The Dynamo Estp
Profile of the ESTP Personality Type
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ESTP in a Nutshell
ESTPs are energetic thrillseekers who are at their best when putting out fires, whether literal or metaphorical. They bring a sense of dynamic energy to their interactions with others and the world around them. They assess situations quickly and move adeptly to respond to immediate problems with practical solutions.
Active and playful, ESTPs are often the life of the party and have a good sense of humor. They use their keen powers of observation to assess their audience and adapt quickly to keep interactions exciting. Although they typically appear very social, they are rarely sensitive; the ESTP prefers to keep things fast-paced and silly rather than emotional or serious.
What Makes the ESTP Tick
ESTPs are often natural athletes; they easily navigate their physical environment and are typically highly coordinated. They like to use this physical aptitude in the pursuit of excitement and adventure, and they often enjoy putting their skills to the test in risky or even dangerous activities.
The ESTP's focus is action in the moment. They are engaged with their environments and solve practical problems quickly. ESTPs are excellent in emergencies, when they can apply their logical reasoning to situations where immediate action is necessary. Long-term goals are less interesting to the ESTP, who prefers to see tangible results in the moment.
Recognizing an ESTP
The first thing you notice about the ESTP is likely to be their energy. They’re often chatting, joking, and flirting with friends and strangers alike. They enjoy engaging playfully with others and amusing everyone around them with their irreverent sense of humor. They tend to keep people on their toes, never quite knowing what the ESTP will poke fun at next. ESTPs are unabashedly gregarious with people, but their interest in individuals may not last long; they are more likely to work a room, having a laugh with everyone, than they are to engage in depth with any one person.
ESTPs are comfortable in their physical environment and always looking for some action or activity. They tend to be the most naturally coordinated of all the types and are often found playing sports or engaging in various physical activities, especially ones with an element of danger. They are the stereotypical “adrenaline junkies” and may be found skydiving, motorcycle racing, or enjoying other extreme sports.
Famous ESTPs include Donald Trump, George W. Bush, Winston Churchill, Mae West, Eddie Murphy, Bruce Willis, Madonna, and Evel Knievel.
ESTP in the Population
ESTPs make up:
- 4% of the general population
- 6% of men
- 3% of women
Popular hobbies for an ESTP include all sorts of sports and athletic pursuits, especially team sports and risky or adventurous activities like race car driving, boxing, or flying.
What the Experts Say
"They tend to prefer action to conversation. The more directly a matter can be translated into action, the clearer and more effective they become."
- Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing
"None are as socially sophisticated as they, none as suave and polished—and none such master manipulators of the people around them."
- David Keirsey, Please Understand Me II
"With a basic built-in restlessness, these are they hyperactive 'doers,' who like to keep their hands in a variety of pots, churning as much as they can to keep everyone on their toes and to keep life exciting."
- Otto Kroeger, Type Talk at Work
Research on ESTP
Interesting facts about the ESTP:
- On personality trait measures, score as Dominant, Flexible, Demanding, and Sociable
- More frequent among patients suffering from chronic pain
- One of four types reporting highest levels of assertiveness in college
- One of two types with lowest college GPA
- Among most likely of all types to stay in college
- Values at work include autonomy, variety, independence, and structure
- Overrepresented among MBA students
- Commonly found in careers in marketing, skilled trades, business, and law enforcement
Work Style and Top Careers for the ESTP
ESTP at Work
At work, the ESTP is motivated to solve logical problems in the moment. ESTPs have a solid grasp of the concrete realities of a situation and a good sense of the resources at their disposal. Because they understand the facts of the present, they are often able to quickly see a way out of difficult situations.
The ESTP relies on past experience to choose the best approach for the situation at hand. ESTPs are concrete and hands-on, and have a kinetic sense of how things work. Although ESTPs may have trouble envisioning abstract ideas, they are flexible in their approach: if something sounds logical, they are usually willing to give it a try.
