Thinking Styles

About twice a month at RSG, all employees gather in our largest conference room to be trained on a certain topic while we eat lunch together.  Topics range from hard skills (such as how to project pass-through payments over the next 20 years) to soft skills (such as how to effectively manage teams).

Last month, during a training session on the analytical process, we spent a lot of time discussing thinking styles.

Everyone has a unique way of thinking, so much so that someone could probably come up with hundreds of thinking styles.  But for the sake for simplicity, we discussed four general thinking styles:

I had two big take-aways from this training:

  1. We all took a test to see what our dominant thinking style was, and the results were surprising.  We often joke about how similarly all of us at RSG think, but our results were all over the board.  Nearly 40 percent of us were Abstract Random, a quarter of us were Abstract Sequential, and the rest of us were split exactly in half between Concrete Sequential and Concrete Random.  This is a great discovery, because there are strengths and weaknesses of each thinking style, so having such diversity in thinking makes our team stronger.
  2. Don’t treat all of your co-workers, supervisors, and clients equally.  In addition to figuring out what your dominant thinking style is, it’s helpful to identify the dominant thinking style of those you work with so that you can effectively interact with them.

So what’s your dominant thinking style? What’s the dominant thinking style of your co-workers, clients, family members, and friends? How could knowing this positively affect your relationships?

Written by Dominique Clark, Senior Analyst at RSG.