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Thread: How to get along with ESTJ's

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array INTPness's Avatar
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    Default How to get along with ESTJ's

    ESTJ's,

    I've known a lot of you guys in my life. As you might know, INTP's are very different from ESTJ's. It's been hard for me to get along with them. Right now I am working for an ESTJ and I'm running into the same problems that I've had with other ESTJ's, so I'm coming to you for advice. I want my working relationship with this person to be the best that it can be. Maybe it won't be perfect, but I want it to be good.

    He's very difficult for me to read. Sometimes he comes into work and says, "Good morning everyone. How was your weekend? It looks like we're going to have some good weather this week," etc, etc. He wants to chit-chat and be friendly. Other times it's like, "what the hell are you doing? Didn't you think about this? Don't do it that way!" Blah, blah, blah. It's all a bunch of negative crap. Like he forgot to eat his Wheaties before he left the house. Or maybe the dog threw up on his shoe as he was leaving the house. His negativity makes me want to get up and walk out.

    Anyways, when he's in a good mood and wants to chit chat, he expects people to talk to him about whatever (sometimes lame) subject that he's talking about. Usually, I'm not interested in what he's talking about. I'd rather just be left alone and do my work. I wish he could see that and appreciate that. But, then later, when he doesn't look busy I might try to talk to him just so that he knows I'm sociable and somewhat friendly (not because I feel like talking to him) and then he won't want to talk.

    What's the best thing one of your employees/co-workers could do to at least get some of your respect? Is it OK to just shut up 90% of the time and do my work or is he going to think I'm a prude? When I stay quiet and just focus on my work, it's like he thinks I need something to talk about. I don't. I just want to work. Besides, we don't have much to talk about anyways. He doesn't want to talk about things I want to talk about and vice versa. We don't have the same interests at all. But, I don't want him to hate me for crying out loud.
    NTJ's are the only types that have ever made me feel emo.
    ENP's are the only types that have ever made me feel like a sensor.


    There are two great days in a person's life - the day we are born and the day we discover why. --William Barclay

  2. #2
    One day and the next Array Rainne's Avatar
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    I find solid and concrete results usually earn the respect of the ESTJ I know. Performance, performance, performance! Though no matter how hard you try, you can always 'do better', unless you're #1.

    Oh yeah, you should always look like you're putting in effort and doing something. Even if that assignment only took like 15 minutes and you have like a 45 minutes of nothing to do. Just pretend you're working and stressing.
    Weathergirl: District 38 is sunny. Slight rock showers this morning. Chance of rock showers into the afternoon—20 percent. District 39 is cloudy. Chance of rock showers this afternoon—10 percent.
    Edward: Bebop here here! Alright woo hoo!
    Weathergirl: Chance of rock showers today upgraded to 90 percent.
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  3. #3

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    ESTJs in a work environment [also, people have a habit of typing their bosses as ESTJ when it may not be the case...] really just want to see consistent effort and a good degree of ability to independently solve minor problems. My GF's most consistent complaints about her coworkers are that they don't try as hard as she does/care as much and that she has to handhold them through some mundane tasks.

    The first is a bit tough for some INTPs because often our outward appearance is one of nonchalance and apathy, 2 things which can make ESTJs burn in anger, with the intensity of a thousand suns. This is going to sound bizarre, but try to look slightly angry whenever he's around. Gives the impression you're busy. This works like a charm.

    When trying to suggest an alternative way of doing something, you will have to illustrate why this way of doing something is better at achieving your desired goal. Give him a picture of how it will play out. Be concrete, point to objective indications of success. People think Te doms are hardheaded, but I've found them very easy to convince if you use the right language.



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    I'd say get over that "We don't have anything to talk about" attitude. That's one barrier that gets in people's way at work. I don't have a lot to talk about with my ESTJ boss while we do like sports, He and I only have football in common (I'm not a huge baseball fan, except Phillies Playoffs and he's not big into Basketball), so we talk about that when it's in season. Otherwise if it's not about work, I'll ask about him about his kid. He loves his son, so I just try to remember certain things he says to trigger the next time I ask him about little Jackson. He'll go on and on and on, and my eyes start to glaze over, but the guy gets happy. So I give him that- I mean he is my boss.

    I've learned if I'm not careful he will talk to me for WAY too long. So sometime's it's necessary for me to politely end the conversation. It wasn't my normal way of doing things but he can get the raps!

    What kind of work do you do? What is it that he gets all tight over that he's yelling that you did something wrong?

