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.
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.
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.
Weaknesses 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.
When people experience pain, stress, or dissatisfaction, 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.
ESFJ personality types 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.
ESFJ personality types tend to be stressed and 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.
ESFJs tend to thrive in lively, warm environments that allow them to spend time connecting with others. They enjoy consistent work that involves being attentive to the needs of other people.
ESFJ personality types feel energized at work when...
- They are asked to help improve the company culture.
- Their boss is patient and encouraging.
- Their peers are personally invested in one another.
- Their direct reports come to them for advice.
ESFJ personality types feel drained at work when...
- They have to work closely with specific facts and data.
- Their boss requires them to focus on the big picture.
- Their peers are overly critical of their actions.
- Their direct reports make no effort to form personal connections.
Providers generally enjoy warm, bustling environments where they can use their detail-oriented skill set to take care of other people. They work well with cooperation and harmony and fit in jobs where they can frequently give and receive verbal affirmation.
Common jobs for people with ESFJ personality types
- Financial Advisor
- Client Services
- Account Manager
- Director of Partnerships
- Human Resources
- Executive Assistant
- Customer Success
- Customer Support
- Social worker
- Office manager
- Personal assistant
ESFJ Relationships (Professional)
ESFJs can help analytical, introverted people recognize the importance of helping others and building relationships.
ESFJ personality types tend to work well with others who...
- Welcome and encourage them
- Avoid creating unnecessary conflict
- Recognize and appreciate their contributions
ESFJ personality types may hit obstacles in professional relationships when they...
- Struggle to separate their emotions from decision-making
- Work closely with unpredictable people
- Need to be the one to deliver bad news
ESFJ Relationships (Romantic)
ESFJs can be attentive, loving partners who tend to put their partner first and enjoy taking time to connect on a deeper level.
In a romantic relationship, Provider personality types bring strengths like...
- Ability to easily plan-ahead
- Remaining empathetic to their partner’s viewpoint
- Helping to maintain a peaceful environment
In romantic relationships, Provider personality types may have trouble...
- Processing situations logically
- Adjusting to new or unforeseen circumstances
- Addressing problems that will likely cause conflict
Myers-Briggs is a personality framework that can help you understand other people and why they behave in certain ways.
Explore Myers-Briggs types here:
ESFJ Slide Show
Click through the slides below to learn more about ESFJs:
Related Personality Types