ESTJs are generally confident, outgoing individuals who enjoy nothing more than using their thinking skills to shape the world about them. Of all the types, ESTJs have the strongest need to control, structure and organise their lives. They are also very practical, feet on the ground people.
ESTJs’ favourite function is thinking and as extraverts they prefer to use this favourite process in the world round about them. They are particularly skilled at prioritising and analysing pros and cons. They are adept at finding the logical flaws in other people’s thinking and are often good at debating.
Sensing is ESTJs’ second favourite process but they use this mainly in their interior world. They are good at absorbing and working with facts and details but they usually have a preference for doing these types of activities on their own. Personal experience is important for them but they have no strong need to talk to others about this.
As sensing types, ESTJs are much more concerned about the here and now than they are about future possibilities. Unlike ENTJs, the most closely related type, ESTJs are not particularly drawn to reform and innovate as they are concerned to bring structure, logic and order to the here and now. ESTJs usually take great pride in their attention to detail, their accuracy and the fact that they are very good at making things run smoothly. They have a very strong need to see tangible results and to see the difference they are making. This is why they are often attracted to careers which allow them to operate as “practical realists”. They are particularly drawn to any job which allows them to organise and co-ordinate.
ESTJs often have a great need to create structure in their lives. This is rather like building an arbour, or framework of some kind, round which their lives can grow and develop in different directions. When the structure is in place they can then pay attention to their projects, relationships or whatever. This structure may lead them to make decisions on how to allocate time to the various parts of their lives.
ESTJs will often say they have a great need to make sense of things. They find it particularly hard to do anything unless they can see the logic and reason behind it. And their need for structure often means they like to live by a definite set of rules. ESTJs may make their own rules to govern their behaviour, but they are usually great respecters of rules in general. They often have a need for “standards” both in their work and personal life.
ESTJs’ particular combination of preferences means they tend to subscribe to fairly traditional values. They usually have a strong need for family life. Responsibility, duty, loyalty, and respect are all important words for ESTJs. They are usually prepared to accept decisions which have been made by people more senior to them as they tend to have respect for authority. They are great upholders of the work ethic and believe that people should not relax until their day’s duties are complete. They also have a great need for security and generally take pleasure in upholding traditions.
But while ESTJs can be fairly conservative by inclination, they are great realists and often see the need for innovation in today’s world. This means they can be fairly pragmatic when it comes to change and won’t put up much resistance against change programmes particularly if they see that it is something which the management want.
This all makes ESTJs sound much more serious than they actually are. They are very sociable people and are good company. They go to great lengths to organise their social lives and they make very loyal friends. They are usually very upbeat, lively people with a strong sense of humour. They often display this side of their nature when they are in a group.
People matter greatly to ESTJs yet it is relationships that they usually find hardest to get right. They are often so intent on getting jobs done to their standards, and in ways that they think are sensible, that they can sometimes come across as “bossy”. They can also appear opinionated and judgmental and somewhat intimidating for other, more gentle, types. Their belief in calling spades by their name, can also mean they can be rather blunt and not pay enough attention to social niceties.
This is often more true of male ESTJs. However, female ESTJs often feel pulled in two different directions. Most still make decisions or form opinions in ways which make logical sense to them but when communicating this to others they will often preface it with an apology of some kind. Those female ESTJs who continually choose to be “nice” rather than logical, can then find that they don’t get a chance to play to their main strengths as these are in the application of logic to practical problems.
Ultimately, most ESTJs must begin to realise that while they have skills and aptitudes they are often weak in areas to do with feelings and relationships. They may need to cultivate these preferences themselves and to have more respect for people who do things differently from them. It can be very important for ESTJs to develop humility in life and to realise that it is sometimes better to compromise their task-related goals and their exacting standards for the sake of people’s feelings and relationships.
Words to describe ESTJs
outgoing systematic independent
efficient practical lively
responsible direct objective
decisive logical structured
conscientious critical organised
Careers attractive to ESTJs
Administrative and management positions of all kinds. Teaching, construction, police work, banking, supervisory, head teachers.
Anticipated work/team strengths
Helping the organisation to run smoothly, by organising people, resources, projects.
Creating logical, coherent structures.
Pointing out the flaws in other people’s ideas or opinions.
Follow through and completion of projects.
Needs at work
Potential problem areas
Likely areas for improvement
Common relationship Issues for ESTJs
ESTJs show caring by trying to make things run as smoothly as possible for other people.
ESTJs like others to appreciate their efficiency and respect their need for order and predictability.
ESTJ Type Dynamics
Dominant – thinking – extraverted
Auxiliary - sensing- introverted
Tertiary - intuition
Inferior - feeling
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© Carol Craig
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