Published Feb 20, 2023
During breakfast with my sister, we had a fascinating conversation about how we approach tasks. She's a structured thinker, methodical in her planning, and likes to follow transparent steps before implementation. On the other hand, I'm more open to exploring various options, analysing possibilities, experimenting, and improvising to find the best solution.
We all have these mental processes which play a crucial role in our lives. Neither approach is right nor wrong; it's a matter of preference. These preferences may be why we are suited to specific work-related positions.
For instance, my sister has always excelled in structured roles that require planning, processes, and systems, such as administration and legal work. Currently, she's a learning and assessment designer in a large organisation.
On the other hand, I've thrived in people-facing roles and unstructured work environments, such as managerial, area development, and training. Although there are still requirements for processes, the nature of the job is unpredictable, and I enjoy problem-solving on the fly.
One of the critical areas of development I believe the world lacks today is understanding other people. As a result, we can create misinterpretations and assumptions. We quickly jump to conclusions if we disagree with them or consider that we may be superior. In truth, we aren't. We are the presentation of our inner programming. The better we can understand others, the better leaders and influencers we will be in our pursuit forward.
Does this sound like you?
Process-oriented individuals may prefer to follow established rules or procedures and may be less comfortable with uncertainty or change. They tend to focus more on ensuring things are done correctly and efficiently rather than exploring alternative possibilities.
Does this sound like you?
Options-oriented individuals often approach problems with a "what if" mindset, asking questions like "what if we tried this instead?" or "what other options do we have?" They tend to value flexibility and are willing to experiment and try new approaches to find the best solution.
It's important to note that neither approach is inherently better nor worse than the other; it's a matter of personal preference and the situation's needs. By understanding your preferences and those of others, we can communicate more effectively and work together more successfully to achieve our goals.
Identify areas where you excel and areas where you may need to improve. This can help you set goals for your personal development and identify ways to leverage your strengths to achieve your objectives.
Identify areas where you may be biased or limited in your thinking. This can help you be more open to new ideas and approaches and be more receptive to feedback and constructive criticism.
Communicate more effectively with others. For example, if you tend to be options-oriented, you may need to provide more detail and context to a process-oriented person and vice versa. Avoid misunderstandings and improve collaboration.
By understanding your strengths and limitations, you can better delegate tasks to others with complementary strengths. You can also be more effective in motivating and engaging your team members by tailoring your leadership style to their preferences.
We generally favour one over the other; however, your preferences may change with the situation. For example, we may need to be procedural in getting the children ready for school and become entirely Options oriented when we arrive at work.
So, whether you're a structured thinker or an open-minded explorer like me, remember that both approaches are valuable and necessary. The key is recognising your preference to amplify your ability to shine.
Founder, Growth Coach, People Developer, Strategist,Unconventional Thinker, Aligner, Clarifier