What Kind of Thinking Situation Is This?

When we deliberately think about something, it is very important to have a precisely defined focus. What should be the outcome of the thinking? If we know what outcome we want, then it is not that difficult anymore to know what thinking steps to do.

To get a good focus, it is helpful to ask for ourselves what kind of thinking that should be done, what the context of the thinking is, or what the thinking situation is. In the image below some 30 thinking situations are shown.

 Thinking Situations

For every thinking situation mentioned above exist a well defined thinking road map, either in CoRT, Lateral Thinking, Six Thinking Hats or TRIZ.

Also is it possible to Google : tool < thinking situation >. F.e. “tool negotiation

Chances are that you will be referred to Mindtools.com. The whole Mind Tools toolkit contains more than 900 management, career and thinking skills. Anther source for a variety of thinking techniques is Van Gundy’s Techniques of Structured Problem Solving. Despite dating  from 1988 it is still current.  The book also evaluates  advantages and disadvantages of each technique based on available experience and efficacy studies. More than 100 techniques are classified according to the phase in the problem solving process:

  • Pre-Problem Solving
  • Redefining and Analyzing the Problem
  • Generating Ideas
  • Evaluating and Selecting Ideas
  • Implementing Ideas

However, it is far better to design your own thinking road map because it will help you to “get grips upon the thinking task”. Designing your thinking steps is essentially a Blue Hat Thinking task or a metacognitive task.

  get thinking


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