The working environment itself can lead to conflict within teams. Open plan offices are often disliked by both Es and Is – but Is are usually more hostile. In fact, I have come across quite a number of Es who say they like the “buzz” generated in large, open offices. The problem Es often have with open plan is that they usually find it difficult to concentrate and can’t help but overhear what is going on. Is tend to survive open plan by building barricades with filing cabinets and then retreating into their inner world.
The E/I difference on space commonly boils down to how much interaction with people each needs. Es usually say they like the opportunity for some amount of social chit-chat and often find out important information about their job this way. They are quite happy to be surrounded by people a lot of the time but also need the opportunity to reflect and get away from others and personal space from time to time. Is say they need time to work on their own uninterrupted by others, though often the job doesn’t allow this. Is say they often get a lot from talking to others but they want to control this as much as possible. They particularly dislike being interrupted constantly or feeling at the mercy of others’ need to talk.
Some of the tips in other sections may be helpful in ironing out some of these conflicts about interruptions and personal space.
© Carol Craig
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