Published monthly by Sharon Eakes, Hope Unlimited, LLC
FOCUS: Thinking Styles
Disciplines: Team Learning, Personal Mastery, Mental Models, Systems Thinking

"The different views offered by the members of a [group]
are like the ingredients of a delicious stew."
Hushmand Fathea'zam

People think differently. The differences show up in work styles and decision-making, communication and problem solving. Some people are collaborators, others prefer to work alone. People are drawn to the big picture or the details. Some like information delivered in succinct bullets, others like expressive stories. These differences can be a source of conflict or celebration. You choose.
We were once facilitating a workshop using the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument, which assesses and explores thinking styles. At a break, an agitated participant approached us and asked if he could be excused just long enough to call his wife in Kuala Lampur. They'd had a big fight the night before he left for the states, and he had decided she was crazy. With relief, he said, "She's not crazy, she's just right brained!"

1. Get to know your own thinking style preferences. (check out the HBDI at or
2. Accept that people truly see the world through different lenses.
3. Don't take it personally when someone has a perspective different from yours. They are not just trying to bug you.
4. Approach people who think differently with curiosity instead of defensiveness.
5. For the richest result, seek diversity of thinkers when forming a team.
6. When you're stuck, ask for input from people who think very differently from you.

This month there won't be a telegathering, because I'm going on holiday. If you haven't already, you should go on holiday too!

The topic of thinking styles is such a favorite of mine, though, that in the fall I will be offering a longer teleclass on the topic. Watch for it!

Reach me: 1-888-769-3494 or e-mail I am a personal and professional coach and would be happy to offer you a complimentary phone session.

Each month FRESH VIEWS focuses on a single topic, relates it to one of the five disciplines of a learning community, and offers a coaching tip and a follow-up telegathering. Please forward it to friends and colleagues. My purpose in writing FRESH VIEWS is to nurture, prod and encourage readers to think and talk about these topics with their families, friends and colleagues. Mine is only one view. Multiple conversations may deliver us to insights only hinted at here. Such a process sustains the vitality of learning relationships, learning families, learning organizations and learning communities.

Fresh Views E-zine Index

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