What is your mode of thinking?

According to the dictionary a mode is:

‘a way or manner in which something occurs or is experienced, expressed, or done.’

For example, your preferred mode of travel could be by car.

I believe this concept can be applied to our thinking.

Our mode of thinking is how we:

  • create ideas
  • solve problems
  • make decisions
  • generate new growth opportunities
  • see a situation
  • adapt to change…

Our mode of thinking consists of our:

  • past experiences
  • assumptions
  • beliefs
  • norms
  • conventions we follow
  • attitudes towards change for example

I am using a mode as a kind of operating instructions for how we think.

It’s like a program of instructions for our mind.

Our mode of thinking impacts how we feel and what we do.

So it’s a big concept.

Your mode of thinking can operate at an individual or a collective level.

For example, my lawyer friends have a particular mode of thinking even outside their 9 to 5 role.

They tend to operate in a considered, thoughtful way (not always) and rely on evidence and argument to test their views and others even at a dinner party for example.

This is not good or bad.

It’s just a way of operating.

A way of thinking that dominates what they think, feel and do.

In a similar way, a mode of thinking could operate at a group or team level.

In my experience a creative team at an ad agency differs from a group of engineers who are very different from a collection (set, swarm, herd, flock?) of doctors at a hospital.

This brings up another important point.

Your mode of thinking is not fixed.

There may be a preference but it can be fluid depending on the situation, need or environment.

For example, nurses and doctors in an emergency department at a coffee break could be in a relaxed mode then the alarm goes and they instantly change into a more focused, aware, urgent mode.

This example also highlights the idea that your mode of thinking can change quickly.

For example, you when you are in an important meeting your mode can change the moment the meeting or presentation ends.

The key point is that we all have a preferred mode of thinking which can change or in my language can be switched when we need to.

We just need a greater awareness that this is possible, a set of switches, some practice and confidence.

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