How to Improve Communications between Big Picture Thinkers and Detail Focusers

stalled or worse one which has broken down completely.

Occasionally this stalling is as a result of different personalities simply not understanding each other.A frequent cause is the Big Picture Thinker clashing with a Specific Detail Thinker. Each is a valuable contributor to an organisation and if either is stuck and inflexible in their thinking each becomes incapable of understanding or communicating with the other.

For example; Lisa is a highly competent PA to Geoff,How to Improve Communications between Big Picture Thinkers and Detail Focusers Articles a middle manager in a large organisation. Geoff thinks in pictures, theories and global concepts. He operates his office this way too.  There are lots of coloured sticky notes on his whiteboard, beside the mind maps and coloured diagrams. Geoff is “across the big picture” and does not concern himself with the detail. He has competent technical staff that he trusts to do their jobs. He sees his role as being the supplier of vision and direction – he is good at this.

Recently he became so frustrated with Lisa that he asked the HR department to find him a new PA. Lisa was moved sideways without a lot of explanation and her workplace engagement dropped off.

The HR advisor asked me to intervene with Lisa.

After hearing her history I asked Lisa to do a Myers Briggs Personality Test for me, before we looked at moving forward and re-engaging her in her work.Lisa’s pride in her work was obvious as was her frustration with Geoff and the situation she found herself in. Her complete conviction that she had done nothing wrong came across quite clearly.

Lisa is proud of her attention to detail and weaves a narrative of the number of times she has had to correct error