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ESTP Personality Type – The “Persuader”

Extraverted (E), Sensing (S), Thinking (T) and Perceiving (P)

The ESTP personality type is nicknamed the "Persuader" and belongs to the SP Creator temperament. ESTPs live in the "here and now." Their strength lies in their ability to persuade others and get things done. They are enthusiastic and lively. They think on their feet and thrive in crisis situations. The rush that risk-taking situations produce is very appealing to the ESTPs. They are straightforward, realistic and take criticism well.

ESTPs direct their energy outward. They are energized by interaction with others. They are gregarious, outgoing, assertive and talkative. As Sensors, Persuaders process information through their senses. They are realistic, practical and concrete thinkers. They live in the present. Persuaders are Thinkers and are thick-skinned. They see things objectively and do not take things personally. ESTPs are rational and logical people. ESTPs are spontaneous and carefree. They are adaptable and like to keep their options open.

Persuaders have an uncanny ability to read other people's nonverbal communication and to anticipate what others will say and do. They are very adept at winning others over. They are generous, likeable and humorous. Persuaders are drawn to people they can have fun with and talk to. They are good at getting people to do what they want.

"I learned a long time ago in Hollywood that the only person I should vote for is myself." — Jack Nicholson

ESTPs are concrete learners. They enjoy learning practical skills and they often prefer to acquire those skills by hands-on experience. They may become bored with in-depth analysis or passive learning. ESTPs do not like to sit still and they learn well through interaction.

Describing an ESTP

ESTPs can often be described with these words. They commonly posess the following strengths and weaknesses.

Characteristic of an ESTP

  • Realistic
  • Practical
  • Adaptable
  • Direct
  • Experiential
  • Logical
  • Factual
  • Spontaneous
  • Outgoing
  • Risk taking
  • Thick-skinned
  • Enthusiastic
  • Assertive
  • Sensation-loving
  • Carefree
  • Objective
  • Sociable
  • Active
  • Persuasive
  • Gregarious
  • Lively
  • Informal
  • Rational
  • Problem solver

Typical Strengths

  • Persuasive and charming
  • Humorous and popular
  • Great at dealing with crisis situations
  • Fun-loving and generous
  • Handles criticism well

Possible Weaknesses

  • Not able to express their own feelings
  • Easily becomes bored
  • Commitments are difficult
  • Can be insensitive with their humor
ESTPs by Gender Pie Chart
  • ESTPs make up 10% of all 16 personality types. ESTPs are the fourth most prevalent personality type. On average, people are more Extraverted, Sensing and Thinking than the opposite preferences.
  • 1 in every 8 males is an ESTP (12.5% of all males). 1 in every 13 females is an ESTP (7.5% of all females). Male ESTPs are the third most common type-gender combination.
  • There are significantly more male ESTPs than there are female ESTPs. Just over one-third of ESTPs are female. One reason there are more male ESTPs is that males tend to be Thinkers (T) while females are more often Feelers (F).

ESTP Preferences

The ESTP's Preferences are Extraversion, Sensing, Thinking and Perceiving. These determine the ESTP's Personality Type.

Extraverted (E)

Extraversion is characterized by a preference to focus on the world outside the self. ESTPs are energized by social gatherings, parties and group activities. Extraverts are usually enthusiastic, gregarious and animated. Their communication style is verbal and assertive. As Extraverts, ESTPs often need to talk. They enjoy the limelight.

Thinking (T)

Thinking prioritizes objectivity. As Thinkers, ESTPs make decisions based on facts. They are ruled by their head instead of their heart (but are not without emotion). ESTPs judge situations and others based on logic. They value truth over tact and can easily identify flaws. They are critical thinkers and oriented toward problem solving.

Sensing (S)

Sensing focuses on the present. As sensors, ESTPs are "here and now" people. They are factual and process information through the five senses. They see things as they are because they are concrete and literal thinkers. They trust what is certain. ESTP value realism and common sense. They like ideas with practical applications.

