One of my best friends is a scientist, and she has stopped asking me for recipes. "I can't handle the way you cook," she tells me.
I know why.
I approximate as a cook. I don't really know how much broth to put in my tomato bisque soup because it depends on the consistency. And I can't tell you how much butter I use in double stuffed potatoes because it depends on whether I have cream cheese in the house and use some of that, or whether someone has used up the sour cream without telling me. Jen measures flour by running a flat edge across the measuring cup. I know I should, but I rarely do.
Yesterday, we had a Coaching Network meeting, and we jigsawed Chapter 8 of Diane Sweeney's book, Student-Centered Coaching. (If you're an instructional coach or an administrator, I HIGHLY recommend this book!) Chapter 8 is about the various differences that exist across many metrics within the people we work with--ages, stages, gender...the part that my group focused on had to do with processing types. Yes, I know I'm a abstract random person, and I work hard to manage this when I'm working with a concrete sequential person.
Sweeney's book talks about global versus analytic learning styles, which was another way to think of it. Rather than get into a narrative about the differences, I found the following visual from a University of Michigan website: http://www.umich.edu/~elements/fogler&gurmen/html/course/lectures/two/learners.htm
The book suggested that only 1/4 of people are global thinkers, a fact that I am continuing to research, but the same website from U-Mich had this graphic.
I'm thinking about this information insofar as it relates to the work I do coaching. If most of the people I am working with are analytical, and I'm guessing they are, then what are the implications for my work with them? And how can I better my own learning and processing of information by working to be less global and more analytical. As with so many things, I don't think one way is better than the other way. I'm actually wondering if the most successful people have figured out how to have a balance in their lives.
What if I explain how I think about measurement and cooking in an analytical kind of way? Would Jen be able to relinquish her inclination toward precision? I know when I bake, I work to curb my tendency toward approximation. Is that me shifting from my global approach to a slightly more analytical one? Maybe.
Aren't there so many aspects of life where we can all learn from each other?