Can-do attitude. No one will ever call an ESTP lazy or uncertain, and this very self-assured, can-do approach to life and work is certainly a strength. People of this type spend more time acting than thinking, and while this may seem potentially unwise and hasty, they actually process information very rapidly and have a knack for improvising as they go. This makes them excellent in emergency situations as they think on the fly and respond reflexively.
Bold. ESTPs also abound in a mental toughness and sense of competition that make them relentless in pursuing what they are after. They respond well to their physical environment and know how to maneuver their world. They are efficient, clever, bold and driven. And as a result, they often get what they are after and aren’t afraid to take a few risks to get there.
Personable and sociable. ESTPs are people-focused and get along well with just about anyone. They are observant and perceptive, and they read people well. This has the benefit of helping others to feel that they are cared about because the ESTP pays attention and responds appropriately. Though ESTPs may not always pick up on or prioritize emotional cues, they are quick to notice and respond to tangible needs.
Direct. ESTPs are efficient, matter of fact, direct and to the point. They don’t mince words or want to spend a lot of time hemming and hawing. Many people appreciate their honesty and even their bluntness; you always know where you stand with an ESTP. They aren’t afraid to call it like they see it.
Judgmental. While ESTPs’ powers of perception and observation are often seen as strengths, it may also mean they are quick to prejudge situations and people, and to categorize them based upon initial perceptions. The downfall of this is that they potentially sacrifice many opportunities for profitable or enjoyable relationships or experiences simply on the basis of initial outward appearances.
Impatient. Because ESTPs are quick thinkers and doers, they easily become impatient with those who process at a slower pace than they do, who lack their capacity for common sense or street smarts or who tend to be more sensitive or emotional. They feel the emotional concerns of others to be an unnecessary drain on their energy and may resent them. ESTPs will also be reluctant to afford weight to intuition or feelings-based arguments.
Unstructured. People of this type tend to live in a state of urgency and emergency because they do very little advance planning. Though they may be comfortable with this pattern of living, it breeds chaos for everyone around them and can impede their professional and personal relationships. The crux of the issue is that ESTPs are often unstructured and undisciplined, exercising poor time management skills and taking on far more than they can handle; often because they have a hard time saying no or they refuse to admit they can’t fit it all in.
Commitment phobic. ESTPs hate to be bored and want life to always be new, stimulating and interesting. The reality, however, is that life is often not interesting or novel and relationships can get a little dull at certain points. They often lack the patience and the drive to stick it out through the low points.
ESTP Growth and Development
In order to reach their full potential, ESTPs should:
Look inward. ESTPs will benefit from taking time for self-reflection and introspection, especially as they age. Throughout their lives they are prone to focus externally, always responding to their environments and the needs of the moment. The constant attention to things outside of themselves can distract them from healthy introspection, causing them to overlook important aspects of their own character and development and leave personal blind spots unaddressed.
Consider the consequences. ESTPs are natural risk takers, prone to pursue adventure and risky behaviors. Naturally, this invites the potential for disastrous consequences. Though ESTPs are quite confident in their abilities and usually accurate in these personal assessments, they will benefit from greater time spent considering the potential outcomes of their actions and decisions.
Think ahead. ESTPs live life so much in the present that they are often incapable of effectively planning for the future. Though they do enjoy flying by the seat of their pants, ESTPs will find they benefit from composing at least a loose plan or framework. It isn’t necessary to follow it exactly, but it can help ensure that they move in the direction of meeting their personal and professional goals. They may benefit from help with long-range future planning as well as developing time management skills.
Follow through. Constant living and responding in the moment can impede follow through and follow up. People of this type must endeavor to balance the acute with the chronic, the emergency situation or deadline with regular life. ESTPs should try to look at the whole project or problem and its future impact, not just the urgent piece. For the ESTP it is easy, and even comfortable, to jump from urgency to urgency, putting out fires one by one. But jobs need to be finished and wrapped up before hopping to the next task.
Check the rulebook. ESTPs naturally follow their own plans, systems and internal codes. This isn’t because they are intentionally insubordinate, but because they often don’t consider that there may be rules or established protocol that should be considered before plunging ahead. They will avoid unnecessary conflict and tension in the workplace if they can remember to get their plans approved before getting started.