ENFP vs. ISTJ

Compatibility

So much has been written about whether opposites attract or difference is the key but in real life it is all about understanding the differences, accommodating and managing them. This section will help you see where the potential for conflict exists between personality types and help you manage it.

The ENFP is caring, creative, quick and impulsive, energised by the possibilities life can bring. They love devising new ways of doing things, and bring a totally unique and fresh perspective to people and situations. People-centred, fresh and spontaneous, they will embrace things with energy and enthusiasm but may not follow through or get into detail as their focus is on ‘what’s next?’

Logical, detached and detailed, ISTJs use their experience and store of knowledge, to plan and will work quietly and steadily behind the scenes towards conclusion. The ISTJ has a strong sense of duty, loyalty and tradition and once they are clear on what’s expected, they will work in a methodical way to complete. Risk averse they prefer the known, and prefer facts to concepts.

Relationships

There is no perfect type and in the same way there are no perfect matches. We can all learn to adapt and modify our behaviour if we choose and this section is therefore not designed to suggest particular specific matches but to demonstrate areas of similarity and difference so that a true understanding can happen and thus reduce the risk of misunderstandings.

Being around them

Optimistic and hopeful, the outgoing and cheerful nature of the ENFP belies a more sensitive soul who can take criticism to heart and who needs to be liked. They are outgoing, fun, and genuinely like people.

Because of their intense focus ISTJs may be seen as slightly detached, cold and impersonal, possibly even as uncaring. This is not deliberate but it can alienate those trying to get close or get to know them.

Dealing with emotions

ENFPs are emotional people who tend to be at the heart of dramas. Their genuinely caring nature means they will ensure that the mood is kept light, that everyone feels valued and that the ideas will flow.

Detached and factual ISTJs often find it difficult to deal with emotions as they see this as irrational and when others display emotions they have to translate the emotion into factual language that they can understand.

Openness and sharing feelings

An ENFP will wear their heart on their sleeve and has no problem being open. However their values are so important and these are internalised so it may be possible to inadvertently hurt the ENFP.

Deep and private ISTJs will tend to keep their feelings to themselves and until they have the measure of people will be unlikely to proactively share their feelings. Too much interaction sucks their energies.

Drivers and values

The ENFP cannot help but see possibilities. Future oriented they will look far beyond the obvious often seeing things that others fail to, driven by the new, the complex, the interesting and caring for people.

ISTJs like people to stick to agreements and commitments and may not understand that this is human nature, not human deficiency as they themselves take such commitments incredibly seriously.

Building stronger relationships

Learn what ENFPs are like in a relationship. Understanding the differences between two types is a really great starting point for getting along. For practical guidance on building strong relationships take our practical tutorial.

Get along better with an ISTJ. Understanding the differences between two types is a really great starting point for getting along. For practical guidance on building strong relationships take our practical tutorial.

Conflict

Some people seek harmony, some see conflict as simply robust discussions, some people are emotional, some more factual. So there is no right or wrong about this and what we are trying to do is help two different people each understand how the other might deal with conflict and what it will mean for the relationship.

Initial response to conflict situations

The ENFP does not like conflict and will be the one at the heart of the action bringing peace and understanding. Warm, affectionate and disconcertingly spontaneous people will like and trust the ENFP.

ISTJs prefer to keep themselves to themselves and so in conflict situations they will struggle with overt conflict, ie with someone who wants to engage verbally. They are fine with more formal conflict.

Issues they'll fight on

ENFPs are by nature very caring and they do not like seeing anything they perceive as unfair or unjust. However their style is to bring it all together in harmony, rather than go into battle.

ISTJs have a strong sense of right and wrong and this tends to be around what has been agreed. They believe if you have said you’ll do something then it is akin to a contract and you should fulfil that.

Conflict style / communication

As the ENFP is comfortable with emotions they are fine at using emotional language and being tactile and people will tend to open up to them and this allows conflict to be resolved amicably.

Formal processes such as writing letters of complaint or going through the proper channels plays to ISTJ strengths. They are measured and formal and so will be very factual and non-emotional.

How they feel after

For the ENFP it will depend on if the conflict was resolved and was everyone happy or did the person who was upset get over it. It is because the don’t like conflict that they’re great at diffusing it.

It is all about right and wrong. ISTJs do not like conflict if it involves emotion, as they prefer to see things far more factually and in a binary way. For them it will be about did it play out fairly and as agreed?

Dealing with conflict

Some types dislike and avoid conflict, whereas others use it to solve problems and get things done. Understand how an ENFP deals with conflict in our practical tutorial.

Manage conflict with an ISTJ by taking our practical tutorial. Do they use conflict to solve problems and get things done, or do they dislike and avoid it? Find out more.

At Work

We all bring something different to the team and we all agree that difference and balance are good things. However when someone is different from us we might not understand them so well so in this section we allow you to compare the differences at work, how these might manifest themselves and how best to manage them.

Contribution to the team

ENFPs take a warm, genuine interest in others, they can 'read' people well, and will act as the catalyst for new initiatives and creative ways of solving problems. They will bring a radical perspective to the team.

ISTJs bring a strong sense of planning, agreeing objectives and working steadily towards closure. They have a strong eye for detail and can therefore protect the team from going off in a wrong direction.

Leading

ENFPs are so insightful and people centric they will be caring leaders taking a genuine interest in those in their care. They may not be so good at giving bad news or creating systems and processes though.

ISTJs will be great at ensuring everyone is clear on what is expected, everyone knows what the plan is and their part in it and ensuring that the plan is enacted, so more task- than people-focused.

Being managed

ENFPs do not like bureaucracy or rules and regulations and they will argue long and eloquently defending their reasons. They are quick and nimble, working in short bursts of energy and need flexibility.

Best managed by clear tasks, ISTJs need plenty of time to fully understand what is expected then let them get on, working with consistent steady energy towards completion, not micro managed.

Attention to detail / focus

ENFPs need variety, stimulus and to be surrounded by people. Solitary tasks, targets, repetition, formal structures or hierarchy don’t suit, as they work best in a flexible workplace where relationships are valued.

ISTJs have and incredible eye for detail, focus and a desire to drive for closure. They will want to slowly assimilate information and be sure of their facts before moving forward and this will be as per the plan.

Creativity

The ENFP is creative, quick, and impulsive. They are excellent at devising new ways of doing things, and bring a totally unique and fresh perspective to people, projects and situations.

ISTJs are more factual than creative and their value is exactly that: ensuring that was has been agreed is delivered exactly as agreed and translating everything into a plan that is clear and can be delivered.

Getting the best and motivating

Find out how to get the best out of an ENFP and what motivates them in our practical tutorial. Are they more motivated by the task at hand, or by the people around them?

Get the best out an ISTJ and learn the way to motivate them. Are they more motivated by people, or by the task at hand? Find out more in our practical tutorial.

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