Thursday, December 10, 2015

Kinds of Thinkers

I love finding articles that are relevant to the business world, the classroom and/or life at home. Even though we often regard these worlds as different and separate, they are more alike than we think. Working with small groups of children - ages 2 to 5 - I often found the conversations resembled those in the boardroom or business meetings I used to attend in my past life in the corporate world or as a business consultant. Leadership is about understanding ideas and group dynamics. Whether you are a manager, a teacher or a parent; understanding how others think is an important tool to relate and work with others.
In the same way that the theory of Multiple Intelligences developed in 1983 by Dr. Howard Gardner helps us understand a child strengths and weaknesses; this article by Mark Bonchek and Elisa Steele at the Harvard Business Review website helps us identify what type of thinkers children might be. Understanding how others thinking is similar or different from ours empowers us to collaborate more successfully with children or adults.

"For example, on the big picture or macro orientation:
  • Explorer thinking is about generating creative ideas.
  • Planner thinking is about designing effective systems.
  • Energizer thinking is about mobilizing people into action.
  • Connector thinking is about building and strengthening relationships.
Across the micro or detail orientation:
  • Expert thinking is about achieving objectivity and insight.
  • Optimizer thinking is about improving productivity and efficiency.
  • Producer thinking is about achieving completion and momentum.
  • Coach thinking is about cultivating people and potential.
When you know your thinking style, you know what naturally energizes you, why certain types of problems are challenging or boring, and what you can do to improve in areas that are important to reaching your goals."

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