The Supervisor
The ESTJ personality type is Extraverted, Sensing, Thinking, and Judging, which means they are energized by time spent working with others, are practical and detail oriented, make decisions based on logic and past experience, and value organization, efficiency, and hierarchy. Disciplined, decisive, and dutiful, ESTJs are eager to take responsibility and they deliver a job well done. They are direct, and honest communicators, but they can appear harsh and become impatient with others’ emotions. ESTJs trust structures of authority and feel personally responsible for upholding the laws, rules, and regulations that they feel keep society running smoothly.

ESTJ Strengths

Organization and efficiency. ESTJs are planners and list makers—orderly and scheduled. Their brain naturally imposes structure on their lives and on their time. ESTJs enjoy creating order out of chaos and are always punctual. This contributes to the perception others have of them as reliable, dependable and steady. 

Dedication and commitment. No one could accuse the ESTJ of shirking, and it’s natural for this type to give 110 percent in all areas of life and exhibit boundless energy as they do. They’d sooner sacrifice their personal time or preferences than renege on a commitment or fail to submit their best work. Employers can count on ESTJs to uphold the vision of the organization at all times, to work at full speed and to encourage others to do the same. 

Integrity. ESTJs demonstrate consistent integrity in roles of leadership, believing the rules apply as much to them as their subordinates. And though they skillfully exercise authority, they also show great respect for their own superiors and don’t struggle to follow orders. They see that organizations and societies function best when there is a healthy sense of respect and duty. 

Stewardship. ESTJs are the gatekeepers of society. They are people who feel personally responsible for upholding the standard and formulating a very clear picture of what passes and what doesn’t. As such, ESTJs can always be counted on to uphold the laws, rules, regulations and ordinances that keep society structured and functioning smoothly. On the home front, ESTJs are committed to their families and desire to provide well for anyone they consider to be under their care. 

ESTJ Weaknesses

Judgmental. A black-and-white approach to life can be a significant pitfall for the ESTJ. While they are commendably committed to their beliefs, they often forget that all of the principles they espouse are neither universal nor objective, and the traditional, time-honored way isn’t the only way. ESTJs may fail to see that innovation can be beneficial and can be impatient with people who choose non-conventional lifestyles, coming across as judgmental or narrow-minded as a result. 

Uncomfortable with emotions. ESTJs often fail to value emotions or take feelings into account—their own and others’—and this can make them appear harsh, abrasive, utilitarian and uncaring. Their typically low EQ may lead them to misjudge the intentions of others and to be equally misunderstood. They often have little patience for people who think or act intuitively or who react emotionally, seeing these as liabilities rather than potential strengths. 

Workaholism. While the ESTJ work ethic is to be commended, people of this type can also err on the side of workaholism and perfectionism. Their Type A personality and intensity can be a little hard for others to take, as they are often quite unsympathetic to those who may not work as hard or as “perfectly” as they do. 

Stubborn and inflexible. ESTJs are committed to their own way or perspective as objectively right, and this can impede the process of personal growth. In fact, ESTJs are often so firmly planted in their original belief, as well as their own rightness, that they fail to acknowledge new or conflicting information that would lead to an altered and perhaps truer conclusion. Rigidity can keep them from being truly open minded and their practical approach to thinking and life in general may stifle their ability to think imaginatively or to exercise vision.

ESTJ Growth and Development

In order to reach their full potential, ESTJs should:

Withhold judgment. ESTJs may be quite sure they have the motive, intent, outcome and conclusion figured out before they’ve received even a fraction of the details, and fail to acknowledge that he or she may not have the whole story. They will do well to hold off a bit before delivering a snap judgment or assessment. Focus on asking more questions, waiting for more details and acknowledging that as certain as you are, there may be things you are not seeing. 

Live and let live. ESTJs often don’t realize that their way isn’t the only way and that other personalities have much to contribute and should not be dismissed. The ESTJ that can bend a little might find that flexibility and openness isn’t such a bad thing. There is really no need to be stubborn just for the sake of it. 

Be more self-critical. ESTJs have a tendency to think they are always right and that their moral compass is objective, absolute and universal. But their objectivity isn’t always objective as it appears—they have a standard that feels objective to them, often due to “how it’s always been done.” They would benefit from realizing that personal objectivity is, by definition, somewhat subjective, and spending some time examining the bases of their beliefs.

Get in touch with their feelings. ESTJ’s need to work on acknowledging their own feelings, and being a little more careful with the feelings of others. While it may seem that it’s “not personal,” it may be to a subordinate or a child. Harshness and rigidity can drive away good employees and estrange family members, so make a point to recognize the gifts and talents of others and to be intentional in showing appreciation for these talents. 

Take it easy. ESTJs need to work on stress relief and intentionally taking it easy. While they don’t want to be seen as lazy, it helps to remember that leisure and rest are not signs of sloth, but normal ways for humans to recharge. ESTJs benefit from taking vacations that really are vacations (not endless activity, planning and tourism) and to practice forced rest. Practices such as yoga, tai chi and meditation can help.