Why Your Employees’ Individual Thinking Style Impacts Your Company’s Overall Performance

Written by on September 24, 2014

Given the complex days and times, organizational life demands increased productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness, which creates a great challenge for individuals and teams. As Peter Drucker once said, we need to work smarter: “Simply, this means working more productively without working harder or longer.”

High-level performance organizations require high-performance thinking. How can awareness of individuals’ thinking style help facilitate breakthrough results?

Towards Better Results


In the corporate world, there is an established trend of individuals examining their personality styles and what they can bring to the table from that perspective. As well, EQ, or Emotional Intelligence, profiles are becoming “in demand” as people explore ways to effectively apply their emotional style and social competencies toward achieving more effective business results.

Layered on top of that is a growing need to look at the cognitive styles that people bring with them to different organizational environments. Ultimately, how we think significantly impacts our ability to achieve high level and timely outcomes. Our brains start with basic thoughts, and then progress to more advanced thinking processes, and finally move into a decision-making stance. Our decisions lead to action, which in turn achieve results. If we want high-level results, we need to use high-level thinking in concert with our personality styles and emotional intelligence profiles.

What Are The Different Cognitive Styles?


Jerry Rhodes, a pioneer of cognitive styles, identified six thinking styles, or Frames of Mind, which can be assessed with the Thinking Intentions Profile:

  • Logical.
  • Evaluative.
  • Analytical.
  • Experiencing.
  • Ingenious.
  • Imaginative.

Rhodes was driven by curiosity: Thinking is intangible; we can’t see it. But what if we could achieve greater clarity and deep insight into how we think? How other people in our teams think? How they approach tasks? If we could do this, then we could share our expertise and collective thinking to drive and realize higher-level results.

What is most powerful about this model is the idea that we can, and should, exercise all six Frames of Mind. Rhodes believed in finding the right thinking at the right time for the right reason for the right results. Not all tasks require the same thinking competencies. By achieving greater clarity around our own personal style of cognition and those of the people on our teams, we can:

  • Customize the way we approach tasks and projects.
  • Interact and work with team members at a much higher level.
  • Create better flow and synchronicity within teams.
  • Create alignment and reduce conflict.
  • Use collective thinking processes for higher-level results.

The Thinking Intentions Profile gives us a new type of language that we can use with our teams. If every single member of a team understands and respects the profile of other members, it not only reduces conflict; it allows people to celebrate the collective contribution, as well as the value that each individual brings.

High-Level Thinking Drives Results


Today’s organizations need high-level results. They demand them. When teams are cognizant of their thinking styles, they can use that insight to achieve breakthrough performance.