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I am one of two administrator/analysts for collaborative software at the laboratory where I work. My job is manifold and I have to wear several hats. I have to have strategic awareness of the system and how the scientists use it to collaborate on their work and share data. I also have to be task-oriented and carry out normal administrative matters with the software such as doing scheduled deployments and so forth. This requires both social diplomatic intelligence Ni-Fe and technical knowledge Ni-*-Ti. So in many ways it is ideal.

My team-mate before this week was a very driven ENFJ. He had amazing technical ability but he also had that ENFJ organizational systems thinking in regards to people that kept a lot of things off our desks. I've never seen someone who could juggle so many responsibilities at once. It is remarkable.

He has been promoted to head the server team and now I have gotten a new team mate. From the moment he walked in the door my Ni-Fe-Ti-Se were all activated simultaneously in the instant knowledge that this was an ESTJ.

He was dressed in business-casual with slacks and dress loafers, a blue jacket and button down oxford. This is typical management attire not typical geek attire. On the second day he had ameliorated this by adjusting to "dressy" pressed jeans but still with the loafers which is kind of funny. So he's trying to blend in with the geeks a little. His first reaction upon seeing our workspace - a kind of fancy cube with a sliding door - was "This is too small". Literally those were the first words he said before he even looked me in the eye and said hello. He is very aware of the working space and I can tell he is used to an office where he can close the door.

Now things get a little complex. I actually interviewed for a job with this guy before I took my present job at the lab. I terminated the interview early (politely) because I could tell the skills were not a good match. This job was for hard-coding whereas I'm more of an architectural/analyst when it comes to software and especially user-focused. This didn't make a bad impression with him because he actually contacted my recruiter and expressed his pleasure at my candor that I did not waste his time. Some people needing a job might be tempted to fudge but I knew if it wasn't a good fit I would just be miserable. So it wasn't an interpersonal matter but a practical matter.

Now that he has been here for a week his ESTJ tendencies are beginning to show. One of the prime motivations of an STJ is conservatorship so he is very conscious of things like response time to tasks. But he is used to a smaller environment where he has more control over each step of the process and directorial control over individual developers. Our environment is massive. We have more developers than he had customers at his old job - and probably we have 6,000 users. The way I see my job is that I am here to facilitate the scientists being able to share their research. That is the purpose of my job. Since we have a division of labor over certain areas I simply accept that things like upgrading servers and so forth are not my job. I have to trust the team that handles that because there are literally 2 floors full of big iron and a whole staff of people to support it. He still doesn't quite seem to understand that his directive approach doesn't work so well in response to that reality.

His relationship to me is one where he is trying to be directive. Consider that the first time I met him I was interviewing to be an employee - and that an ESTJ naturally likes to be in charge. Here we are coworkers. We are peers. He is not my boss. My supervisor is the director of back office infrastructure as is his. The ESTJ's chair is an engineering chair and my chair is for analysis and administration. But he seems to think he is in a management chair. OK - so how am I relating to this so far?

I have began by appealing daily to the ESTJ penchant for stability and order. I am polite and enjoy the odd joke. We talk a good deal about health issues since we are about the same age and have similar problems with regards to our bones etc. We are both family men so we connect on that topic as well. Now the only mixup so far is that he doesn't quite seem to understand my job. Which is not to be an office aid to him but rather to administer the software and analyze its use. The strategy I am using there is to appeal to the ESTJ predilection for stewardship and convey the idea that the lab directors will be most satisfied with the stability of the system rather than innovation. And then I've laid out a kind of schedule representing my typical workload for a week. To further get him off my back a little - I have been invoking the Cobra (see many faces of INFJ on this forum)

ESTJs are very conscious of notions of social structure. They are observant of traditional concepts of social roles such as management vs. labor etc. And they are frankly drawn to seek power and status. In a healthy ESTJ this is done in the service of the pursuit of conservatorship and stewardship - fulfilling their social role as "Guardian" SJs. What I am attempting to do is to help speed that process along a little. I am keeping an eye out for open offices in new areas that are being renovated. I'm also socially connected with 15 other people in the lab that I have known for many years from other jobs. What I am doing is using their knowledge of events such as strategic meetings with lab directors and other planners as a source of feeding data to him about the social structures and power organization of our environment. And I have been sending him meeting invitations through intermediaries. So by the end of his first week he is hopping into these meetings with lab people that he perceives as being in positions of "power" who can advance his career.

What is my eventual goal? To get him promoted. He will be much happier in management and the sooner the better. Because the sooner the ESTJ is in his natural environment the sooner I can return to my happy place.

Does this sound like a good plan? - What other things should I know about the interaction between an ESTJ and an INFJ?
 

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Well that is indeed a well thought out and detailed plan to deal with your ESTJ problem. Since you have pretty much analyzed everything there is about him I don't have much to add. Especially since I am only familiar with INFJ and INTJ so far.

However, if this is a of concern to you, I can "cast the runes" so to speak to see how your interactions with him will go for the rest of the year, what you should look out for; opportunities, pitfalls etc in your interactions with him. That is if you are interested of course. It will help to assess the soundness of your plan, fill in the loopholes and keep you 5 steps ahead of him.
 
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However, if this is a of concern to you, I can "cast the runes" so to speak to see how your interactions with him will go for the rest of the year, what you should look out for; opportunities, pitfalls etc in your interactions with him. That is if you are interested of course. It will help to assess the soundness of your plan, fill in the loopholes and keep you 5 steps ahead of him.
If you want to throw the bones, cast the runes and read the tea leaves - please by all means. I can use all the help I can get.

I'm much better at writing runes than reading them ;-)
 

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Sounds like a good plan. I've been in similar situation in a volunteering type of organization. An ESTJ joined slightly later than I did and eventually got promoted to lead the group. Now I was happy because he is stable, reliable, dedicated, doesn't have any sort of emotional outbursts or bouts of irrationality, has reasonably well developed social skills and just like me cannot stand people complaining and values efficiency. Occasionally he lashes out at other people with criticisms, sometimes very minor. Especially the INFP and ISFP guys in the group whose Fi he detests. But we all kind of came to expect that from him and nobody really gets upset (except for ISFP).

But it became nearly impossible to introduce any sort of new ideas and variety, any new direction to the group. What is already in works in the present is what is most familiar to him. It is the here and now is what we have to get entrenched in. Any discussion about how to change things in the now so that they will work out more efficiently in the distant future are met with blank stares. It has gotten to the point that I often feel he just does what he thinks is right and completely ignores opinions of some people including myself. As a result I just started picking more carefully what I put my time and effort into. If I see that we are doing something meaningless I avoid contributing to it and rather spend my time just socializing with other people. It is of no use to work on projects that I see are inefficient and meaningless in the long term that people even refuse to discuss. Of course this is volunteering type of organization so I can afford it.

What makes it worse is that the other guys in the head of this group are two INTPs who play Switzerland for people to leave them alone so that they can live in their own heads somewhere, and an ENFJ who tries to avoid conflicts at all costs and will take anybody's side multiple time a week.
 
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