ESTJ: Extraversion, Sensing, Thinking, Judging

At your best

People with ESTJ preferences like to organise projects, operations, procedures, and people and then act to get things done.

They live by a set of clear standards and beliefs, make a systematic effort to follow these, and expect the same of others.

How others may see you

Because they naturally devise systems, procedures, and schedules, others rely on ESTJs to take charge and get things done. Others may also find them overpowering at times because ESTJs are so certain about how things should be. Because they are clear and straightforward in their communication, people seldom have to wonder where they stand.

ESTJs can be quite gregarious and generally enjoy interacting with people, especially around tasks, games, traditions, and family activities. They take relationship roles seriously and fulfil them responsibly. Others usually see ESTJs as:

  • Conscientious and dependable
  • Decisive, outspoken, and self-confident

Characteristics of ESTJ

ESTJs take an objective approach to problem solving and are tough when the situation requires toughness. They use their Thinking primarily externally to organise their lives and work, and they have little patience with confusion, inefficiency or halfway measures. ESTJs are likely to be:

  • Logical, analytical, and objectively critical
  • Decisive, clear, and assertive

ESTJs focus on the present-what is real and actual. They apply and adapt relevant past experience to deal with problems, and they prefer jobs where results are immediate, visible and tangible. ESTJs are likely to be:

  • Practical, realistic, and matter-of-fact
  • Systematic and pragmatic

ESTJs are usually excellent administrators because they understand systems and logistics. They can project the steps needed to accomplish a task, foresee potential problems, assign responsibilities, and marshal resources. They cover all eventualities, leave no loose ends, and get things done on time. When they see that things are not working, they will plan and act to correct the situation. Otherwise, they prefer tried and tested procedures and systems. Their orientation is to tasks, action, and the bottom line.

Potential areas for growth

Sometimes life circumstances have not supported ESTJs in the development and expression of their Sensing and Thinking preferences.

  • If they have not developed their Sensing, ESTJs may decide too quickly before taking in enough information. Then their decisions will reflect their previously formed judgements or biases.
  • If they have not developed their Thinking, they may not have a reliable way of evaluating information and thus end up making inconsistent or overly harsh decisions.

If ESTJs do not find a place where they can use their gifts and be appreciated for their contributions, they usually feel frustrated and may:

  • Become rigid and dogmatic
  • Become intrusive, “know-it-all” experts, overpowering others and refusing to listen
  • Get fussy about details and be impatient with those who do not follow procedures exactly

It is mutual for ESTJs to give less attention to their non-preferred Feeling and Intuitive parts. If they neglect these too much, however, they may:

  • Apply logic even when emotions and impacts on people need primary consideration
  • Fail to respond to others’ needs for intimate connection and processing of feelings
  • Not always see the wider ramifications of a seemingly simple, direct action

Under great stress, ESTJs may feel alone and unappreciated and be unable to communicate their feeling of distress and despair.

Where you focus your attention: Extraversion

People who prefer Extraversion tend to focus on the outer world of people and external events and attention outward and receive energy from external events, experiences and interactions.

Characteristics of most people who prefer Extraversion:

  • Attuned to external environment
  • Prefer to communicate by talking
  • Learn best through doing or discussing
  • Breadth of interests
  • Tend to speak first, reflect later
  • Sociable and expressive
  • Take initiative in work and relationships

Effects of preferences in work situations

  • Like variety and action.
  • Tend to be faster, dislike complicated procedures.
  • Are often good at greeting people.
  • Are often impatient with long slow jobs.
  • Are interested in the results of their job, in getting it done and in how other people do it.
  • Often do not mind the interruption of answering the telephone, often act quickly, sometimes without thinking.
  • Like to have people around.
  • Usually communicate freely.

How you take in information: Sensing

People who prefer Sensing like to take in information through their eyes, ears and other senses to find out what is actually happening. They are observant of what is going on around them and are especially good at recognising the practical realities of a situation.

Characteristics of most people who prefer Sensing:

  • Focus on what is real and actual
  • Value practical applications
  • Factual and concrete, notice details
  • Observe and remember sequentially
  • Live in the present
  • Want information step-by-step
  • Trust experience

Effects of preferences in work situations

  • Dislike new problems unless there are standard ways to solve them.
  • Like an established way of doing things.
  • Enjoy using skills already learned more than learning new ones.
  • Work more steadily, with realistic ideas of how long it will take.
  • Usually reach a conclusion step by step.
  • Are patient with routine details.
  • Are impatient when the details get complicated.
  • Are not often inspired, and rarely trust the inspiration when they are.
  • Seldom make errors of fact.
  • Tend to be good at precise work.

How you make decisions: Thinking

People who prefer to use Thinking in decision making tend to look at the logical consequences of a choice or action. They try to remove themselves mentally from a situation to examine it objectively and analyse cause and effect. Their goal is an objective standard of truth and the application of principles. Their strengths include figuring out what is wrong with something so they can apply their problem-solving abilities.

Characteristics of most people who prefer Thinking:

  • Analytical
  • Logical problem-solving
  • Use cause-and effect-reasoning
  • “Tough-minded”
  • Strive for impersonal, objective truth
  • Reasonable
  • Fair

Effects of preferences in work situations

  • Do not show emotion readily and are often uncomfortable dealing with people’s feelings.
  • May hurt people’s feelings without knowing it.
  • Like analysis and putting things into logical order.
  • Can get along without harmony.
  • Tend to decide impersonally, sometimes paying insufficient attention to people’s wishes.
  • Need to be treated fairly.
  • Are able to reprimand people or fire them when necessary.
  • Are more analytically-oriented, respond more easily to people’s thoughts.
  • Tend to be firm minded.

How you orient toward the outer world: Judging

People who prefer to use their Judging process in the outer world tend to live in a planned, orderly way, wanting to regulate and control life. They make decisions, implement them, and move on. Their lifestyle as structured and organised and they like to have things settled. Sticking to a plan and schedule is very important to them and they enjoy their ability to get things done.

Characteristics of most people who prefer Judging:

  • Scheduled
  • Organised
  • Systematic
  • Methodical
  • Like to Plan
  • Like completion – to have things decided
  • Avoid last minute stresses

Effects of preferences in work situations

  • Work best when they can plan their work and follow the plan.
  • Like to get things settled and finished.
  • May decide things too quickly.
  • May dislike to interrupt the project they are on for a more urgent one.
  • May not notice new things that need to be done.
  • Want only the essentials needed to begin their work.
  • Tend to be satisfied once they reach a judgement on a thing, situation, or person.