Navigating Different Working Styles: Insights for a Collaborative Workplace INTJ-ESTJ

While I’ve been familiar with personality theories like MBTI for some time, my initial fascination waned over the years. My concerns stemmed from the potential for oversimplification, the rigid nature of the types, and the neglect of individual uniqueness. However, I’ve found them surprisingly helpful in navigating workplace dynamics.

While interactions with fellow INTJs and INxJs have been effortless, I’ve experienced some friction with those who identify as ESxJs. Understanding the theory has helped me bridge these communication gaps and appreciate different perspectives.

Contrasting Working Styles:


  • Forward-thinking: Focused on optimization, long-term vision, and big-picture ideas.
  • Independent: Prefer delegation, autonomy, and iconoclastic approaches.
  • Theoretical: Driven by risk-assessment, meritocratic systems, and abstract concepts.


  • Present-oriented: Emphasize stability, maintenance, and practical solutions.
  • Detailed: Thrive on well-defined tasks, clear hierarchies, and micromanagement.
  • Factual: Rely on proven methods, risk aversion, and concrete evidence.

Sample Exchanges:

  • ESxJ: “Let’s make it stable.”
  • INTJ: “Let’s make it easy to change.”
  • ESxJ: “Work now, work later.”
  • INTJ: “Work hard now, work easy later.”
  • ESxJ: “Have we produced enough?”
  • INTJ: “Are we closer to our vision?”
  • ESxJ: “Let’s just get it done!”
  • INTJ: “Why are we doing it?”
  • ESxJ: “What if it breaks?”
  • INTJ: “What is the probability of that?”
  • ESxJ: “The status quo is reliable.”
  • INTJ: “Constant change; adapt or die.”
  • ESxJ: “Learn from mistakes.”
  • INTJ: “Anticipate future mistakes.”
  • ESxJ: “It hasn’t been proven to work.”
  • INTJ: “It should work theoretically.”

Bridging the Gap:

  • Highlight industry volatility and rapid change: Emphasize the dynamic nature of work and the need for adaptability.
  • Quantify intuitive insights: Translate future benefits into concrete terms, like time or cost savings.
  • Explain non-linear growth: Illustrate how progress can take various forms, such as logarithmic or step-by-step advancements.
  • Emphasize the value of focused work: Explain how fewer tasks can lead to greater clarity and efficiency.
  • Acknowledge the risks of progress: Recognize that progress inherently involves some level of uncertainty.
  • Embrace continuous improvement: Emphasize the need to constantly adapt and evolve in a dynamic and competitive environment.
  • Encourage exploration of the unknown: Foster curiosity and investigation into uncharted territories.
  • Value original ideas: Recognize the potential of untested and innovative concepts.

The Benefits of Diverse Thinking:

Open communication and mutual understanding are essential for a productive and collaborative work environment. By appreciating different working styles and learning to bridge the communication gap, we can leverage the strengths of all team members and achieve better results together.

While MBTI categories provide a helpful framework for understanding different personality types, it’s important to remember that individual personalities within each category will vary. The key takeaway is to approach all interactions with an open mind and a willingness to understand different perspectives. By fostering a culture of inclusivity and respect, we can create a workplace where everyone feels valued and empowered to contribute their unique talents.