Thinking Styles

Understanding thinking styles helps us know the value each person brings to the table.
To hone in on mindsets, we have partnered with colleagues at the MindTime Foundation. In doing so, we provide you with the only existing assessment that speaks to thinking styles. We have found it very useful in diving into mindsets as it helps you:
  • learn the foundations of whole thinking
  • verbalize the value you bring to people and situations
  • prevent miscommunication, resistance to change and conflict 
  • respond to existing miscommunication, resistance to change, pushback and conflict that block constructive conversations, creative problem-solving and needed change

The Three Basic Thinking Styles

Each thinking style sifts life through specific lenses, focusing more on certain aspects of situations than others (see image on the right). For instance:

  • future thinkers imagine new solutions, yet can brainstorm endlessly without verifying data or taking action
  • past thinkers gather, study and validate data to increase the certainty of their decisions. They can get stuck in “analysis paralysis” without coming up with better ways of doing things or taking action
  • present thinkers create action plans and control resources and timelines to increase the probability of success. They can also micro-manage or become rigid “control freaks” who plan for the sake of planning without new ideas or grounded data. 

Everyone Has Value to Bring

When teams consistent of diverse thinking styles, they have all the skills needed to take ideas —> research their validity —> and consistently, successfully put them into action.

Without all thinking styles, tasks or activities “fall through the cracks” creating unwanted results and unintended consequences. 

It is very common that teams consistent of clumps of people in one or two thinking styles (see the image on the right). This situation undermines the optimal effectiveness of that team. 

Thinking Styles Applied

These are some of the areas that you can improve by putting the thinking styles to use:

  • diversity, equity and inclusion: bringing together the right mix of people helps everyone feel respected, needed and included that facilitates equity in treatment as a default
  • high-functioning teams: becoming aware of the thinking styles helps you and your team communicate in ways that increase the quality of communication, cross-fertilization of ideas, cross-functional problem-solving and responding creatively to market disruptors and growing uncertainty
  • recruiting efforts: using thinking styles not only helps define job descriptions that attract the right people you need, but they also uproot the unconscious biases of recruiters and hiring managers
  • creativity and innovation: bringing together the right mix of people to ideate and validate new ideas that can be validated and then put into action
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