Understanding How We Think: Why Companies Should Create a Value-Driven Culture

Mar 22, 2016

Understanding How We Think

So now that we understand that people do have thinking preferences and everyone's brain is wired in a certain way to influence his or her decisions, can individuals think differently in different situations? Of course. A person varies use of his or her thinking structure according to conditions.

  • Thinking Condition I (Relating): This includes discussing and reviewing with others, using energy to consider different points of view, and interacting and discussing with others to get input.
  • Thinking Condition II (Reflecting): This includes thinking on your own and using your own energy, along with input from others, to make careful decisions.
  • Thinking Condition III (Responding): This includes when someone is thinking individually and there is little energy used to consider alternatives. This is considered normal, daily thinking based on the individual's value structure.
  • Thinking Condition IV (Reacting): This includes reacting to something that must be addressed before other factors or issues can be considered. It is a type of "fight or flight" process.

Thinking Conditions I and II are categorized as deliberate thinking. Thinking Conditions III and IV are considered automatic thinking. When we are thinking deliberately, we exhibit high judgment, high reasonability, and high vulnerability. This is ideal, especially in the workplace. When we think automatically, which we unfortunately do 95‚Äč percent of the time, we have poor judgment, we are not rational, and we are fairly shut off.

When someone has just completed a time-consuming project and is visibly drained, that person is probably in automatic thinking mode and is not ready to demonstrate a high judgment decision just yet. This is not the time to have an in-depth discussion with the individual about details of an upcoming project. This employee needs time to decompress and return to a deliberate state of thinking. Yes, the science behind thinking conditions is a lot like common sense.

According to Smith, in order to stay competitive in an ever-changing global market, many organizations need to create a value-focused business culture to assist with the engagement of their talent and with decision-making. Being able to identify dimensions of value can help to understand employees' personal motivations and why they make certain decisions. It is critical to be able to know what motivates people in order to get them to behave in the way that is most desirable for the organization.

ZERORISK helps organizations build great cultures by identifying, developing, and retaining top talent. The ZERORISK Hiring System blends a revolutionary behavioral science with state-of-the-art technology to reduce unwanted turnover and improve employee performance. For more information contact us at (800) 827-5991.

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