As I think about the guys I’ve mentored, what strikes me is how differently they think. In rummaging through some old files, I found this little piece on different types of thinkers. (I know I didn’t write it, so kudos to whoever I stole it from!) Once I know how a guy thinks, I can better challenge him to think through an issue and make a good decision.
There are five types of thinkers. Take a look . . .
Analytical thinker – They see all sides of a problem, weigh the possibilities against each other, and reach a decision. They have a realistic view of current circumstances as well as a view of the future results of their present decisions.
Intuitive thinker – They have little regard for heavy analysis but respond because ‘it feels right.’ They quickly respond with sensitivity to the joys and trials of others. They may make decisions on the emotion of the moment, disregarding the long-term results of those decisions.
Creative thinkers – Their ideas are far out and ahead of the majority of the crowd. They love new, imaginative, innovative ways to approach life. Their minds are fertile and active. They often generate ten ideas to every one that can be effectively implemented, but that doesn’t discourage their flow of ideas. They discard the other nine and keep right on thinking.
Logical thinkers – They appreciate a step-by-step-by-step progression from the onset of a question or a problem to the finish. They never simply leap from one possibility to another, instead they reflect and deliberate carefully before deciding, speaking and acting. Logical thinkers balance their checkbooks, drive the speed limit, and make great organizers.
Visionary thinkers – They are the conquerors, the inventors, the originators in all fields of endeavor. They are rarely concerned with mundane details but see lofty possibilities for themselves and others. Usually, they are able motivators and influencers, and they leave the implementation to the analytical and logical thinkers.
Which best describes you? What about your wife and kids? What about your mentees? See if you can figure out how those in your life think . . . it’ll help you help them and relate to them.
Scripture: For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. (Romans 12:4-5)
Mentor Tip: Even if you don’t do the module on Talents & Gifts in your mentoring group, you can have your guys take a personality test like the Strengthsfinder or Meyers-Briggs. It’ll help you get to know them and them get to know each other. Maybe work it into your Story Retreat when you’ll have time to discuss.