ESFP personality type

Updated November 12, 2018

ESFP: Extravert-Sensor-Feeler-Perceiver

  • Jung type ESFP
  • Extraverts are outgoing, energetic and action-oriented. They are enthusiastic and expressive
  • Sensors live in the present. They rely on facts, handle practical matters well and like things to be concrete and measurable.
  • Feelers let their feelings and emotions play a leading role because of their concern for other people.
  • Perceivers prefer a lifestyle that is spontaneous, flexible and adaptable. They like an environment that is unstructured, and like to keep their options open.

An ESFP at a glance

ESFPs are fun and delightful to be with. They live for the moment, and know how to make the most of each moment. Good Cheer, Good Friends, Good Times could well describe their philosophy of life.

An ESFP approaches life optimistically. They see the world as it is and approach it with curiosity. They have the ability to adapt to whatever life may send their way.

ESFPs want to make an impact in life, make a difference and do something meaningful. They have a need to carry people along with them and motivate them to be more positive, optimistic and enthusiastic. When ESFPs are around, people certainly believe that the glass is half full rather than half empty!

ESFPs are cool in a crisis. They thrive on action. They get a kick from the challenge of handling unknown situations, moment-by-moment. Their zeal, love for life and sense of playfulness means that the people around them had better be ready for a lot of spontaneous action. People see an ESFP as being warm and witty.

Their probable contributions to an organization

Each personality type has a different set of skills, talents and attributes that they bring to an organization, group or relationship. Here is a list of those most commonly associated with personality types like ESFP.

  • Is courageous, creative and likes to be where the action is.
  • Loves life and exciting challenges.
  • Is enthusiastic, vivacious and keenly attuned to his/her environment.

On a team

Some people work well on teams, others work best on their own. Understanding the personality types of team members provides information about how individuals are likely to carry out their work and interact with each other. Given the personality preferences of an ESFP, the following are the strengths (and possible weaknesses!) they will most likely bring to a team:

  • Entertains, breaks the ice and keeps others inspired and working through his/her excitement.
  • Builds morale and an esprit de corps.
  • Enthusiastically invites everyone to participate and join together.

ESFP leadership style

Each personality type has its own leadership style, strengths and blind spots. The following highlights an ESFP approach to leadership, provides clues as to how an ESFP will act in a leader role, and pinpoints some of the leadership qualities.

  • Patterns him/herself after other successful leaders.
  • Works hard and efficiently to accomplish stated goals.
  • Delegates once the situation is under control, with all available facts and figures.

Communications style

Effective communication is composed of two elements: how well you listen, and how you express yourself. Good communication skills are at the heart of success. Being aware of how we communicate, how others communicate and how we prefer others to communicate with us, is a significant step in achieving this objective. Your personality style has its own communication strategies that are more effective for you than other's communication styles.

  • Speaks with energy and excitement.
  • Replies quickly, thinking on his/her feet.
  • Prefers talking in person, not communicating with written reports.

Problem solving

Different people solve problems in different ways. Based on the ESFP personality type, ESFP's will probably use the following methods and skills in problem solving:

  • Expects to clean up the mess that others begin.
  • Defines exactly what the immediate predicament is.
  • Discovers what people are currently doing to solve the problem.

Stress Profile

Stress plays a significant factor in our abilities to be effective at work and have healthy sustainable relationships. The greater the stress, the harder it becomes to maintain quality work and quality relationships. Each personality type has strengths and blind spots. Under stress, blind spots emerge and people rely on their least favourite functions to operate.

Stress triggers
  • Being surrounded by too many serious people and judged for being easygoing and carefree.
  • Having too many duties, obligations or responsibilities.
  • Being forced to make decisions about distant prospects.
Stress profile characteristics
  • Loses their easygoing agreeable nature.
  • Becomes pessimistic and worried, taking feedback from others way too personally.
  • Their good-hearted humor tends to evaporate.


People are usually most effective when their environment matches their preferences and work style. When a good match is not present, it will be more difficult to achieve results. Below are some of the ESFP's work preferences and key characteristics that ESFP's look for in work, or try to avoid. These key characteristics also indicate how an ESFP would typically like to be managed or related to.

  • Wants harmonious and pleasant surroundings.
  • Prefers projects that generate short-term, practical results for the betterment of people.
  • Wants frequent opportunities to interact with people.

ESFP Learning style

For many years it has been known that different personality types have different ways of learning. Knowing how a person learns is a big advantage for structuring on-the-job training or classroom instruction. The ESFP learning style is as follows:

    • Feels there is much to gain when learning is fun, grounded in the present and fosters relationships.
    • Needs interaction, group projects and hands-on experiences - reading, listening and observation are not enough.
    • Believes "doing things" comes first, grasping theories comes second.

    Opportunities for Growth

    As we grow and mature, it is important to pull back from our favourite ways of doing things and build skills in the areas of our least favourite preferences. We thereby become a more balanced and versatile individual. The following suggestions address some of the ESFP more obvious blind spots and are areas to pay attention to.

    • Pay attention to balancing tasks with socializing.
    • Practice prioritizing people, events and goals.
    • Work toward completing tasks in a timely manner.

    Jung personality types

    There are sixteen Jung personality types. Take a free Jung personality test or learn more about the Jung typology.