Thursday, June 2, 2016

3 Keys Thursday: Coping with Global Mindset

Dodgerton Skillhause via Morguefile
Yesterday, I wrote about the zoom out/zoom in of global/detail-oriented thinkers and planners, and I promised to share strategies for making the global mindset work for you. So, as promised, here are three keys for planning when you're a big picture thinker, along with three keys for working with a global thinker when you deal in details.

Allow plenty of time. For global thinkers, procrastination is often the "default setting" when planning something big and/or important. Overwhelmed by the task, we vacillate from unrealistic, enormous plans to the bare bones basics, finally landing somewhere in the middle -- as long as we give ourselves enough time to work through the process.

Make lists -- incrementally, if necessary. As an I need to see it person, visually overwhelming lists feel insurmountable, so I often create lists by category. For my daughter's graduation party, for example, I made lists of decoration ideas, food to serve and grocery lists -- on three separate pages. My detail-oriented husband wasn't the least bit intimidated by putting it all on the same page, but for me to do so would have re-started the procrastination and slowed my forward movement.

Don't let the details get you down. Breathe. List. Act. Just take one detail at a time. Yes, there are lots of them, but, little by little, they'll line up just the way you want them to if you just take them one at a time.


What if your house, like mine, is home to a big-picture thinker (me) and a detail-oriented person (my husband)? Planning the same event can become a battleground unless one person does it all, or both people learn to speak the lingo. Here are three things detail-oriented people can do to make the most of their partnership with a big-picture thinker.

Try to take in the whole picture. I know that's asking a lot. Detail-oriented people often have as much difficulty zooming out as global people have zooming in. If you can take a step back from the details long enough to imagine the finished product, you'll not only get a sense of where your global partner is coming from, but perhaps prioritize your own lists as well.

Avoid the impulse to offer a smorgasbord of details. Feed details to your global partner in bite-sized pieces, and preferably off just one page of the menu. When she's focusing on the food list, don't offer decoration ideas and vice versa. If she's already drowning in details for one area, offering details for another may just sink the ship. (And that's enough metaphors for this section).

Ask how you can help. My husband has become very, very good at this strategy, which allows the global person to relinquish one detail at a time. One caveat: be aware that you must choose your tone very carefully when asking this question of a stressed out global thinker who still thinks her overly optimistic plan is possible.

Unlike the personal and organizational styles, these planning styles actually complement one another, so, temporary complications aside, being partnered with someone whose style is the opposite of yours can be just the thing to ensure that your event comes together beautifully.

Down to the last detail.

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