Innovation: Two Kinds of Thinking

The eminent Swiss psychiatrist and founder of analytical psychology, Carl Gustav Jung, identified two types of thinking – directed and non-directed (the latter originally referred to as ‘fantasy thinking’). Directed thinking is a process whereby thoughts are directed by utilising rational and conceptual frameworks. A clear expression of directed thinking is found in science and technological developments. Non-directed thinking is a process whereby thoughts, images, and ideas are allowed to simply manifest – a form of free association. This is the thinking process required to produce creative ideas and lateral solutions to problems. By viewing our thinking as either directed or non-directed we can evaluate the benefits of each and how each kind of thinking can contribute to our ongoing professional/personal development. For example, if we are struggling to construct a personal vision, non-directed thinking that allows time and space for creative ideas to germinate may be of more benefit. Subsequently, we can employ directed thinking to form a strategic plan for the resulting creative ideas. Integral Development’s Executive Coaches can help you develop the ability to deliberately employ directed and non-directed thought. For further information on directed and non-directed thinking contact

Workplace Conflict and Psychological Splitting

By Ken Milling, ID Executive Coach Many communication models assume the possibility of facilitating rational engagement with individuals in conflict. As many managers know, this is not always the case, because not all individuals engaged in conflict will conform to rational engagement, thus confounding our usual modus operandi. In many cases of individuals not conforming to rational engagement we are dealing with ‘psychological splitting’, a deeply unconscious process of failing to fully integrate aspects of personality through various stages of psychological development. An individual who employs the manifesting dynamics of psychological splitting in communication often has a negative impact on individuals and/or a team in the workplace, causing fragmentation and ‘taking sides’ in ongoing conflict that moves further from solution. A significant difficulty in engaging with individuals who are employing a dynamic of psychological splitting is that they have little or no insight into their behaviour, and their methods of communication will often be emotionally laden. They often have a ‘black or white’ perspective that can manifest as ‘you’re either with me or against me’. They will be defensive or accuse others of being overly aggressive, bullying, uncooperative and so on. Usually they will be unaware that the behaviour they are accusing others of is actually a part of their own behaviour; that in fact they are projecting onto others, elements of themselves that they have been unable to integrate into their personality. Another significant difficulty in engaging with individuals who are employing a dynamic of psychological splitting is that … Continue reading