'Think Outside the Box' - ESTP Edition

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'Think Outside the Box' - ESTP Edition

Attention ALL ESTP Types!

Follow these tips and add them to your repertoire to improve your creative thinking skills. Call it as you'd like, either: Ways to 'Think Outside the Box' or simply, 'How to Be Creative', according to your ESTP type. Do you manage or coach other ESTP types? Great! Encourage those you work/interact with to use their type to their advantage and show off their ability as well.

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ESTP Types, first you must:

Simply being aware of, or agreeing with your reported type, is not enough to start having this list of tips work to your advantage, however. Ok, you're definitely an Extrovert. You know you're more of an 'S' vs an 'N'. But now what? Know what your handicaps are, as well as your advantages, and learn to adapt to the scenario at-hand.

Before we begin, time for some interesting research: 

According to Harrison Gough's 1991 published research study of 'creative people in creative fields', certain traits hold more 'creative value' than others. Professionals in fields such as music, science, art, architecture, writing, marketing, and so on, tend to be:

-More intuitive (N) than sensory (S)

-More perceiving (P) than judging (J)

-More extroverted (E) than introverted (I)

-More thinking (T) than feeling (F)

If this is the case, should we just take direction from an 'ENTP' and do whatever he/she tells us? Well, of course not. Life doesn't work that way. Rather, we provided a pretty cool 'step list' you can use to help guide you to be more creative and 'Think Outside the Box'. If there is an ENTP around though, maybe take notes ;)

So, where do you line up based on your type? Are you creative? Do you 'Think Outside the Box'? These tips will help you to be even more so!


ESTPs are built for action and adventure. They live in the moment and tend to be sensation-seekers.

FOUNDATION: See the relevance of the Assignment to Growth/Progress

For one, it's incredibly beneficial for you to see the relevance of whatever you are faced with. Traditional schooling or self-learning both can be appealing to your type, so long as you see the value. When you can see a clear relevance to whatever that learning or training is and tie it into what you are doing and need to be focused on, that is a great (necessary) foundation for you to get your creativity going.

Other contributors:

  • Supportive team environment
  • Outlet to direct your energy
  • Collaborative team dynamic
  • Deadlines to keep them on-task
  • Actionable steps to work on
  • Information presented visually and logically (the more logical, the better)
  • Exciting possibilities (spurs the imagination)

FIRST STEPS: In order to really get going and stay on task, a clear understanding of how effort/time/energy ties into overall success and a clear checklist with deadlines is necessary. Also, ask for Examples.

Working on a creative project for an ESTP can be exciting once they have a strong foundation. It's the next steps that are crucial for you to be creative.

 First off, are you clear on what the connection is between this project and your overall goals? Do they correlate? If your boss is wanting you to attend a training on learning a new software program in more depth, and you're unclear on how you'll be using it... it will be harder to get you on the same page. These should be spelled out upfront and clear.

What are your next goals? How do you get started? As a perceiving type (P), a checklist may irritate you or make you feel like you're more 'inside the box' than out of it. But let's think of this as a way to stay on-track and productive. You should have no problem adjusting to a schedule if you are motivated to get closer to that goal and see how it helps you in that sense. 

Important note related to this thought: Your perceiving nature is really a strong suit in being creative. Remember that. Don't let the timeframes confine you. Keep them comfortable and within reach so you don't feel like you are rushing your creative thinking.

Keep it practical: The more practical your 'guide for action' is, the better. Examples will help big time in this area. If it's your task to design a new logo or strategy for approaching a client, go off what has worked well for others in this area. Consult a book or ask someone who's been in a similar situation as yours and find out the main takeaways. Being overly conceptual will really hinder you from making progress and visualizing goals.


FEEL IT OUT: By now you've taken steps, you've hopefully made some measurable progress, and you've realized what else you need to work on to get closer to your finished product. Ask yourself: how do you feel at this point?

By identifying your natural sensing (S) preference over intuition, you may feel like you need to have tangible results or benchmarks set to determine if you are making measurable progress. That's totally ok! Make sure to get this information however you can. Try not to rely on assumptions and false proof as determinants for your success.

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Don't solely rely on your senses.... 

Ask Questions: Ask your co-workers. Ask trusted friends and partners. How do they feel your progress is going? Did you get a tiny hunch something wasn't going right but didn't know how to act on it? Ask someone you're working with what they think? Are they an 'F' type? Even better!

What's exciting about being an ESTP is that if the information you need to know is given to you in a tangible form, rather than you having to rely on picking up on it through your 'gut feel' or intuitive nature, this can really accelerate your progress. Make sure to speak up when you disagree with another's viewpoint, but really listen first.

Important to note: As an ESTP it's also highly beneficial for you to feel a sense of excitement! Are you excited at this point?? If not, what needs to happen to get you there?

Go? Or No??: This is the time for you to keep moving up the ladder, get closer to the goal you're after, or stop and tweak some things.

Don't rely on your feelings on this one. Go for the benchmarks you've set. How are you doing on them? Are you where you want to be at this point? If you are, and you've talked with others who've reinforced your progress, great. Keep going. Need to stop and tweak some things? Make sure you know what it is that needs to be worked on and you understand the full context of what needs to be worked on. Don't be overly literal at this point.

Try not to be too literal, ESTP Types:

 THE CREATIVE ZONE: Lastly, remember to finish strong. Your excitement and flexibility is what got you to the 'Creative Zone'.

Hopefully you've produced a finished product that is above your expectations. Did you surprise yourself? Are you 'Thinking Outside the Box' yet? Do you look at what you created and think, Wow, I was nowhere near this idea when I first started! Great! These steps can be re-visited at any point to get traction and reaffirm where you're at.

Never forget what you're made of, ESTPs!


Product Link: ESTP Coffee Mug

Product Link: ESTP Tee (White)

If you'd like to really get creative, what better way than to wear it proudly with an 'Outside the Box' Tee!:

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Product Link: Outside the Box Tee

 Hopefully these tips have helped you out as an ESTP or could serve another ESTP out well. Want to keep us updated on a goal you're working towards! Comment below or feel free to share!


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