In one of my previous blog posts, I introduced you to the concept of the Intrinsic Thinker and indicated that individuals with this style of thinking are typically very creative individuals, but poor listeners. In today’s blog post, I’m going to flesh out the typical Intrinsic Thinker profile in more detail. As I do this, you should begin to see why it is that such thinkers need to be managed in a way commensurate with their style of thinking.
Keep in mind that improvement to any process within an organization requires both change and innovation. Having properly motivated Intrinsic Thinkers is fundamental to the development of effective employee retention strategies.
In my last post, I fleshed out the characteristics of an Extrinsic Thinker and introduced you to the idea that thinking styles are linked to motivational priorities. This link is not apparent when a personality test is used to assess behavioral traits; simply because, unlike the performance profile questionnaire, personality tests make no attempt to measure motivations. Yet, the data generated through the deployment of Talent Chaser shows clearly that motivational issues are at the heart of employee retention problems. Where employees are demotivated, employee turnover rates are higher.
Characteristics of the Intrinsic Thinker
Let’s first remind ourselves of basic characteristics of an Intrinsic Thinker. These are depicted in the picture at left. One could say that the Intrinsic Thinker is characterized by high creativity but low social skills. As he becomes a more adept creative thinker through practice, he also becomes more motivated towards creative thinking.
Also, let’s keep in mind how this style of thinking evolves as depicted in the picture at right and remember that this self-reinforcing cycle is driven by the fact that we all like doing things we can do well.
At his juncture, I now need to refer to the corollary of this motivational rule namely that we all don’t like doing things we can’t do well.
The Intrinsic Thinker develops their creative skills at the expense of their listening skills and, because they are less adept at listening they become ever less motivated towards listening.
Intrinsic Thinkers as Employees and Managers
Because Intrinsic Thinkers typically like creative thinking, they usually gravitate towards situations where creative thinking is required. In general, creative thinking is paramount in problem-solving situations and the need for problem solving typically arises in situations of change. So, as Intrinsic Thinkers go through life they typically focus on their creativity and become more change-oriented.
As I mentioned in a previous blog, my research shows that everyone’s personality evolves through the acquisition or loss of traits as a way of compensating for other trait combinations.
Analysis of correlations between Performance Profile and Performance Appraisal data reveals a number of retention-related issues that arise when Intrinsic Thinkers, who have become change-oriented, are placed in managerial positions.
Retention-Related Issues with the Intrinsic Thinker Manager:
- A higher proportion of demotivation and higher rates of employee turnover amongst those subordinates who are also Intrinsic Thinkers.
- An inability to brief subordinates clearly.
- A lack of focus in the areas of planning and goal setting.
In future blogs within the Performance Appraisal series, real-life case history examples drawn from data generated through the deployment of Talent Chaser’s Appraisal Module will be used to describe exactly how managers and subordinates can handle these types of situations.
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