ESTP: Extraversion, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving

At your best

People with ESTP preferences are energetic, active problem solvers, responding creatively to challenging situations in their environment. They seldom let rules or standard procedures interfere, finding new ways to use existing systems. They develop easy methods to do difficult things and make their work fun. They are flexible, adaptable, inventive, and resourceful, can pull conflicting factions together, and are good team members. They are popular companions for activities (parties, sports, or work) because of their zest for life and their enjoyment of the moment.

How others may see you

ESTPs are strong in the art of living. They love life and immerse themselves in it, others respond to their enthusiasm and good humour. ESTPs are people of action. They usually dislike and avoid theory and written directions. Traditional schools can be difficult for people with these preferences, though ESTPs do well when they see the relevance and are allowed to experiment. Others usually see ESTPs as:

  • Gregarious, fun loving and spontaneous
  • Adventurous risk takers
  • Pragmatic trouble-shooters.

Characteristics of ESTPs

ESTPs are interested in everything going on around them activities, food, clothes, people, the outdoors, and everything that offers new experiences. Because they learn more from doing than from studying or reading, they tend to plunge into things, learning as they go, trusting their ability to respond resourcefully ESTPs are likely to be:

  • Practical and realistic
  • Observant
  • Focused on immediate experience

ESTPs make decisions by logical analysis and reasoning and can be tough when required. For the most part, they prefer to deal flexibly with what is, rather than make judgements. ESTPs usually are:

  • Analytical, rational problem solvers
  • Straightforward and assertive

ESTPs are expert at seeing the needs of the moment and reacting quickly to meet them.

They good-naturedly take things as they are and seek satisfying solutions, rather than imposing a “should” or “must” of their own.

Potential areas for growth

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

  • If they have not developed their Thinking, ESTPs will not have a useful way of selecting amongst the barrage of incoming sensory data. They may then have difficulty setting priorities or may make ill-founded decisions.
  • If they have not developed their Sensing, they may focus on the Sensing data that are immediately available. Their decisions may then be limited to gratification of their sensual desires, particularly those involving physical challenge and risk.

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

  • Have trouble accepting structure and meeting deadlines
  • Focus entirely on excitement and activity getting caught up in external activities
  • Put enjoying life ahead of important obligations

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

  • Not see the wider ramifications of their actions and decisions
  • Forget dates and events that have special meaning to others
  • Be unaware of the impact of their actions on others
  • Be impatient with discussion or exploration of relationships

Under great stress, ESTPs may have negative fantasies. They may imagine that others do not really care about them, then marshal and distort their Sensing data to provide themselves with “evidence” of this neglect.

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: Perceiving

People who prefer to use their Perceiving process in the outer world tend to live in a flexible, spontaneous way seeking to experience and understand life, rather than control it. Plans and decisions feel confining to them; they prefer to stay open to experience and last-minute options. They enjoy and trust their resourcefulness and ability to adapt to the demands of a situation.

Characteristics of most people who prefer Perceiving:

  • Spontaneous
  • Open-ended
  • Casual
  • Flexible
  • Adaptable
  • Like things unconstrained and open to change
  • Feel energised by last-minute pressures

Effects of preferences in work situations

  • Adapt well to changing situations.
  • Do not mind leaving things open for alterations.
  • May have trouble making decisions.
  • May start too many projects and have difficulty in finishing them.
  • May postpone unpleasant jobs.
  • Want to know all about a new job.
  • Tend to be curious and welcome new light on a thing, situation, or person.