ESFJs are conscientious helpers, sensitive to the needs of others and energetically dedicated to their responsibilities. They are highly attuned to their emotional environment and attentive to both the feelings of others and the perception others have of them. ESFJs like a sense of harmony and cooperation around them, and are eager to please and provide.
ESFJs value loyalty and tradition, and usually make their family and friends their top priority. They are generous with their time, effort, and emotions. They often take on the concerns of others as if they were their own, and will attempt to put their significant organizational talents to use to bring order to other people's lives.
ESFJ in the Population
ESFJ is the second most common type in the population. ESFJs make up:
- 12% of the general population
- 17% of women
- 8% of men
Famous ESFJs include Martha Stewart, Dave Thomas, Sam Walton, Barbara Walters, William Howard Taft, JC Penney, Sally Field, Mary Tyler Moore, and Ray Kroc.
Motivating the ESFJ
ESFJs act according to a strict moral code, and look for others to do the same. They often see things in terms of black and white, right and wrong, and they are typically not shy about sharing their evaluations of others' behavior. ESFJs seek harmony and cooperation, and feel this is best accomplished when everyone follows the same set of rules. They have a sense of order in the way people relate to one another, and often take on roles that allow them to help enforce that social order.
ESFJs feel a sense of personal responsibility for other people's needs, and are usually eager to get involved and help out. They tend to be serious and practical, dutifully putting business before pleasure—especially the business of caring for others. They typically enjoy routine and often keep a regular schedule that allows them to be organized and productive.
Recognizing the ESFJ
ESFJs may often be found playing host or hostess. They tend to take on the role of organizer without hesitation, and want to be sure that everyone is taken care of. Roles such as committee leader, event planner, and church volunteer suit the ESFJ well. They are typically engaged with their communities and work hard to do their part in maintaining the social order. ESFJs are interested in other people and like to know the details of their lives. Gossip is a favorite pasttime of many ESFJs; they love to share stories about the people around them.
ESFJs have a clear moral code that guides their behavior and their expectations from others. They often have strong opinions about how people should behave and the proper thing to do. Manners and other codes of social interaction are often of great interest to ESFJs. They may think in terms of black and white, right and wrong. They can be judgmental of others who they do not think are acting appropriately, but they have the best of intentions: they simply want everyone to follow the rules so they can all get along. The ESFJ wants things to be all right with the people around them, and may become very involved with others’ problems and concerns.
ESFJ at Work
ESFJs like to put their interpersonal skills to work to organize people and processes. They are tuned into the needs of others and seek to create structure to provide for people. ESFJs often prefer work that allows them to help people in practical, observable ways.
ESFJs enjoy work that allows them to follow through and see results, and prefer a high degree of structure and organization. They gain satisfaction from completing tasks with attention to order and detail. An ideal job for an ESFJ requires attention to procedure and specifications, and allows the ESFJ to work methodically to organize people and processes.
ESFJs usually prefer to work with others, and are energized by participating in a motivated, conscientious, action-oriented team. It is important to the ESFJ to do work that is accordant with their values, as well as to work with others who are supportive and cooperative. An ideal work environment for an ESFJ provides clear expectations and a friendly, structured atmosphere free from conflict or uncertainty.
ESFJ on a Team
ESFJs enjoy the process of teamwork, and engage with others to create an environment of caring and support. They are concerned with getting everyone to contribute, and want to make all team members feel included and valued. ESFJs value cooperation and a harmonious team environment. They tend to solicit opinions from everyone and try to organize the tasks of the team to accommodate the needs and priorities of all involved.
ESFJs do best on a structured team, where everyone can be given a well-defined task and the rules of the game are agreed upon. They want to appreciate their teammates’ contributions, but find this easier when those contributions conform to established guidelines. They may have more difficulty with teammates who want to bend the rules or try something new.
ESFJs are most effective when their teams are cooperative and free of conflict. They often do well at bringing everyone together, and may be distracted from the task at hand if there is conflict or competition between team members.
ESFJ as Leaders
ESFJs are often eager to take charge, and get things done in a structured, orderly way. ESFJs want to deliver on time and as promised, and will expect that their teams show this same attention to expectations. They use their communication and organizational skills to coordinate and move a team steadily along toward a goal.
ESFJs motivate by providing their reports with personal attention and ensuring they have the resources and support they need to deliver results. They want their employees to feel appreciated and cared for so that they can be cooperative and productive.
Tradition is important to ESFJs, and they are interested in understanding established procedures and helping their teams to follow existing guidelines. They have a strong respect for organizational hierarchy and expect that their reports will also defer to their authority.