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Three Types of Thinking

by | Apr 13, 2023

Everyone is unique in so many ways not least in the way they think. This leads us to the rich tableau of humanity in which we live because different ways of thinking lead to different results. There are people out there who think logically, creatively, methodically, chaotically, the list goes on.

These thoughts are all offshoots of three main types of thinking: Insightful, Experiential, and Incessant.

Out of each one of the three main thinking roots, there are countless other thinking styles that grow. These will be related to the base style of thinking and often people will tend toward one of these root thinking styles.

Insightful Thinking

According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, insight is defined as “the act or result of apprehending the inner nature of things or of seeing intuitively.” This then is the root of insightful thinking; we look at many things in order to understand them as fully as we can. Once we understand the nature of things, we can start to find the connections between them.

There are many scientific minds in history that are considered as belonging to insightful thinkers which may lead you to believe that it’s essentially a logical mindset. Although this is partially true there is a high level of creativity involved in this type of thinking. According to Neuroscientist William R. Klemm Ph.D. Genius is in fact defined by creativity.

Dr Klemm points out that Albert Einstein who is considered one of history’s greatest minds relied heavily on his creative mind. Einstein preferred to visualize his problems rather than use words or writing and would only use math to prove his hypothesis.

An insightful thinker, therefore, spends a lot of time visualizing the connections between things and uses their developed instincts to find solutions.

Experiential Thinking

Experiential thinking and learning quite obviously are connected to experience. Just as experiential learners take in knowledge by actively doing, so too do experiential thinkers. As an example, such thinkers are the types of people who can not only find art pleasing but also see the deeper meanings. They view and perceive the brush strokes in a painting and are in tune with what the artist was conveying.

Leadership expert Susan Croft refers to experiential thinkers as “soft red thinkers” and perceives a number of strengths they have to any work team.

  • They have a strong ability to read other people both emotionally and practically
  • They are good communicators
  • They have strong observation skills and are broad thinkers
  • They enjoy seeking an understanding of others as well as themselves
  • They are authentic and honest leaders.

The reason this type of thinking is so beneficial is that it entails a willingness to understand and look for deeper meaning. There is a willingness of taking the time to consider the important aspects of things as well as the obvious points.

Incessant Thinkers

If we say someone talks incessantly, we are essentially indicating they just won’t shut up, they have a lot to say but perhaps not much of interest. Incessant thinkers, then, are those who are constantly thinking but not necessarily in an ordered fashion. A more common term used for an incessant thinker might be an overthinker.

Incessant thinking can become chaotic and is often associated with anxiety disorders. According to Strategic Psychology, there is a connection between people who have a tendency to overthink things and those who suffer anxiety.

When people overthink, they can sometimes find making a decision daunting and may miss out on things. Incessant thinking is not a sound mentality as it becomes chaotic and tends to cause problems.

About Sarah Mitchell

Hi I'm Sarah, an Aligned Business Coach. I help women align their values, vision, and actions to achieve their goals and thrive in business through tailored coaching programs that prioritize personal & professional growth.

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