Your job probably has many facets. You may feel like you do mental gymnastics all day long. Sometimes you’re trying to learn something new, next you’re trying to solve problems, and sometimes you’re trying to dream up new ideas.

Your self-concept and self-esteem have a significant impact on your cognitive, learning, or thinking style. Your self-concept and self-esteem have an impact on the way you receive and process information.

The manner in which you communicate to yourself may provide clues to the cognitive learning or thinking style you prefer. Visual/spatial: Do you prefer using pictures, images, and spatial understanding? Aural or auditory: Do you prefer using sound and music? Verbal or linguistic: Do you prefer using words, both in speech and writing? Physical or kinesthetic: Do you prefer your body, hands, and sense of touch?

Given these cognitive learning or thinking styles, we must also consider these three functions of thinking: to interpret, to solve problems, and to create.

Thinking to Interpret

When you think in order to interpret, you are communicating with yourself in order to classify or group information through your perceptions. What you pay attention to, or believe, is important, because that information is what you use for interpretation and drawing conclusions.

Thinking to Solve Problems

If you are communicating within yourself to solve a problem, you probably begin with a few ideas, then compare positives and negatives, and compare potential outcomes with desired benefits. Then you make plans you believe will work.

Thinking to Create

Thinking creatively often includes brainstorming, abandoning critical thinking for a while, letting the mind wander and wonder about the possibilities, and experiencing and enjoying the free-flowing of ideas without restriction.

Being willing to shift and drift appropriately from one style to another is a valuable communication skill. What do you think?

Rarely have we taken the time to really consider the relationship between self-concept, self-esteem, and interpretation. As they say, “What we think, we are.” So, what do you think?

If your organization would like to maximize cognitive, learning, and thinking styles of your staff, contact me at or book an appointment online and I will provide a seminar that will make it happen.