We have two dominant ways we think about things. Aristotle called them dike and gnomos; Economics Nobel Prize recipient Daniel Kahneman called them thinking fast and thinking slow; Jane Austen called them Sense and Sensibility.
At Kairos, we call them Divergent and Convergent.
For more than 96% of us, our minds tend to hold them as opposites, and we reflexively gravitate toward one over the other.
And the human condition is to respond to someone holding the opposite position as being less intelligent, less careful, or less moral than we are.
Here’s how to avoid this confirmation bias so deadly to cooperation and accomplishment.
Bring together the Divergent and Convergent as shown below.
- What’s obvious (Divergent) | What can we detect (Convergent)
Divergent: Some things are just obvious. They stand out. It’s raining today.
Convergent: Other things yield to reproducible measure and data analysis: in the last 24 hours, our gauge recorded 1.34 inches.
Synthesis: Are your Horizons of Focus™ weather or climate?
- Who knows things (Divergent) | Who makes the decisions (Convergent)
Divergent: Know how. Some people have subject matter expertise and deep experience.
Convergent: Authority. Others have the title or position to make or influence decisions.
Synthesis: Bring together the differing Horizons of Focus™.
- Landmarks and goal posts (Divergent) | Road maps and flowcharts (Convergent)
Divergent: It’s two blocks north of the Empire State Building
Convergent: It’s at 3 West 35th Street
Synthesis: We often need different cues to navigate to the same place.
- Gather and adapt (Divergent) | Culture and grow resources (Convergent)
Divergent: In three months we’ll need to find funding to continue.
Convergent: We need to manage our cash flow and build sales over the next three months to continue.
Synthesis: Sometimes you need more than one contingency plan.
- Now is the time (Divergent) | There’s always time to do things right (Convergent)
Divergent: We can do this now and be late for the meeting.
Convergent: The meeting starts in five minutes, we can do this later.
Synthesis: What threats will we avoid and/or create by our choice.