  5. #5
    Gentle Breeze Array PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    My husband (who is an ESTJ manager) wants to know how you know if your boss is an ESTJ. Personally, he feels he is not hard to read and generally avoids small talk but likes to joke around too.

    Plus, my husband wants to know how old are you and how old is your boss in order to offer advice to you. (When he was younger, he says he would chat more, but not so much now, and he's not a strong E anyway, so isn't interested in just talking for something to do anyway.)

    Generally, he says if you are positive and happy and productive it kind of perpetuates itself. He says hi to all his employees, and this is reciprocal. But, my husband says he would never chat long enough with you to prevent you from doing your work.

    He says just to make sure you are doing what he wants you to do; that you are smart enough to do a good job and he knows this (as your boss), but he wants you to be sure you are on track with the task and ask for feedback. This is a good place for dialogue.

    "We're easy to get along with; just do what you're supposed to" - direct quote.

    Oh and my hubs agrees with this:

    When trying to suggest an alternative way of doing something, you will have to illustrate why this way of doing something is better at achieving your desired goal. Give him a picture of how it will play out. Be concrete, point to objective indications of success. People think Te doms are hardheaded, but I've found them very easy to convince if you use the right language.
    If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.
    ~ Longfellow

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    Quote Originally Posted by JocktheMotie View Post
    ESTJs in a work environment [also, people have a habit of typing their bosses as ESTJ when it may not be the case...] really just want to see consistent effort and a good degree of ability to independently solve minor problems.
    This is true.

    The first is a bit tough for some INTPs because often our outward appearance is one of nonchalance and apathy, 2 things which can make ESTJs burn in anger, with the intensity of a thousand suns. This is going to sound bizarre, but try to look slightly angry whenever he's around. Gives the impression you're busy. This works like a charm.
    my boss is an ESTJ, but his boss is an ISTJ. My boss told me his boss asked him why I always looked so relaxed? That IDIOT associates looking stressed and flustered with working hard. Not the case. That might work, but I pray that it's not your cure. That's so STUPID!!!!!

    When trying to suggest an alternative way of doing something, you will have to illustrate why this way of doing something is better at achieving your desired goal. Give him a picture of how it will play out. Be concrete, point to objective indications of success. People think Te doms are hardheaded, but I've found them very easy to convince if you use the right language.
    Truth. Don't just give a suggestion. Either have very good compelling reasons why things should change, or , even better, implement the change (if possible) and show them the improvements already in place!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Array INTPness's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice everyone. Good stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post
    My husband (who is an ESTJ manager) wants to know how you know if your boss is an ESTJ. Personally, he feels he is not hard to read and generally avoids small talk but likes to joke around too.
    I have 3 ESTJ's in my family. My boss is Te all the way. He's organizing people and workload from the second he walks in the door until the door closes at the end of the day. There is literally no other type he could be. ESTJ to the bone.

    Plus, my husband wants to know how old are you and how old is your boss in order to offer advice to you.
    I'm in my early 30's and he is in his mid-50's.

    Generally, he says if you are positive and happy and productive it kind of perpetuates itself. He says hi to all his employees, and this is reciprocal. But, my husband says he would never chat long enough with you to prevent you from doing your work.
    I'm extremely positive - I wake up ready to go every single day. 99% of days are "good days" - I don't really have "bad days" where I'm not productive. But, I avoid the "small talk". So, my positive and happy attitude sometimes aren't visible to others. I work quickly, efficiently, and with a purpose. I'm not there to goof around. I'm there to get my work done and to go home. What makes him hard to read is that he is always "on everyone's case" (he doesn't think so, but everyone else talks about it behind his back) - so you get the impression that he doesn't like the way you do things or sometimes that you aren't doing a good enough job. It's not just me, a lot of people feel this way about him. I've even told him, "Look, at some point, you just have to let people make decisions. You can't micromanage every step a person takes and every breath a person makes. Train us well and then trust us to get stuff done. We're on your side. But, you're always looking over our shoulder and making comments." I think it ticked him off. He knows I work hard, but he just doesn't let up on people. It's non-stop picking things apart because it's not EXACTLY the way he would do it.

    But, the confusing part is that just when you think he doesn't like you or your work, he starts talking about silly stuff like his kid's baseball game. I mean, I can talk about stuff like that with my friends, but he doesn't treat us like friends. He's not the nicest guy most of the time, so when he starts talking about this kind of stuff, we all just look at each other like Do you want to be friendly with us or not? It can't just be "when you feel like being friendly". Either treat us with respect or don't. But, when he disrespects people and then 5 minutes later wants to chat about baseball, I don't really want to socialize with him after that.