ESTPs often choose careers that take advantage of their athleticism, their mechanical skills, or their ability to negotiate their physical surroundings. They tend to prefer objects to ideas and often like a tangible product. They may have trouble sitting still and often avoid being stuck behind a desk.
ESTPs like a JOB that is a bit unpredictable, and offers them some fun and adventure throughout the workday. They want a job which allows them plenty of flexibility to solve problems on the spot, without pressure to follow set procedures or plans.
ESTPs as Leaders
ESTPs are eager to take charge, especially in a crisis situation. They are energetic and persuasive, and read others easily to adapt their approach and move the group toward their own point of view. Blunt and assertive, ESTPs readily offer their opinion without much attention to office politics or personal reactions.
ESTP leaders seek efficiency and trust what they’ve seen done before. They sometimes struggle with long-range planning; they may have trouble visualizing the future and prefer to solve problems as they arise. They want action and movement, and will engage enthusiastically with their teams to produce immediate results.
ESTPs on a Team
ESTPs are enthusiastic participants who enjoy identifying resources and moving dynamically through problems to find practical solutions. They’re often great in a crisis, when their flexibility and action orientation makes them a clear head in the crowd. They may act as the voice of reason and will often point the group toward using available means to take immediate action.
ESTPs often want to keep interactions fun and casual on a team, and may have conflict with team members who are overly serious or insist that things be done a particular way. ESTPs prefer to keep things open-ended and flexible, and colleagues who want to lock into a plan may find resistance from the ESTP, especially if the ESTP does not see immediate, concrete benefits to the proposed action. They do best when they’re allowed to solve problems in their own practical, no-nonsense way, without a lot of imposed structure or rules.
Popular Careers for the ESTP
Top careers for the ESTP include:
Least Popular Careers for ESTPs
It is important to note that any personality type can be successful in any occupation. However, some occupations are well suited to the natural talents and preferred work style of the ESTP, while other occupations demand modes of thinking and behavior that do not come as naturally to the ESTP. Occupations that require the ESTP to operate outside their natural preferences may prove stressful or draining, and often sound unappealing to ESTPs who are choosing a career.
The following occupations have been found to be unpopular among ESTPs, based on data gathered from surveys of the general population.
The ESTP Personality Type in Relationships
ESTP Communication Style
ESTPs tend to be persuasive, energetic communicators. They quickly observe the realities of the present situation and engage others to take action on practical problems. Many ESTPs speak very freely, and can be blunt and impatient in getting their message across. They may not want to wait for someone else to buy in before they can act. The ESTP may come off as charming, and many ESTPs are masters at negotiating with others so that they can achieve their goals in the most efficient way possible.
ESTPs as Partners
In relationships, the ESTP is fun-loving and pragmatic. Hedonistic and flirtatious, ESTP partners tend to keep things exciting. They are often pursuing adventure and like a playmate who will come along for the ride.
ESTPs tend to have little patience for serious discussions or emotional exploration, preferring to keep things fun and action-packed. They tend to be attentive to their partners’ physical needs, but may neglect the deeper emotional connections. Serious discussions about feelings rarely hold much appeal for the thrillseeking ESTP.
ESTPs are enthusiastic and reasonable problem-solvers. However, their orientation toward quick thinking may lead them to try to apply a solution before they fully understand the issues involved in a conflict, especially when complex and difficult emotions are involved.
ESTPs want a partner that will appreciate their practicality and willingness to get their hands dirty, and allow them plenty of freedom to pursue excitement.
ESTPs as Parents
As parents, ESTPs often connect with their children through a shared appreciation for activity and spontaneity. ESTPs are often as interested and curious about the world as their children are, and will encourage their children to engage physically and take risks.
ESTP parents are less patient with timid or sensitive children, and may want their children to be hardy and thick-skinned. They may not have much interest in quiet moments or emotional discussions. They enjoy seeing their children succeed, especially in athletic or competitive pursuits, and will often play the role of enthusiastic coach.