Extraverted, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving Approximately 6-8 percent of the population
Flexible and tolerant, they take a pragmatic approach focused immediate results. Theories and conceptual explanations bore them – they want to act energetically to solve the problem. Focus on the here-and-now, spontaneous, enjoy each moment that they can be active with others. Enjoy material comforts and style. Learn best through doing. ESTPs don’t worry – they’re happy! Active, easygoing, and spontaneous, ESTPs enjoy the present moment rather than planning for the future.
Extremely realistic, ESTPs rely on and trust what their senses tell them about their world. They are curious and keen observers. Because they accept things as they are, they tend to be open-minded and tolerant of others and themselves. ESTPs like real things that can be handled, taken apart, and put back together.
ESTPs prefer action to conversation and enjoy dealing with situations as they arise. They are good problem solvers because they can absorb necessary factual information and then find logical and sensible solutions quickly, without a lot of wasted effort or energy. They can be diplomatic negotiators, happy to try unconventional approaches and usually able to persuade other people to give their compromises a chance. They are able to grasp underlying principles and make decisions based upon what is logical, rather than on how they feel about things. Therefore they are pragmatic and can be tough when the situation warrants.
Friendly and charming, ESTPs are popular and at ease in most social situations. They are outgoing, versatile and funny, and may have an endless supply of jokes and stories for whatever situation they find themselves in. They can be good at easing tense situations by lightening up the atmosphere and getting conflicting parties together.
Possible Blind Spots
ESTPs’ preference for living in the moment and adopting an “emergency” style of responding to unexpected crises can result in a chaotic environment for those around them. They may miss opportunities through lack of planning. They sometimes take on too much at one time and find themselves overloaded and unable to keep their commitments. ESTPs need to look beyond the current moment and their interest in the material world to try to anticipate ways of finishing tasks on time.
ESTPs also tend to overlook other people’s feelings and may be blunt and insensitive in their desire to be honest, especially when they are rushing from one experience to another. Their flamboyance can sometimes be perceived as crudeness and may alienate the people they are trying to entertain. ESTPs become more effective with other people when they direct their keen powers of observation to be sensitive to the people around them. They are more effective when they rein in their boldness, energy, and love of a good time to a level where other people are more comfortable.
More interested in solving problems quickly and effortlessly, ESTPs tend to jump directly into the next crisis and not follow through on the less-exciting portions of current projects. They do well to learn and apply time management and long-range planning techniques to help them prepare for and complete responsibilities. Slowing down to develop standards for their own behaviour and considering the ramifications of their actions will make them more effective.
– Tolerant and Adaptable
ESTPs are spontaneous, active folks. Like the other SPs, ESTPs get great satisfaction from acting on their impulses. Activities involving great power, speed, thrill and risk are attractive to the ESTP. Chronic stifling of these impulses makes the ESTP feel “dead inside.”
Gamesmanship is the calling card of the ESTP. Persons of this type have a natural drive to best the competition. Some of the most successful salespersons are ESTPs. P.T. Barnum (“Never give a sucker an even break”) illustrates the unscrupulous contingent of this type. Almost unconsciously the ESTP looks for nonverbal, nearly subliminal cues as to what makes her quarry “tick.” Once she knows, she waits for just the right time to trump the unsuspecting victim’s ace and glory in her conquest. Oddly enough, the ESTP seems to admire and respect anyone who can beat her at her own game.
“If I was any better, I couldn’t stand it!” To an ESTP, admission of weakness feels like failure. He admires strength in himself and in others.
“Shock effect” is a favoured technique of this type to get the attention of his audience. ESTPs love to be at centre stage, demonstrating feats of wonder and daring.
As an ESTP, your primary mode of living is focused externally, where you take things in via your five senses in a literal, concrete fashion. Your secondary mode is internal, where you deal with things rationally and logically.
ESTPs are outgoing, straight-shooting types. Enthusiastic and excitable, ESTPs are “doers” who live in the world of action. Blunt, straight-forward risk-takers, they are willing to plunge right into things and get their hands dirty. They live in the here-and-now, and place little importance on introspection or theory. The look at the facts of a situation, quickly decide what should be done, execute the action, and move on to the next thing.
ESTPs have an uncanny ability to perceive people’s attitudes and motivations. They pick up on little cues which go completely unnoticed by most other types, such as facial expressions and stance. They’re typically a couple of steps ahead of the person they’re interacting with. ESTPs use this ability to get what they want out of a situation. Rules and laws are seen as guidelines for behaviour, rather than mandates. If the ESTP has decided that something needs to be done, then their “do it and get on with it” attitude takes precedence over the rules. However, the ESTP tends to have their own strong belief in what’s right and what’s wrong, and will doggedly stick to their principles. The Rules of the Establishment may hold little value to the ESTP, but their own integrity mandates that they will not under any circumstances do something which they feel to be wrong.
ESTPs have a strong flair for drama and style. They’re fast-moving, fast-talking people who have an appreciation for the finer things in life. They may be gamblers or spendthrifts. They’re usually very good at storytelling and improvising. They typically makes things up as they go along, rather than following a plan. They love to have fun, and are fun people to be around. They can sometimes be hurtful to others without being aware of it, as they generally do not know and may not care about the effect their words have on others. It’s not that they don’t care about people, it’s that their decision-making process does not involve taking people’s feelings into account. They make decisions based on facts and logic.
ESTP’s least developed area is their intuitive side. They are impatient with theory, and see little use for it in their quest to “get things done”. An ESTP will occasionally have strong intuitions which are often way off-base, but sometimes very lucid and positive. The ESTP does not trust their instincts, and is suspicious of other people’s intuition as well.
The ESTP often has trouble in school, especially higher education which moves into realms where theory is more important. The ESTP gets bored with classes in which they feel they gain no useful material which can be used to get things done. The ESTP may be brilliantly intelligent, but school will be a difficult chore for them.
The ESTP needs to keep moving, and so does well in careers where he or she is not restricted or confined. ESTPs make extremely good salespersons. They will become stifled and unhappy dealing with routine chores. ESTPs have a natural abundance of energy and enthusiasm, which makes them natural entrepreneurs. They get very excited about things, and have the ability to motivate others to excitement and action. The can sell anyone on any idea. They are action-oriented, and make decisions quickly. All-in-all, they have extraordinary talents for getting things started. They are not usually so good at following through, and might leave those tasks to others. Mastering the art of following through is something which ESTPs should pay special attention to.
ESTPs are practical, observant, fun-loving, spontaneous risk-takers with an excellent ability to quickly improvise an innovative solution to a problem. They’re enthusiastic and fun to be with, and are great motivators. If an ESTP recognizes their real talents and operates within those realms, they can accomplish truly exciting things.