Saturday, March 4, 2017

Slice 4 of 31- #SOL17: Global versus Analytic Processing

This is the 10th year that Two Writing Teachers has hosted the Slice of Life Challenge. Thirty-one days of writing during the month of March, here we go!

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:

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?

Happy Slicing!


  1. Excited to get this book. Looks good. I love the chart above- and think I am sequential.
    I also love the way you start this slice. (And can relate well to your style of cooking... right there with you- though when I bake I am a total rule follower.)

  2. I love learning about everyone's different ways of processing and producing information. I've always thought that the differences make us fascinating and unique. Although, it does, often, become a challenge to work with others that don't think like us.
    It makes us bend, become flexible, and discover new ways of reaching and talking with our students and our peers.

    Thanks for this post! :)