Recent research shows that people's thinking style is essential to assemble efficient work teams. This means that, besides the tools they handle, it is crucial to know how employees think in order to create groups and face new challenges.
Traditionally, we focus on building teams based on what workers do, in addition to their knowledge, leadership, and charisma. But now, it is necessary to know how they think individually and what their vision is to form high-performance groups.
Identifying what kind of thinkers we are will help us achieve our individual goals, and it will also indicate in which areas we can be more productive in a team. Collective thinking is powerful because it has a great influence on performance.
Scholars argue that when an individual understands their thinking style, they know which function they can perform effectively in a team. On the other hand, once it is determined how the group thinks, it will be able to work more motivated, energized, and make better decisions.
Identify your thinking style
Elisa Steele, president of Conerstone, and Mark Bonchek, founder and head of thinkOrbit, have built a model to determine each person's thinking style. "By investigating people's habits and preferences for how they work, we detect some basic patterns in their work styles. These patterns have allowed us to group individual work styles into what we call WorkTypes," explains Bonchek.
Researchers propose two variables to discover what we focus on when we are facing a problem and what is our orientation to face it:
- Focus upon ideas, processes, actions, and relationships to work a problem.
- Guidance in terms of the vision of large-scale projects and/or details.
By crossing these variables in a matrix you can observe your thinking style:
Explorer thinking (big picture and ideas): it implies an overview and it goes on the path of generating creative ideas.
Planner thinking (big picture and processes): it focuses on processes and its general vision drives it to design effective systems.
Energizer thinking (big picture and action): encourages people to move to action.
Connector thinking (big picture and relationships): seeks to build and strengthen relationships in the process.
Expert thinking (details and ideas): tries to achieve objectivity and understanding of ideas to achieve the goal.
Optimizer thinking (details and actions): is responsible for boosting productivity and efficiency.
Producer thinking (details and processes): it is the one who seeks to achieve the objectives and take advantage of the team's momentum.
Coach thinking (details and relationships): it is the one that focuses on improving people and exploiting their potential.
The importance of the team
Once you know your thinking style, you will be clear about what motivates you, what your challenges are and what you should do to improve.
The team must also share their thinking to create more effective, communicative and collaborative groups that make better decisions.
The leader is responsible for assembling teams in the right way based on thinking styles. Therefore, they will have the responsibility of placing each person in the right place.
Scholars argue that companies must include and cultivate the style of thinking in the formation, motivation, and management of teams.