Mandy Kloppers

Big Picture Thinking

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Big Picture Thinking

Are you a global, big picture thinker? Do details and minutaie annoy you? Albert Einstein was a typical big picture thinker. Apparently, he never wore socks, believed shaving was a waste of time, rarely brushed his hair and had a famously messy desk. For Albert Einstein, his focus on the bigger picture meant that he did not see the long term benefits of attending to the finer details.

“The only valuable thing is intuition” Einstein once said. Why look for socks when you could be attending to the theory of relativity? Big picture thinkers find it incredibly boring getting ready for work- it is just a nuisance preamble to get to the important stuff later on at the office.

Big picture thinkers are likely to be scatty, widely speculative and amazingly original in their thinking. They are good at devising strategies, analysing trends and take a long term view of situations. In the Myers-Briggs personality schema, big picture thinkers are said to have an intuitive preference while details people possess a sensing preference. One of the main qualities of intuition is thinking big in a general way, and the defining quality of the sensing preference is focusing on details.

Big picture thinkers shine when it comes to taking risks and inspiring us to do something different. Those who focus more on details make things happen. They keep us safe, produce our food, build our houses and make sure things function day to day.

Both styles have their advantages. However, when detail focused thinkers find themselves in sweeping managerial roles they tend to micro-manage which frustrates colleagues and wastes time. Big picture thinkers tend to come into their own and higher levels in business and may not show their value earlier on in their careers.

Develop your weaker preference as the two styles complement each other. Having a balance is good but knowing your strengths will ensure you find a work role that fits you and your skills.

Mandy X

Myers-Briggs Questionnaire

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