTJs are constantly challenging themselves to achieve new heights and challenge their coworkers and peers to do their best also, regardless of what they are doing. This intense task focus can frustrate some team members. However, ESTJs are often equally frustrated by those who lack the ability to work efficiently and effectively. ESTJs expectation is that if they are in the office, they will be busy and productive. Wasted time is highly frustrating to ESTJs.

A second major way in which ESTJs contribute to their teams is in their commitment and contagious high energy. ESTJs work tirelessly to complete a task at hand, and often block out the world if they are trying to meet a deadline. They have little patience with others who may want to deviate from timelines or rework schedules, or with people who manipulate production processes in order to make them easier or to achieve a specific desired outcome. For example, an ESTJ would not support a project manager delaying a delivery in order to accommodate a holiday or social function, nor would they be able to back someone skipping key production steps in order to meet a deadline. ESTJs’ philosophy is to do a job correctly and completely as efficiently as possible. They do not cut corners to get a job done.

ESTJs also contribute to their organizations in smaller ways. They are well-respected as quality-checkers, and do not hesitate to point out and correct flaws or mistakes as soon as they see them. They think through implications of decisions in a linear, logical fashion, and are able to see lapses in judgment more easily than their more intuitive counterparts. Finally, ESTPs are able to keep track of multiple projects and issues simultaneously and are often the ones who follow up on projects that have been tabled. All in all, ESTJs keep their teams on the right track and hold others accountable for their actions.

ESTJs and Workplace Culture: Stable and Dedicated

ESTJs prefer workplace environments that provide stability and predictability. ESTJs are organized individuals who manage their responsibilities carefully, and they need their employers and teams to set and follow through on expectations. ESTJs generally enjoy having team projects where multiple individuals work together to accomplish a given goal, but they do expect their team members to be as hardworking, organized, and dedicated as they are themselves. ESTJs are not generally willing to micromanage their coworkers, nor do they enjoy doing so when asked. Instead, they expect their teams to be fully determined and dedicated to completing tasks properly.

ESTJs also shape the culture of the contexts in which they work. For example, because of their ability to analyze the implications of facts, they often find themselves ordering and structuring change management programs. While they may err on the side of imposing too much structure, their approach often saves time and ensures that everyone is on the same page even though processes and expectations may be in flux. Furthermore, ESTJs are also able to act decisively and quickly, even if a task or conclusion is unpleasant. They do not hesitate to fully commit to a project and work tirelessly until a solution is found or a task is completed. In the same way, ESTJs are supporters of innovation and alternatives—they do not adhere to established procedures or solutions but are always in favor of building a better product or process.

Last but far from least, ESTJs contribute to their organizations by empowering others to take action, even in stressful or difficult situations. They are often patient coaches and do not mind explaining the nuances of a situation or process to someone who has never been exposed to them before. However, they do not suffer fools, and expect that individuals will be largely self-sufficient.

ESTJs and Leadership in The Workplace: Organized and Driven

ESTJs are fair and hands-on leaders. When they are faced with a challenge, they not only gather data from their own sources, but also seek input from their team members and colleagues. Then, they work with others to synthesize their findings into a detailed, results-oriented and action-driven plan that is both grounded in reality and focused on specific outcomes. As they work towards implementing their vision, ESTJs clearly organize their teams and ensure that every individual understand their responsibilities as well as how their role contributes to the overall project objectives. This big picture orientation serves several purposes: it helps keep every individual invested in the project, it allows individuals to help each other and identify overlaps in responsibilities, and it empowers every team member to propose new ideas that could be even more effective or efficient.

While ESTJs are strong leaders, some aspects of their leadership style may irritate other team members. For instance, others may see them as being too controlling or as being too involved in the minutiae of implementation. Others might think ESTJs are too hierarchical and are even unwilling to answer questions from those who are working in ground-level implementation. On the other hand, ESTJs may themselves become irritated by team members who are unable to follow directions or established routines, or who are unable to cope with constructive feedback even if it is warranted or if it will help them improve.

As ESTJs continue to grow and develop as leaders, they should make an effort to involve others in the decision-making process. Getting buy-in, especially from leadership, can make the difference between a successful initiative and a project that gets tabled month after month.  They should also try to develop more patience and understanding for those who may not act as quickly as they do. There is a value in more careful weighing decision before taking action in a specific direction.

ESTJs and Problem Solving in The Workplace: Logical and Efficient

ESTJs take an objective, logical approach to problem solving, and have little patience with those who are easily confused, who work inefficiently, or who take halfway measures for any reason. When they are faced with a problem or challenge, ESTJs approach it logically and systematically. They specifically define the issue at hand and identify the most efficient way to address it. However, their prioritization of efficiency can result in them making hasty or overly harsh decisions that ignore the human impact of their decisions. For example, they may jump to a conclusion that would have a severe negative impact on many people, without truly understanding the significance of their decision. As ESTJs develop as decision makers and as problem solvers, they should take the time to consider multiple sides of an issue, including the feelings of others.

ESTJs approach interpersonal conflicts in the same logical, linear fashion with which they approach other problems. However, their direct communication style may at times exacerbate rather than deescalate the situation. For example, an ESTJ might make an explicit statement or accusation that incurs a negative response and retaliation rather than building understanding and mutual pursuit of an agreement.

If you are an ESTJ, you may wish to involve a mediator in resolving workplace conflicts, either to facilitate entire conversations, or to discuss issues with prior to initiating difficult conversations. If involving a mediator is not possible, take the time to see the issue from your colleagues’ perspective and consider how you can bring up the issue in a way that will yield your intended results.

ESTJs and Areas of Growth in The Workplace: Interpersonal Relations and Experimentation

While ESTJs are highly-decisive, strong individuals, there are certain ways that they can improve and become even more effective in the workplace.

First, ESTJs are action-oriented individuals who are always trying to identify specific ways they can behave or intervene to change specific outcomes. However, they may need to take a step back and realize that the optimal course of action may be to wait for more information to come to light or to wait for a situation to resolve itself. In other cases, allowing others to resolve problems independently and without input can allow them to grow as employees and as individuals in unexpected ways.

Second, ESTJs may need to loosen their standards slightly and allow others to do things in their own ways. ESTJs have a tendency to be overly controlling and to expect that tasks be completed in a single specific way even if multiple possibilities exist. In these situations, ESTJs need to acknowledge that more than one solution might result in the same outcome, and there may not necessarily be an advantage of one approach over another. However, if ESTJs notice consequences, such as a client not being satisfied with a product or service, they should be comfortable intervening.

Finally, ESTJs are highly social, interactive individuals who enjoy participating in group meetings and contributing their own ideas. However, their eagerness to state their position can come across as overbearing or intimidating to more introverted team members. Part of being a good group member is learning to allow others to participate equally. As such, ESTJs may need to develop an increased social sensitivity and empathy for those around them. Sometimes, the best and most noticed contribution to a group can be creating an environment that allows others to step forward.

Learn More About the MBTI ESTJ Personality Type

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

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)

Introduction To Type in Organizations (Hirsh, S. & Kummerow, J. CPP Inc., 1998)