    He says just to make sure you are doing what he wants you to do; that you are smart enough to do a good job and he knows this, but he wants you to be sure you are on track with the task and ask for feedback. This is a good place for dialogue.
    It's tough. I'm dedicated and hard-working. Never late. Take pride in my work. But, it's never good enough and there's always criticism. But, he also wants to be my buddy too. I can't do both. Either treat us bad and leave your personal stories to yourself - or treat us good and we can be friendly too.
    NTJ's are the only types that have ever made me feel emo.
    ENP's are the only types that have ever made me feel like a sensor.


    There are two great days in a person's life - the day we are born and the day we discover why. --William Barclay

  8. #8
    Gentle Breeze Array PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    My husband think this sounds like a hard situation. He knows some people like him (ESTJ) who are total jerks, super-competitive, hard-asses. (Now, my hubs is pretty easy-going really for an ESTJ, and no micro-manager, although he will expect you to do a good job ... this I can attest to.)

    Sometimes though you can't get along with everyone - it's not about personality type so much sometimes as you're working for a tool. (Gosh, how I love my husband's concise terminology.)

    Now, I read this to hubs: if someone said to you "Look, at some point, you just have to let people make decisions. You can't micromanage every step a person takes and every breath a person makes." what would you say? His response - well, they're not being held accountable for the results. If they want to be held accountable, that's fine, he can set that up - or else if people do the job right the first time he'll not have to follow-up.

    More advice: just ask for feedback. Ask what's wrong. Ask what needs doing. Ask how he wants it done and when. If you have a better idea: he's open and wants to see it written out.

    Good luck!
    If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.
    ~ Longfellow

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    Senior Member Array INTPness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IZthe411 View Post
    What kind of work do you do? What is it that he gets all tight over that he's yelling that you did something wrong?
    Without getting into what I do (there are reasons I don't want to discuss it online), I'll just say that he gets uptight when anyone does something in a way that is not exactly the way he would do it.

    I've told him in a respectful way, "I'm not you. I'm me. You have to give people some breathing room and trust their competency." He has backed off quite a bit since that discussion, but he still rips on other people quite a bit. I hate listening to him talk to people in the condescending way that he does (especially one ESFJ female who he just walks all over).

    It's always stuff like, "Why are you facing that way, when you should be facing the other way?"

    It's like, "dude, who cares what way I'm facing? I'm getting the job done faster than anyone else in this building. And you know that I'm extremely productive. But you still want to pick everything apart that I'm doing." I told him, "All you have to do is look at my bottom line results. If my results are sub-par, then I want to know about it. But, if my results are one of the best in this place, then why would you want to come interrupt me and tell me that I'm doing stuff wrong?" I know that if I left, he would miss my productivity. But, he's pushing me to the point to where I literally WANT to leave.

    And when I leave, he'll probably be shocked - like, "why are you leaving? what happened?" And it's basically because he's a jerk most of the time. I just won't put up with it like most people will. I'll find something else. I hate to sound like that, but that's just the truth of it. It would be SO much easier and a good working environment if he would just chill out.
    NTJ's are the only types that have ever made me feel emo.
    ENP's are the only types that have ever made me feel like a sensor.


    There are two great days in a person's life - the day we are born and the day we discover why. --William Barclay

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by IZthe411 View Post
    I'd say get over that "We don't have anything to talk about" attitude. That's one barrier that gets in people's way at work. I don't have a lot to talk about with my ESTJ boss while we do like sports, He and I only have football in common (I'm not a huge baseball fan, except Phillies Playoffs and he's not big into Basketball), so we talk about that when it's in season. Otherwise if it's not about work, I'll ask about him about his kid. He loves his son, so I just try to remember certain things he says to trigger the next time I ask him about little Jackson. He'll go on and on and on, and my eyes start to glaze over, but the guy gets happy. So I give him that- I mean he is my boss.

    I've learned if I'm not careful he will talk to me for WAY too long. So sometime's it's necessary for me to politely end the conversation. It wasn't my normal way of doing things but he can get the raps!

    What kind of work do you do? What is it that he gets all tight over that he's yelling that you did something wrong?
    This is so moderate, well thought out and beautifully/simply expressed that I just want to cum in my pants.

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