Perceiving (P)

Perceiving refers to a person's adaptability and flexibility. Persuaders are random thinkers who prefer to keep their options open. They thrive with the unexpected and are open to change. They are spontaneous and often juggle several projects at once. They enjoy starting a task better than finishing it. Persuaders play as they work.

ESTP Cognitive Functions

Every person engages the world through four Cognitive Functions. The ESTP's primary function is Extraverted Sensing and secondary is Introverted Thinking.

Extraverted Sensing (Primary)

ESTPs use this function most often. Through Sensing (S), ESTPs process data with their five senses. The Extraverted Sensing function allows them to process life through their experiences. It is being aware of what is seen, smelled, touched, heard and tasted. It is being energized by experience and living "in the moment."

Introverted Thinking (Secondary)

ESTPs use of this function is somewhat high. While Thinking (T), Persuaders make decisions based on logic and reason. The Introverted Thinking function enables them to categorize and analyze information that they receive. It is the ability to identify inconsistencies and know how things work as well the ability to solve problems.

Extraverted Feeling (Tertiary)

ESTPs use this function but to a lesser degree. When Feeling (F), ESTPs make decisions based on feelings. The Extraverted Feeling function allows ESTPs to tune their behavior to the needs of others. Is it the ability to relate and the desire to connect with others with warmth and consideration as well as draw others out and responds to expressed or unexpressed needs.

Introverted Intuition (Least)

ESTPs use this function least of the four. With Intuition (N), ESTPs process data through impressions, possibilities and meanings. Introverted Intuition enables Persuaders to have a sense about the future. It is the ability to grasp a pattern or plan. Information that is hard to understand and dissect is more easily processed through Introverted Intuition.

ESTPs and Work

ESTPs often do well in business. They love the challenge of selling and negotiating. They are driven to achieve what others might consider impossible. They are energized by results and are not slowed down by obstacles. ESTPs are gifted at using the resources they posses in order to achieve their goals.

ESTP Career Matches

People with the ESTP personality type may find satisfaction with the following careers which tend to match well with their Persuader personality.

  • Carpenter
  • Craftsman
  • Paramedic/EMT
  • Police Officer
  • Detective
  • Driver
  • Firefighter
  • Military
  • Farmer
  • Comedian
  • IT Support
  • Entrepreneur
  • Marketer
  • Project Manager
  • Computer Technician
  • Sales Agent

Famous ESTPs

Here is a sampling of Famous People and Fictional Characters that may share the ESTP personality type.

  • Donald Trump
    US President, Businessman
  • Madonna
  • Jack Nicholson
  • James Buchanan
    American President
  • Mae West
  • Ernest Hemingway
    American Novelist
  • Simon Peter
    Disciple of Jesus
  • Lucille Ball
    Actress (I Love Lucy)
  • Roy Rogers
    Singer, Actor
  • Eddie Murphy
    Actor, Comedian
  • Ann Jillian
  • Jimmy Conners
    Tennis Player
  • Cybil Shepherd
  • Jacob (Israel)
    Jewish Patriarch
  • Bruce Willis
    Actor (Die Hard)
  • Michael J. Fox
    Actor (Back to the Future)
  • Joan Cusack
    Actress, Comedian
  • Chuck Norris
    Martial Artist, Actor
  • Louie DePalma
  • Jake "J.J" Gittes
  • Spike Spiegel
    Cowboy Bebop
  • James Bond
    James Bond Series
  • Sonny Corleone
  • Tuco
    The Good, the Bad and...
  • Charlie
    Dead Poets Society
  • Elle Driver
    Kill Bill Vol. 1
  • Huckleberry Finn
    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
  • Bernie Bernbaum
    Miller's Crossing
  • Vincent Vega
    Pulp Fiction
  • Bart Simpson
    The Simpsons


ESTPs are people-oriented. They are flexible and adaptable in all situations. They are energetic and fun. They are direct and clear and can take the same kind of honesty from others. The ESTP's greatest contribution is their ability to get things done and work well with others.