ESFJ Personality Type

The Provider in Myers-Briggs

Overview
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What is an ESFJ personality type (The Provider)?

People with the ESFJ personality type tend to be empathetic, warm-hearted, and supportive in their behavior. They’re often social butterflies, and their desire to connect with people makes them popular. Highly aware of the others’ needs, they may seek to help frequently and sincerely.

Type ESFJ Personality Traits

As extroverts, Providers are talkative, energetic, and thrive around people. They prefer not to spend too much time alone.

Highly observant, their focus lies more on the details than on how everything connects together. They trust facts over theories—and they make decisions based on what they can see right now.

ESFJs are feelers who prioritize emotion rather than logic in their decision-making.  Empathetic and diplomatic, they do what feels right rather than what makes sense.

They’re structured and organized, preferring to plan ahead so they know what’s going to happen. They like rules, processes and schedules.

In summary, ESFJ personality types tend to…

  • Always try to do the right thing

  • Look for ways to help, support, and develop people.

  • Express caring and understanding.

  • Avoid initiating conflict with others.

  • Enjoy organizing and hosting social gatherings.

  • Be highly invested in how their friends are doing.

  • Adapt to the situations and people around them.

Strengths & Blind Spots

Every personality archetype has strengths and blind spots, and these are often amplified in professional settings where we often encounter a diverse group of people with vastly different backgrounds and value systems.

Strengths that are typically associated with the ESFJ personality type include...

  • Making sure team members, customers, and clients feel cared for.

  • Paying careful attention to the details of an event or meeting.

  • Thinking about the impact a change will have on the group.

  • Promoting the benefits of teamwork and cooperation when motivating others.

  • Developing and seeing the potential of team members.

  • Providing a warm, stabilizing presence for others in difficult situations.

  • Pouring resources into developing relationships with those around them.

  • Remaining consistent in personality and leadership style.

  • Regular communication.


Blind spots that are typically associated with the ESFJ personality type include…

  • A strong desire to avoid conflict.

  • Not being assertive when necessary.

  • Easily thrown off balance by emotionally charged situations.

  • Struggling to give negative feedback, leaving others unclear about the problem.

  • Losing objectivity by a desire to go along with with others want.

  • Avoiding decisions that carry a risk of losing approval.

  • Redoing work rather than confronting someone who takes criticism poorly.

How ESFJ personality types like to work

Communicating with an ESFJ personality type

Use a friendly, agreeable, warm tone and try to relate to them personally, without getting into business discussion too quickly.

Meeting with an ESFJ personality type

Meetings should be done in-person when possible, with a prepared agenda.

Emailing an ESFJ personality type

Emails should be warm, sincere, and expressive—leaving no subtext that could suggest an imaginary conflict.

Giving feedback to an ESFJ personality type

Feedback should be delivered with empathy and paired with a majority of affirmation.

Resolving conflict with an ESFJ personality type

This type doesn’t want to be in conflict, so they may try to end the discussion prematurely without it being resolved. Remain sensitive and caring as you work to dig for the root problem.

Motivators & Stressors

When people experience pain, stress, or dissatisfaction at work, it can usually be attributed to energy-draining activities. Therefore, it’s important to know what kinds of activities energize each personality type and which activities drain them.

Providers tend to be motivated and energized by…

  • Teaching, coaching, and advising other people.

  • Organizing events, plans, and meetings for others.

  • Abiding by a set of longstanding rules.

  • Building long-term trust and loyalty with consistent, predictable behavior.

  • Paying attention to the needs and concerns of other people.

  • Understanding and explaining the humanistic impact of a big organizational decision.

  • Communicating in a friendly, casual tone.

  • Working to understand how people feel about a recent change.

  • Solving problems with diplomacy and openness.

  • Working directly with other people instead of alone.


Providers tend to be drained by…

  • Communicating with quick, clinical messages that lack human connection.

  • Working in isolation.

  • Being assertive and forceful to get people to complete a project.

  • Having to take too many factors into account in order to make decisions.

  • Monitoring and measuring results closely.

  • Completing ambitious projects on a tight deadline.

  • Making decisions quickly with limited data.

  • Navigating large, complex systems.

  • Being put in situations where they have to make unpopular decisions.

  • Having to critically question existing practices and procedures.

  • Taking primary ownership over processes and timelines.

Best jobs for an ESFJ personality type

Providers generally enjoy warm, bustling environments where they can use their detail-oriented skill set to take care of other people. They thrive with cooperation and harmony and fit well in jobs where they can frequently give and receive verbal affirmation.

Common jobs for people with the ESFJ personality type are:

  • Teacher

  • Professor

  • Counselor

  • Childcare

  • Nurse

  • Financial Advisor

  • Ministry

  • Client Services

  • Account Manager

  • Director of Partnerships

  • Human Resources

  • Therapist

  • Executive Assistant

  • Customer Success

  • Customer Support

  • Social worker

  • Physician

  • Receptionist

  • Bookkeeper

  • Office manager

  • Personal assistant

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