How to be a more flexible thinker

I was talking to Jeff our personal trainer (not his real name) about his training philosophy.

One of the key features of his success was his flexibility.

Not just flexibility as in stretching (although it was impressive) but a flexibility in style.

Jeff said that in his role (and I suspect in any people-facing one) the key ingredient was being able to adapt his communication and training plans to his growing list of clients.

He has to adjust his training programs to his clients age, sex, body size, goals, resources, previous training and time availability.

Jeff also suggested that he had to adapt his communication style to his clients interest in fitness, personality, level of extroversion etc.

In short, he was constantly adapting to the client and the situation.

Now consider the reverse.

Imagine only having one style.

Or one way of dressing or one style of music or one way of talking to someone regardless of their age, education or openness.

Yet for many people they tend to think in only one way.

This may have worked in the past.

And might work in most situations but wouldn’t it be better to become a more flexible thinker?

One that can adapt to changing situations.

This is one of the goals of Switch Thinking.

It can help you and your group or team to become more flexible, adaptable and creative thinkers.

How to be a more flexible thinker:

When you get stuck or you want a new idea just use the word switch.

For example;

What happens if we switch that question around?

Or what happens if we switch our perspective? What would a startup do?

Switch is the easiest way to develop a more flexible thinking style.

Or you could use any of the 6 Switches:

You can switch your perspective, problem, outcome, focus, questions or rules (i.e. assumptions).

Rather than be rigid in today’s changing world you need to become more flexible.

It’s easier than you think.

And will prove more successful for you.


Check out the 6 Switches Canvas. It’s simple, practical and free.