In their book, Collaborative Intelligence: Thinking With People Who Think Differently, Dawna Markova and Angie McArthur write about the transformative power of collaborative thinking, and the importance of uncovering your thinking talents as a way to become a more effective problem solver and catalyst for progress.
Thinking talents is the term the Markova and McArthur use to describe innate ways of thinking and approaching challenges. Such talents often come naturally, energizing you and helping you excel in life. Thinking talents are one of four strategies in a larger plan of action the co-authors leverage to teach people how to access the full range of unique intelligence within each of us, and between us collectively. These talents can be applied as a strategy to keep us engaged with our lives, manage stress and avoid the burnout epidemic that spawns from counterproductive thinking habits.
Markova is internationally known for her research on learning and perception, and McArthur is an expert in learning and communication styles. They suggest the key to unlocking effective collaboration is through identifying your talents and blind spots, and then learning to identify those areas in colleagues.
As new technologies allow us to fundamentally rethink our global economy, the future of work is rapidly changing and more organizations are hiring less for skills and more for a person’s ability to learn. Professionals of all stripes will need to develop capacities for deep listening, precise observation and interpersonal skills to adapt and find purpose in society. Learning to identify our own set of strengths and those of our colleagues is a method that can be used over and over to create more options for everyone.
What I learned
• Shaping life from the essence of who you are can generate resilience and wellbeing in society
• Self-knowledge is the leadership knowledge that matters most in a rapidly changing world
• Learning to be aware of your receptive and connective abilities, creativity, intuition, innovation, sensitivity, and wisdom allows for innovate insights and ideas to emerge
From solving existentially critical challenges to merely looking for your next job, everyone can benefit from learning to identify and apply thinking talents.