Victoria, British Columbia, Phone: 250-744-1731

Is there an ESTP in your life?

Is there an ESTP in your life?

By Donna Dunning

ESTP motto: “It’s easier to beg forgiveness than ask permission.”

For my book, “What’s Your Type of Career?”, I interviewed a production engineer who had preferences for ESTP. Although he enjoyed the logical, analytical work involved in his engineering role, at times he would just leave the office and go into the plant to work with the technologists. He liked the hands-on activities and wanted to stay in touch with the more active side of the production process.

How ESTPs prefer to relate

This example illustrates the applied, matter-of-fact, active approach often used by individuals with ESTP preferences. Stimulated by opportunities to respond right away, ESTPs tend to enjoy competing, troubleshooting, and taking on practical challenges. Usually logical, independent, and direct, a person with ESTP preferences is likely resourceful and adaptable. They will logically and convincingly argue for taking the most immediate and efficient course of action. Interested in understanding and analyzing the logical and practical side of how and why things work, ESTPs may come across as impatient or uninterested in understanding the nuances of interpersonal relationships or theoretical concepts.

How to relate to an ESTP

When interacting with someone who has preferences for ESTP be direct and matter-of-fact.  Provide them with useful, objective data and expect them to question and critique. Although ESTPs have a preference for extraversion, they often prefer action to discussion. People who prefer ESTP tend to enjoy interacting, engaging with others, laughing and having fun, but usually prefer business conversations to be efficient, short, and to the point. Avoid discussing long-term plans or conceptual information in detail. To encourage them to listen to personal information, provide it in a logical, reasonable tone. Becoming upset or communicating how you feel indirectly will not likely be an effective strategy for communicating with them. ESTPs like to operate independently. They will resist being given strict rules, regulations, or procedures to follow, especially if these are not logical or practical.

Visit the Responder personality type page for more information about ESTP preferences.

Share your experiences and insights

Do you have any other ideas, tips, or stories to share about interacting with people who have ESTP preferences?

Do you have ESTP preferences? Visit the Responder career success stories and strategies page to share your experience.

More information about communication and personality type can be found in Introduction to Type and Communication.


Want to learn more about personality type and how to use it to understand yourself and others?

Introduction to Type and Communication describes in detail how personality preferences influence communications.

If you live in the USA, Introduction to Type and Communication is now available in PDF format.

Introduction to Type and Learning can help you find your motivation for learning and help you learn more effectively.

If you live in the USA, Introduction to Type and Learning is also available on Kindle.

Looking for a practical resource to help you plan your ideal career? Check out my book, What’s Your Type of Career?: Find Your Perfect Career By Using Your Personality Type

Want to use your personality type to excel at your career? Check out 10 Career Essentials: Excel at Your Career by Using Your Personality Type

This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 16th, 2011 at 12:20 pm and is filed under Blog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

6 Responses to “Is there an ESTP in your life?”

  1. Connie says:

    Great post Donna.
    I’ve been married to an ESTP for 29 years. And it’s been great – especially considering I’m an INFP! He keeps me grounded and hopefully I add something to his life as well. He is loving, caring, and sometimes patient. 😛 Learning personality type has helped me in communicating with him, although I sometimes long for deeper conversations.

  2. Kara says:

    Donna – this is my husband to a tee! His twin brother has ISTJ preferences and the more he tries to get Corey to be ready on time, the more Corey does his own thing:). What I love the most about him is his enthusiasm to always try something new and his ability to bring out the best in a situation. Whereas I may be a little cynical and critical, he will often tell me to just go with it and not worry about the little stuff (ENTP).

  3. Donna Dunning says:

    Hi Kara, Thanks for your comment. It is interesting to hear about the personality differences of twins.

  4. Donna Dunning says:

    Hi Connie, I always love to hear examples about how people with different types can have long and happy marriages. I am a firm believer that there are no good or bad “type matches”. Good marriages result when people are willing to learn about and accommodate each other, no matter what their preferences.

  5. sheri says:

    I’m raising an ESTP and the more research I do the more intimidated I feel especially because I’m an INFJ!

  6. Donna says:

    Hi Sheri, I hear you, I (ENFP) raised a son who has all alternative (ISTJ) preferences. At times the differences seemed overwhelming, but it also had enormous learning and growth potential for both of us. Without understanding type I would have interpreted many of his actions differently. I think people who prefer ESTP preferences have a lot to teach us about being in the moment and approaching situations practically and logically. I don’t know his age, but when he is old enough, and if you can get buy in, I would give him a brief summary of type preferences and dynamics. Knowing and using the differences helped my son and I. Don’t expect him to want to sit and talk about the theory, just use a few practical ideas to help him (and you) to get your points across more easily. For him, this will likely look like communicating quickly and being to the point. Have fun. Kids are very adaptable and hopefully so are parents.

Leave a Reply

MBTI, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, and Introduction to Type are registered trademarks of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Trust in the United States and other countries.