Consider two people Ali and Amjad, each faced with the task of finding a job. Ali starts his quest by doing a careful analysis of his financial and occupational needs. He obtains a list of potential employees in the area and scans his own wants and abilities. He next develops a comprehensive plan for discovering all the suitable positions that may are available. He then waits patiently until all the replies are in before following up on those that best meet his criteria.
Amjad on other side begins to look for work by energetically calling his friends and acquaintances, asking if they know of possible job openings. He peruses the newspaper want-ads and look to see which civil service exams might be open. Amjad responds at once, and competently, to whatever opportunities pop up. As soon as he finds a prospective employe that appreciates his drive and perhaps offers a chance for rapid advancement, he takes the job.
To get what they wanted Ali and Amjad thought differently about same task. They looked for different kinds of information and came up with different conclusions. And so do we all.
We all have learned many ways to use information. We draw conclusions from it; most of us, like Ali and Amjad have preferences for one or two styles of thinking. These styles largely determine the kinds of questions we ask, what we do with the answers, how we go about making decisions.
What style of thinking is best? They best answer would be which solves problems for you. Thinking style by definition is “strength or a liability depending upon where it is used and how much it is used”. In our case Ali’s orderly and methodical way of thinking was an undoubted strength. Amjad could have used some, certainly but Ali spent so much time developing more and more detailed plans that he missed out on some great opportunities, not to mention the fact he bored his friends to tears.
According to a research most of us (about 85%) tend to use the same approaches over and over again, regardless of the requirements of the situation. Why this is so? We have learned to think the way we do because in some way it has worked for us. Different situations call for different ways of thinking and acting. Be tough, accurate and fact-conscious when needed. Similarly, be loose, speculate or tender at other times. Being situationally responsive is not enough all the time. We ought to learn how to be highly adaptive to changing circumstances, but unfortunately most of us have not. Studies have shown that there is a profound connection between the way a person has learned to think about the world and the way that person behaves. There are also limited numbers of ways of thinking about things. Broadly speaking thinking styles is the term “we have come to use to refer to the specific ways of gathering data and making decisions that we have identified”. The uniqueness in each of us lies in the way we combine our thinking styles to work about whatever it is that we think about.
By leaning about our own and other people styles of thinking can enrich our understanding about problematic behaviors of ours and others. Knowing more about our self will help us to open new horizons in front of us and enlighten us more towards the path of prosperity and growth.
“Your time is limited, so do not waste it living someone else’s life. Do not be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Do not let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition”. – (Steve Jobs)