The Brilliance Series: Divergent

The Brilliance Series invites you to take a closer look at the Emergenetics® Attributes. Whether you are craving more information about your own Profile or are interested in better understanding the preferences of others, the series will offer insights to shine a light on the genius of each Attribute.

Divergent Thinking Overview

I’m energized to have the opportunity to illustrate this Thinking style on our blog! The term “Divergent” is used to describe a person who has a combination of preferences for the Social and Conceptual Attributes. Someone with these preferences is likely to feel a connection to the phrase:

Let’s create this together.

Uniting the relational mindset of the Red (or Social) Attribute and the visionary nature of the Yellow (or Conceptual) Attribute, a Divergent perspective often leads to imaginative notions that consider and support a variety of stakeholders.

Its Brilliances

To help construct a mental picture of someone who prefers Divergent thought, I’ll share some insights into the gifts of the combination. A person who tends toward the Red and Yellow Attributes is often intuitive about people and ideas, having an innate capacity to sense how someone is feeling or if a concept will work. They are typically empathetic and curious, being interested in hearing about others’ experiences and theories, while validating feelings and perspectives.

Individuals with these preferences can usually uncover uncommon connections between concepts and individuals, opening the pathway to novel inspiration. Engaged by imagining the possibilities, a Red-Yellow thinker may have a knack for crowd-sourcing inputs to brainstorm solutions. They may also lean on their Social and Conceptual inclinations to identify future-focused ideas that unlock opportunities for others.

A New Way to Think About This Combination

Divergent thinkers often appreciate a multimedia experience, so I invite you to turn your attention to the video below to hear some connections between their style and a popular song.

Motivating Divergent Thinkers

When colleagues make an effort to honor the needs and interests of the Social and Conceptual Attributes, individuals with a Divergent thinking style will have a better chance of working positively and productively. They’re also likely to feel more comfortable sharing their perspectives and unconventional considerations with others.

To the Red-Yellow thinkers who are exploring this post, I invite you to brainstorm opportunities to weave the suggestions below into your work. For readers who may not favor a Divergent approach, you can still use these tips to align with and motivate colleagues who do.

Provide opportunities to allow those with this preference to engage in collaborative problem solving to uncover novel approaches. Encourage conversation around possibilities and what if’s, while leaving judgment at the door. Be mindful to allow for freedom and to encourage experimentation to test out different approaches.

Promote the relationship between work and its impact on the big picture and people. It can be especially compelling to use stories and metaphors to unlock motivation. Also, be sure to make room for personal connection as meaningful interactions inspire Red-Yellow thinkers to work with enthusiasm.

Flexing into Divergent Thinking

If you are interested in building up your Divergent Thinking muscles, there are ways that you can flex into this area. Some tips to help you get started include:

  • Finding ways to personalize and contextualize information by establishing ties between the task or project being described and its relationship to the big picture as well as its potential impacts to people, whether those are employees, customers or other stakeholders.
  • Asking open-ended questions to encourage imagination and exploration of alternatives.
  • Being curious about ideas and emotions to seek understanding and increase appreciation for others’ inputs as well as potentially untested (and unconventional) concepts.
  • Looking for tangential connections between theories or people to inspire Divergent neural pathways.
  • Taking time for team building to strengthen relational bonds and increase appreciation for eclectic points of view.
  • Speaking to the future state to build capacity in imagining possibilities and implications as well as allowing for ambiguity.

When employees try to welcome and celebrate the Social and Conceptual Attributes, they will co-create an environment where their colleagues feel encouraged to engage and participate. By designing cultures where all staff members are supported for being their authentic selves, everyone will be more connected to their work and each other, and the business will benefit from the brilliance of their cognitively diverse teams!

Learn how you can curate a company climate where each person can contribute their brilliances. Explore our website or fill out the form below to chat with our team today!

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