ESTJ Development
The Unique Growth Path of the ESTJ

This section ESTJ Development is about the unique developmental path of the ESTJ personality from birth to midlife. While an individual’s personality development is unique, personality type provides a good general framework for you.

To understand the ESTJ’s development, we have to understand the hierarchy of mental functions for the ESTJ. The hierarchy of mental functions for the ESTJ is about which mental function (Sensing, Intuiting, Thinking or Feeling) the ESTJ is most comfortable with using and which they are least comfortable in using.

Without going too much into Type dynamics, let’s look at the ESTJ’s hierarchy of mental functions:

The ESTJ is most comfortable with the Dominant Function Extraverted Thinking and least comfortable Inferior Function Introverted Feeling.

From Childhood to Puberty:
Development of Extraverted Thinking

As a child, the ESTJ will develop the Extraverted Thinking function. They are intellectually curious children who will always ask “why?” They will not accept the line “It is true because Mom says so”.

They will also generally be less emotional and expressive than their Feeling counterparts; hence they may come across as cold, detached or even aloof to others.   

If they have not properly developed this function in their youth, they may not know how to evaluate their thoughts and therefore constantly change their stands or decisions.

From Puberty to about Age 30:
Development of Introverted Sensing

During puberty, the ESTJ will start developing the auxiliary function, Introverted Sensing. They will show this development through their interest through action and activities in the real world as opposed to the use of their imagination.

They will also develop an interest in subjects that deal with facts like geography or the natural sciences. They will also display an extremely good memory both in their work and in their everyday life.

If they have not been allowed to develop this function, they may grow up to become judgmental; not seeing possibilities but making stubborn decisions without sufficient information.

Areas for ESTJ Development

Assuming an environment is supportive to their development, most ESTJs would have developed Extraverted Feeling and Introverted Sensing by 20 years old or so.

Their areas of improvement will most likely come from the underdeveloped sides of Extraverted Intuition and Introverted Feeling. Below are some suggestions for improvement:

  • Obtain more information before coming to a decision
  • Try to see long-term implications of everyday actions
  • Give encouragement and praise to others for good work
  • Practice active listening when others share their personal struggles
  • Be more open to new ideas

From Age 30 to Midlife:
Development of Extraverted Intuition

If these behaviours are not developed by the age of 30, the ESTJ will feel the tension to continue growing and to start developing the tertiary function Extraverted Intuition. The ESTJ may start to use their imagination and become more comfortable with long term goals and targets. They may also start to dream and hope for the future more than before.

The ESTJ can further develop the Extraverted Intuition function through these simple exercises:

  • Brainstorm ideas for activities you can do over the weekend; make a list of things that you have never done before, with people you do not usually meet.

  • Read into world affairs across countries and consider global patterns that may link all of these together.

  • Write a poem about something from nature without using physical attributes to describe it. (i.e. don’t talk about its colour or shape or size)

From Midlife onward:
Development of Introverted Feeling

From midlife onward, the ESTJ’s focus turns toward the inferior function, Introverted Feeling.

Under stress, the underdeveloped Introverted Feeling comes out in a childish and undeveloped way and ESTJs may become extremely emotional or feel uncontrollable depression.

But in midlife, there is an unconscious shift and desire to develop that inferior function in order to achieve wholeness and continual growth. It is an uncomfortable but necessary transition.

Here are some simple exercises to consciously develop the Introverted Feeling function:

  • Think about a good quality of another person that you think is important to you; find a time to praise that person.

  • If you have a conflict with another person, think about what is important to that person in that particular situation and ask yourself if you can suspend your need to be right in order to preserve the relationship.

  • In a group meeting, observe the verbal and non-verbal cues of others and try to gauge the thoughts and feelings of people by just observing their body language.


The developmental paths of individuals are unique to themselves according to the environment, culture and social norms they were brought up in.

Some cultures value certain personality traits more than others, affecting the personality development of an individual.  Lastly, it is good to remember that no two people need to develop the same way, and hence only some of the above may apply to you.

This page only serves as a general guide for anyone using it as a reference. If you like to learn more about your unique developmental path, please contact me.

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