Your Type of Work Environment

Tool located in Coaching & Mentoring posted on December 3, 2014

Written by Jean M. Kummerow

While we know there are a lot of individual differences on the kinds of work environments and interactions with others that each type prefers, let’s look at some common patterns focusing on the Attitudes (E-I and J-P):

IJs prefer a quiet space with lots of time to ponder information and complete their work. Interruptions are not welcome unless it’s something really important; if additional information is provided, allow them to look it over in their own space on their own time. A rush to judgment is uncomfortable. IJs will make firm decisions once they’ve considered the relevant information.

IPs prefer a quiet space with lots of freedom, variety and flexibility in their schedules and in how they do their work. They typically like being independent and would rather to seek out and explore information on their own than being told to include it. They may consider a number of alternatives before settling on a decision. Deadlines are helpful but do not expect work done before it.

EPs prefer freedom, flexibility and excitement to stave off boredom. They like to explore a topic often through informal discussions with others, but benefit from quiet time to make decisions. They use enthusiasm to get others excited when they are really behind a project. They would rather view a decision as a draft that can be changed than conclude with a “final decision.” Starting something is more fun, so deadlines can be helpful to encourage the finish.

EJs prefer action and want results done on time. They expect others to operate the same way; what they commit to, they will do, and so should you! They want only the relevant information to make a quick decision and then planning, organizing and structuring the decision’s implementation take over. To change that decision and action focus, new information and quiet time to reflect on its relevance are important.

So how does your work environment stack up? Any changes you can make to create a more productive workplace for you? Anything you can do to help out your colleagues?


Jean M. Kummerow, Ph.D., LP is a trainer for Psychometrics Canada, and the author of Introduction to Type in Organizations. She is a psychologist, consultant and author in St. Paul, Minnesota. She specializes in leadership and management development, career counselling and team building, consulting with individuals and organizations.

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