What: Take this 6 question assessment to better understand your natural thinking style.
Why: Your and your staff’s thriving at work partially depends on how naturally each fits with their work roles.
Have you ever found yourself quickly frustrated or bored with tasks that others on your team seem to thrive on? Have you considered that you might be hard-wired to perceive and organize the world a certain way, and that operating outside of that “thinking wavelength” might prevent you from bringing your best contribution to the table?
I was at a pivotal point in my life back in 2013 when I paid $2.4k to spend two days with a leadership coach who introduced me to the simple six question tool below (which I’ve put into a free 6-question online calculator here). Tom Peterson, described by Peter Drucker as, “the greatest process thinker in the world,” is the strategist who created the following Thinking Wavelength Assessment.
Tom believes people cannot change their thinking wavelength, regardless of the amount of training they receive, and so its best to position yourselves for jobs that align with your natural thinking wavelength range. When we operate outside our natural wavelength, we experience stress and internal discomfort, and easily become frustrated or bored (e.g., a natural abstract thinker working a job where she continually deals with a lot of details).
To help you understand a little more about the way you think, here are some descriptions about the five different Thinking Wavelengths from Tom’s book The Life You Were Meant to Live.
- Grinders – Grinders get the work done. They are detail-minded doers.
- Minders – Minders can manage a unit team, having both the people skills and the organizational abilities to do so. They can supervise the performance of work and are likely to function best in frontline supervision. They have an ability to conduct diagnoses and to problem solve.
- Keepers – Keepers are capable of managing the entire organization. They appreciate the strategic and the administrative. They may have both concrete and abstract thinking skills, but will be biased to administrative/operational work.
- Finders – Finders are entrepreneurs. They open up new territories, close important new accounts, reclaim key lost accounts, or transfer new applications into new areas. Finders are abstract thinkers, and often do not complete the paperwork that most concrete thinkers require.
- Conceivers – Conceivers are bright, articulate, and persuasive, but are challenged with execution. They are best suited for roles in universities, seminaries and pure research laboratories. Conceivers often struggle to manage others well, and their ideas rarely become commercialized.
So what can you actually do with this information? Here are two ideas to get you started.
- Use this new self-awareness to reflect on how to best position yourself in your company, what role to aim for in the future, and what type of people you need to surround yourself with to be successful.
- Grow your others-awareness so that you leverage your team’s strengths, and even hire people who are most naturally suited for new roles.
Although you might be helped as I was by working with a coach who can leverage this tool as part of a larger portfolio of self-leadership exercises, I think this tool can be helpful simply for self-reflection so I’ve shared it above.
As Tom puts it in in his book, “If your thinking wavelength and your current job description do not match up, start planning for a change in job. You can change your job. You can’t change the way you think.”
If we at Small Business Lift can help you or your executive team LIFT your business over a specific challenge you’re facing, contact us today to set up a complimentary initial exploratory conversation.