The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator may not be considered a scientific tool, but it can be used to help us understand one-another. As entrepreneurs, this test can help us choose a team that works in conjunction with each other, rather than a team that will clash. It can also help us tailor our management styles to suit the needs of those around us. Today, I am going to take a broad overview look at the first of 16 types: ESFJ.

What does it stand for?

ESFJ stands for Extraversion Sensing Feeling Judging. Here’s a quick rundown of what each of these traits means:

  • Extraversion is not simply outgoing, but rather gaining energy from an outside source. Extraverts do well in group situations or any form of social interaction.
  • Sensing people have a better understanding of concrete information, rather than abstract. They do well with hard facts and standard processes, instead of theories and innovation.
  • Feeling means each piece of information runs through the filter of emotion. In the case of an ESFJ, this filter is characterized by the emotions of the group around them.
  • Judging people are not necessarily judgy, but rather, they prefer order and routine to spontaneity. These individuals are likely to have a planner or use a calendar app and struggle with moving around appointments or duties.

What is this type like?

ESFJs are considered the parent-type of the Myers-Briggs. If you know someone who is friendly, great to talk to, and maternal/paternal with everyone, they may be an ESFJ. Although ESFJs are generally easygoing, they are often taken for granted and will internalize struggles, preferring to handle conflict passively (or passive-aggressively) until approached by the offender.

How do they work?

ESFJs are hard workers, and will always strive to be punctual and prepared. You never have to worry about them finishing a project, because they probably got it done as soon as you announced it. ESFJs may have a hard time working with others if it requires adapting to a new system. Most do want to be liked by everyone, though, so they will try their best to make even the worst situations positive.

How should you manage them?

As stated above, ESFJs are often taken for granted. Openly acknowledge their contributions and thank them for going above and beyond (which they often do). Try to accommodate their schedule when possible, or at least give them notice when they need to switch up their day. Make sure nobody else is trying to force the ESFJ to do their work, as they have a hard time saying no to people. Finally, try to place them with a group of other friendly, non-combative individuals, or the ESFJ’s stress may reflect in their work.

Every type has its pros and cons, but each person has a role to fill. If you have the opportunity to hire an ESFJ for your team, consider yourself lucky. Although they are quite a common type (roughly 12.3% of the population), they will make great employees and fall into place at a company quite easily.