Tag Archives: divergent thinking

4MAT: Divergent or Convergent Thinking?

“To have a good idea, you must first have lots of ideas.” –Linus Pauling, winner of two Nobel Prizes

The 4MAT Learning Type Measure® assesses many dimensions of learning including our preference for divergent versus convergent thinking. What does this mean? Divergent thinking is focused on creating many options. Convergent thinking is focused on choosing one of the existing options. This difference in thinking style becomes readily observed in meeting spaces in Any Business. The divergent thinkers want to brainstorm, explore new ground and play “What if?” The convergent thinkers want to analyze the existing options, think through what will work in our current model and choose the viable option. Tension exists between these two ways of processing.

It is important to notice when you switch from one to the other. A too-early switch to convergent thinking could have you miss the big idea that might create a monumental versus incremental learning leap. A delayed movement to convergent thinking can have you miss the delivery date.