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ESFJs are personal, friendly, warm, caring individuals who are at the same time steady, responsible and dependable.
They easily connect with others and seek harmony in all their relationships, and they often watch out for the needs of those around them and seek to help them in a practical way.
When making decisions, they will see and anticipate the needs of others and will go out to meet these needs.
When it comes to tasks, they are productive and organized and can be counted on to accomplish the tasks given to them effectively. They are very comfortable with routine, structure and schedules in their lives.
They are usually considered to be traditional people, conforming to society’s or family’s norms and believing in keeping these traditions.
When you are communicating with an ESFJ:
BE ENCOURAGING AND AFFIRMING BUT TASK FOCUSED
ESFJs have a mix of people and task oriented-ness; although they enjoy building personal relationships with people they’re working with, they are also task oriented and would like to get the job done with minimal disruption.
When communicating with them, be warm, encouraging and affirming and at the same time, get to the task at hand; ESFJs appreciate the warmth and the serious approach to work.
PROVIDE CONCRETE EVIDENCE AND PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS
ESFJs are practical and down-to-earth individuals who want the practical applications of information as well as concrete evidence to back up assertions. They dislike discussing long term plans or abstract ideas that have no immediate application.
When you are presenting information to them, use data to back up your facts and give accurate information. ESFJs do not like vague information and information without a basis. Also, when you are sharing long term plans with them, try to break it down into a step-by-step sequence and show how it can be used immediately.
RESPECT THE STATUS QUO AND SHOW THEM HOW-TO
ESFJs are traditional individuals, and they value what the status quo is and also would like to have a set of procedures to follow, especially in new environments.
When you are communicating new information to them, ensure that it is in line with organizational policy or you will face some opposition from them.
Also, when you are giving them a new task, do not just give them the objective, but also communicate the process to reach that objective. ESFJs prefer to stick to what has been successful before and continue doing the same.
That said; let’s look at what will possibly cause conflict with an ESFJ, and how you can avoid it.
HURTING OR UPSETTING PEOPLE CLOSE TO THEM
ESFJs are very loyal to people close to them, whether friends or family and ESFJs will stand up for them if they see that these colleagues, friends or family are being hurt or upset. This is regardless whether these people asked for help or not.
If there is an ESFJ around you, be ready for a conflict if you offend someone close to them. Such conflicts are sometimes unavoidable because you don’t see them coming, but an effort to apologize, reconcile and rebuild harmony will usually be sufficient to restore a cordial relationship with the ESFJ.
FEELING THAT THEIR LOYALTY IS TAKEN FOR GRANTED
The loyalty of the ESFJ also must not be taken for granted. ESFJs will go all out of their way to support and care for those they consider important, and they value appointments, meetings, schedules with such people very highly.
If an ESFJ is made to feel that their loyalty is taken for granted; it will make them consider if that relationship is actually worth as much to the other party as it is to them.
To avoid such conflict, understand that the ESFJ has already given you their loyalty and they expect the same of you. Honour appointments with them and consider them in your decisions as well.
UNDERMINING THEIR BELIEFS
ESFJs have strong beliefs and values about how things should be. They hold these beliefs dearly and they consider it part of their personal identity.
When a thoughtless comment seems to undermine what they believe in, it could potentially lead to conflict with the ESFJ.
It’s always good to start by finding out what is important to the ESFJ through casual conversation or personal sharing. That way, you are more aware of what remarks or comments you have might possibly spark conflict, and thereby you can avoid them.
If you’re an ESFJ, consider these as avenues for development:
LEARN TO LOOK AT SITUATIONS OBJECTIVELY
Understand that when some people do look at a situation objectively, considering the merits of both sides of an argument before moving forward.
Sometimes you might look at a situation too personally and become overly enthusiastic or passionate about it such that when the idea is challenged or rejected, you might take it as a rejection of you.
Don’t take things too personally and allow the calm logical analysis to happen; appreciate the balance and practicality that such an approach can bring.
BE ACCEPTING OF DIFFERENT STYLES
While you are generally traditional and social norms are important to you, you may find it hard to accept people whose working styles or lifestyles differ from your responsible, persistent nature.
Understand the several factors that lead people to work different, ranging from culture, personality, and environment and so on. Be more open to people with differing lifestyles or working styles, learn to accept their working styles and if necessary, adapt yours to suit theirs.
LEARN TO GIVE AND RECEIVE CORRECTIVE FEEDBACK
Understand corrective feedback is not a bad thing and is necessary to help others develop their potential. You might be afraid of a potential conflict that might result, but in the long run, it’s going to help the person to become better.
In the same way, do not take corrective feedback personally. People who correct you give you an opportunity to develop yourself, and it’s seldom because they have something against you personally.