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ESFPs are friendly, warm, outgoing, energetic individuals who are considerate and kind, always willing to offer help.
They are very aware of people’s feelings and able to build a relationship quickly with most people. Because of that, it makes them very sociable and active, and they enjoy meeting new people.
Toward life, they adopt an easy-going and casual approach, wanting to experience each moment as a gift; with a light-hearted and positive attitude. They are common-sensical people, preferring the practical and concrete over the abstract and theoretical ideas. They are observant of their surroundings and are good with the use of their five senses.
When you are communicating with an ESFP:
BE SUPPORTIVE, ENTHUSIASTIC AND ENCOURAGING
As mentioned, ESFPs love collaborating and cooperating with people to achieve goals. In the same way, they expect others to be supportive and encouraging of them.
When you’re communicating with an ESFP, praise them for their small efforts toward achieving goals either in person or through emails or memos. Be affirming when they share their ideas and compliment them when possible. Be enthusiastic when sharing information as well; your energy for the task will be contagious to them.
ENGAGE THEIR SENSES
ESFPs are good with their five senses: sight, hear, smell, touch and taste. Any information that they can use these five senses to experience will convince them much more than any theory or vision will.
When you’re sharing information with them, bring visuals, live samples and prototypes or anything that can allow the ESFPs to engage their senses. When done so, you will find it much easier to reach the ESFP.
The use of theory, on the other hand, does little to convince them. Abstract ideas and big visions don’t engage the ESFPs.
BRING IN THE HUMAN ELEMENT INTO ANY PROBLEMS
ESFPs have the heart for helping people practically and have a knack for resolving people related situations.
Think about how you can bring in the human element into information you’re sharing in order to reach them; talk about the impact on people’s lives, and appeal to your personal values and why it is important for you. Such information appeals far more to the ESFP than objective, logical analysis.
That said; let’s look at what will possibly cause conflict with an ESFP, and how you can avoid it.
VIOLATION OF THEIR DEEPLY HELD VALUES
Although ESFPs appear to be very flexible and casual, they do strongly hold a core set of values and beliefs. If one of their deeply held beliefs or values is violated, a stubborn and firm character emerges, and a conflict will happen unless the other party backs down.
Usually, such an outburst or a firm stand will surprise everyone because of their usual easy-going and casual nature. In such a scenario, allow ESFPs to speak up and have themselves heard.
Attempt to explain the rationale behind your decision from a values/humanistic point of view and understand it will take a lot for the ESFP to change their stance.
UNNECESSARY BUREAUCRACY THAT STIFLES THEIR INDEPENDENCE
ESFPs enjoy the flexibility and leeway they have to execute their work independently. They dislike strict structures, procedures, the corporate bureaucracy that they perceive to stifle that ability to do so. Although most ESFPs learn to live with it, sometimes it might lead to a conflict.
Give space for the ESFP to work, and allow them some independence to choose their schedules, work timelines and so on. Such actions are interpreted as trust by ESFPs, and they appreciate it being given to them.
MISUNDERSTANDING THEIR FUN-LOVING NATURE IN WORK SITUATIONS
ESFPs being fun-loving, casual and light-hearted might crack a joke or make a casual remark that seems inappropriate for the current situation. Sometimes, this may be misinterpreted as disrespect for the magnitude of the seriousness of the situation. When the ESFP is accused of such, a conflict may occur.
Understand that ESFPs have a natural need for fun in whatever they do, and this can be an advantage as well in serious situations. When everyone takes a more light-hearted and positive approach toward a situation, sometimes a better solution may emerge.
That said, a gentle private reminder to ESFPs to mellow down sometimes should be more than enough to ensure that no callous jokes or comments are made in a serious work situation.
If you’re an ESFP, consider these as avenues for development:
NOT EVERYONE IS FUN-LOVING WHEN IT COMES TO WORK
While you naturally are casual and energetic, some people may find your fun-loving approach to work to be disruptive to theirs. As mentioned above, they may deem you disrespectful or have no regard for the organisation.
Try to minimise casual conversation and jokes when you are in a serious discussion with others. Allow the meeting to conclude in the most task-oriented manner before allowing yourself and everyone else to lighten up.
CONSIDER LONGER TERM IMPLICATIONS OF YOUR ACTIONS
Your natural inclination is to consider the immediate consequences and impacts of your actions, but you often lack the patience when dealing with the longer term implications, the abstract and theoretical models.
Learn to consider the longer term when you are making decisions, especially important ones that will impact your life like career and relationship decisions.
LEARN TO MAKE CONCRETE PLANS AND FOLLOW THROUGH
Your spontaneous and easy going nature may mean that you often may not follow through on projects or tasks given to you; instead, you might be distracted or caught up with something else until a reminder is given. If it happens often, this can be a source of frustration for those around you.
Learn to make plans, set deadlines and make goals and stick to them. By ensuring that your project is finished, you can add value to your organisation.