The 5 Different Ways People Think

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The unexamined life is not worth living.
— Socrates

So there's a guy on your team who's always coming up with new ideas without executing on any of them.

Or there is a gal on your team who is afraid of all new ideas and wants to know how this idea will be executed.

There are people that are so organized that organization is their goal over execution. And there are those that are so unorganized they can't execute on anything.

And then there is everything in between. Where do you land? Where do your teammates land?


As a certified Paterson StratOp & LifePlan facilitator, I have fallen in love with the Thinking Wavelength tool. Understanding how you think and operate is invaluable. On top of this, knowing how your teammates think and operate is even more valuable. There is nothing more powerful for a team than inter-awareness. And yes, I made that term up. A mutual awareness of self and team can make a team unstoppable. I have taken my team and other teams through Thinking Wavelength and hope you'll pass this tool on to your team. Here's how it works:

First, have people assess themselves on this scale:

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Second, have people plot themselves and their teammates on this scale:

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Third, read these descriptions:

Grinders: Grinders get the work done.  They are detail-minded doers.  The world cannot operate without grinders. They provide the basic labor force for the entire world and all its operations.  They are the ultimate concrete thinkers.

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. They are basically concrete thinkers and are likely to function best in frontline supervision. They will “mind the store” well, putting out brush fires upon their appearance.

Keepers: Keepers are capable of managing the whole store. They possess an appreciation for the strategic and the administrative. They may have both concrete and abstract thinking skills, but will be biased to administrative/operational work. They make great mediators because they can relate to both ends of the thinking wavelength spectrum.

Finders: They are entrepreneurs. Finders are abstract thinkers, so they often don’t complete the paperwork that most concrete thinkers require. They are innovators and creators. Follow-through is not their strength. They need grinders, minders, and keepers to follow in the wake of their creativity.

Conceivers: Conceivers are bright, articulate, and persuasive, but in working with them, don’t expect things to come to closure. Conceivers can lead a company down a primrose path. They have a role best suited for universities, seminaries, and pure research laboratories. They don’t belong in business. They cannot manage others well, and their ideas rarely become commercialized.

Fourth, have people plot where their "sweet-spot" is:

This is filtered through the lens of work. A person's sweet spot of executions could be a number or two away from where they assessed.

Fifth, have people plot where they are required to operate in their job:

If they 1 or less away from their sweet spot, this is the green zone. 

If they assess 1 to 2 numbers away from their sweet spot, this is the yellow zone and some shifts should be made in their role and responsibility.

If they assess 2 or more away from their sweet spot, this is the red zone. Paterson Center would say that a person is 18 months away from quitting, being fired or blowing a gasket. Immediate shifts should be made. 


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Would you like to know more about accomplishing the Wildly Important for your team? I can help! I love helping leaders lead towards the wildly important of vision achievement. Check out my Coaching page to get started today.