ESFPs are vivacious entertainers who charm and engage those around them. They are spontaneous, energetic, and fun-loving, and take pleasure in the things around them: food, clothes, nature, animals, and especially people.

ESFPs are typically warm and talkative and have a contagious enthusiasm for life. They like to be in the middle of the action and the center of attention. They have a playful, open sense of humor, and like to draw out other people and help them have a good time.

ESFP in the Population

ESFP is the third most common type among women, and the seventh most common among men. ESFPs make up:

  • 9% of the general population
  • 10% of women
  • 7% of men

Famous ESFPs

Famous ESFPs include Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Judy Garland, Magic Johnson, Elvis Presley, Ronald Reagan, Paul McCartney, Bob Hope, and Goldie Hawn.

Motivating the ESFP

ESFPs live in the moment, enjoying what life has to offer. They are especially tuned into their senses and take pleasure in the sights, sounds, smells, and textures around them. ESFPs like to keep busy, filling their lives with hobbies, sports, activities, and friends. Because they'd rather live spontaneously than plan ahead, they can become overextended when there are too many exciting things to do. An ESFP hates nothing more than missing out on the fun.

Although they are characteristically fun-loving, ESFPs are also typically practical and down-to-earth. They are grounded in reality and are usually keenly aware of the facts and details in their environment, especially as they pertain to people. They are observant of others and their needs, and responsive in offering assistance. ESFPs enjoy helping other people, especially in practical, tangible ways.

Recognizing the ESFP

ESFPs are often the life of the party, entertaining and engaging others with humor and enthusiasm. They notice whether other people are having fun, and do their best to create a good time for all. Typically at home in their physical environment, ESFPs may take the lead in getting everyone involved in some active diversion. ESFPs are generally friendly and likable, but can be hard to get close to; although they tend to be very open, they are reluctant to be serious or to talk about anything negative.

ESFPs are tuned into their senses, and often gravitate towards pleasing colors and textures in their environments. They often carefully choose fabrics and decorations with which to surround themselves. This attention also often translates into their appearance; ESFPs are often dressed in sensuous fabrics or bright, dazzling colors. They are often up on the latest trends, and like to excite the people around them with new environments and experiences.

For more information: The Art of SpeedReading People

ESFP at Work

At work, the ESFP wants to be hands-on and in the middle of the action. ESFPs prefer an active, social work environment where they are free to be spontaneous and have fun, with co-workers who are friendly, laid-back, and enthusiastic.

ESFPs are pragmatic, realistic, and tuned into the needs of others. They often choose a job that allows them to be of service to people, and where they can see real, tangible results for their efforts. They are talented at solving practical, people-centered problems, and can put this skill to good use in assisting others.

ESFPs are keenly tuned into their senses and often have an artistic streak. They may choose careers that engage their sensual nature through food, textiles, art, or music. ESFPs often want a career that allows them to move around, and generally prefer a work environment that is aesthetically pleasing.

ESFPs are stressed by strict rules or excessive bureaucracy at work, and want the flexibility to address situations as they arise. They generally focus on the demands of the present moment, and do not usually like to work on long-term projects, preferring work that has immediate and tangible results.

ESFP on a Team

ESFPs are fun-loving team members who bring a sense of humor to the process. ESFPs simply love socializing with people, and typically see teamwork as a chance to interact and engage in a lighthearted way. They may not seem particularly driven or task-oriented to their teammates, but they keep an eye out for the needs of others, and offer assistance and support in a practical, down-to-earth way.

ESFPs are at their best when they can work on immediate, practical problems, without having to be too serious about the task at hand. They are good at facilitating cooperation, and often have a talent for listening to all points of view on a team with an open mind. They often see the talents that others can contribute to a team, and with their engaging enthusiasm, can get other people motivated to contribute. ESFPs may be less effective on teams which are competitive rather than cooperative. They may experience friction with teammates that insist on being very task-focused and don’t leave room for fun. ESFPs tend to lose interest in abstract discussions, and may have trouble with teams who spend a lot of time theorizing and little time taking action.

For more information: What's Your Type of Career?

ESFP as Leaders

In leadership positions, ESFPs are realistic, encouraging, and enthusiastic. Their strength lies in their ability to energize and motivate a team to address immediate goals and crises. ESFP leaders are keenly observant of the moods and behavior of other people, and typically use this perceptive ability to connect with their employees and provide them with what they need to succeed.

ESFPs are good at building consensus and mobilizing support, but prefer to present a positive image and maintain pleasant interactions rather than get involved in disputes. They can struggle with conflict on a team, and may shy away from making difficult decisions in favor of keeping things cheerful and light.

ESFPs prefer to problem-solve in the present and typically dislike long-range planning. They do best when leading a supportive and cooperative team to achieve short-term, concrete results.