Last week I wrote about my experiences with a pure Innovator (Intuitor in some camps), but this week I’d like to focus on my friend the Thinker. What comes to mind for me is the statue by Rodin, with his thoughtful expression and solid cut in stone appearance. The Thinkers among us are sometimes characterized as being organized, structured, conservative, analytical, rational, controlled, etc. In an earlier post, I summed this up by saying that you can tell a Thinker by his pants being pressed with a knife-edged crease (actually I believe I said it would cut butter).
When I think of someone I work with who fits the model of a “pure Thinker,” I remember a recent team building exercise. The Thinker was on my team and since it was raining I of course went into my “Doer” mode and wanted to complete the event quickly, while my teammate the Thinker was keeping the notes in dripping detail. After we finally slogged back to the comfort of the office with our soaking shoes and clues – this was a CSI crime solving team event – the Thinker then proceeded to catalog the clues in excruciating detail. It seemed that each individual hair needed to be accounted for by its length and color or at least that is what I thought the Thinker was doing constantly handling each hunk of hair over and over again. When it came time to solve the crime, our team was last to submit our clues and solution and even then we did not win!
The team building was not really about winning, it was about learning about each other. I certainly learned that the Thinker was a perfect fit for their role as a Project Manager where the devil is in the details and it also reinforced a bit about me as well – the Doer rushes to the conclusions which are not always the right ones.
Learning about the different styles, hopefully lets us appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of each. If we take a few minutes and do a bit of introspective thinking, we can probably determine which style most fits our daily lives. With this in mind, we can then view others by their dominant styles and interact with them accordingly.
I appreciate both the Innovators and the Thinkers for their strengths and definitely want both of them on my team because they have valuable traits that are needed to provide the creative complex thinking and the detailed steps so that nothing is forgotten as we get the job done. This last is the Doer’s specialty and I will share with you more about my predominate style under stress next week. I think I will call that post “the good, the bad, and the ugly.”