Thinking Agility – Developing your Mental Muscles

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Agile thinkers have the ability to consciously shift their thinking style. According to the Whole Brain® Model framework, agile thinkers are able to switch between the four different thinking preferences and can leverage each style as required. 

But being an agile thinker is just like developing any other muscle. You have to work at it.

We’ve compiled a list of quick and easy Whole Brain® activities to help you develop your mental agility.

Pick one activity a day or repeat one until you feel that you’ve got it, then move on to another. 

Analysis

  • Prepare an objective critique of an issue you’re facing by analysing the key components.
  • Get excited about data analysis by searching online for data about it and analyse what you can learn from it.
  • Take an article or blog post you’ve recently read and analyse the evidence that’s provided to support the ideas. Is it sufficient? Practice doing this as you do your reading throughout the week.

Execution 

  • Identify something you’re procrastinating about and determine why. Then take action on the first step you need to get it going again.
  • Search online and download one of many “anti-procrastination” apps. Try using it for at least two weeks.
  • Read a book on execution (many exist) and look for ways to bring the concepts into your day-to-day perspective.

Interpersonal 

  • Pick a work relationship that you struggle with and step into the shoes of that person. Think about what their challenges are and how they see the world. Reevaluate your interaction. How does your perspective on them shift?
  • Look over your contact list and find three people you might reconnect with, just to check in and say hello. Take the initiative to reach out and find out how they are—with no other agenda than that.
  • Practice networking by attending an event or reaching out to other colleagues you know less well and focusing on others by making good eye contact and using these phrases: Tell me more about…, How did you get into…, What is your greatest challenge… See how much more connected you feel.

Innovative Thinking

  • Seek out a person who is quite different than you are, and spend time being curious and understanding how that person thinks so you can learn something of value from the experience.
  • Search online for blogs, articles, and apps that you would never think to read or try and see what ideas emerge from the process.
  • Pick a problem you have been working on and think of three crazy ideas that actually solve it.

Learn how to leverage agile thinking to become a better problem-solver, communicator and leader 

Whole Brain® Thinking can help you develop your thinking agility. Enquire about one of our Whole Brain® Learning Programs to find out which one is right for you. 

 

This article was originally published in 2016. It has been updated in 2019 and republished to ensure our readers don’t miss out on valuable information.