Rate Your Own Level of Cognitive Engagement

On the job, some employees pay more attention than others. In selling some salespeople pay more attention than others. Why is that? Because not everyone has the same level of thinking.

According to GALLUP there are three types of employees: Engaged, Disengaged and Actively Disengaged.

In the latest Gallup Global Report Australia rated 16% Engaged, 60% Not-Engaged and 14% Actively Disengaged.

Rate Your Own Level of Cognitive Engagement

Attention is all about cognitive engagement. Here’s a simple audit for you to rate your own level of cognitive engagement in just 20 questions.

It was designed by Dr Eric Bienstock who is Vice-Principal of SOT in New York. Eric holds a Master’s degree in Mathematics from the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, and a Ph.D. from New York University where he studied Mathematics, Education and Learning Theory.

He based this checklist on the SOT’s Learn-To-Think Coursebook and Instructors Manual (Michael Hewitt-Gleeson & Edward de Bono, Capra/New 1982).

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How well do you pay attention?

Use these 20 questions to rate your own employees’ level of lateral thinking …

INSTRUCTIONS: Answer each of the following 20 questions, scoring either 3, 2, 1, or 0 points for each answer depending on your objective estimate of how often your enterprise actually does what is stated. Use your best guess of the following criteria for scoring:

3 – 90% OF THE TIME (nearly always)
2 – 70% OF THE TIME (mostly)
1 – 40% OF THE TIME (often)
0 – 10% OF THE TIME (hardly ever)

QUESTIONS:

Your employees’ judgments of ideas are based on the value of the idea itself rather than on their emotions at the time.

0    1    2    3

They judge ideas not just as “good” or “bad” but also as “interesting” if they can lead on to better ideas.

0    1    2    3

They consider all factors in a situation before choosing, deciding or planning.

0    1    2    3

They consider all factors first, before prioritising the ones that matter most.

0    1    2    3

When my managers and supervisors create a rule they see to it that it is clearly understood and possible to obey.

0    1    2    3

They try to see the purpose of rules they have to obey, even if they don’t like the rules.

0    1    2    3

They look at consequences of their decisions or actions not only as they effect themselves but also as they affect our other stakeholders, internal and external.

0    1    2    3

They look at a wide range of possible consequences, short and long term, before deciding which consequences to bother about.

0    1    2    3

On the way to a final objective they establish a chain of smaller objectives each one following on from the previous one.

0    1    2    3

The objectives they set are near enough, real enough and possible enough for them to really try to reach them.

0    1    2    3

In planning, they know exactly what outcomes they want to achieve.

0    1    2    3

They keep their plans as simple and transparent as possible.

0    1    2    3

They know exactly why they have chosen something as a priority.

0    1    2    3

They try to get as many different ideas as possible first, before starting to pick out the priorities.

0    1    2    3

They will go on looking for alternatives until they find one they really like.

0    1    2    3

While most people look for alternatives when they are not satisfied; my managers and supervisors look for them deliberately, even when they are satisfied.

0    1    2    3

They are able to tell themselves the real reason behind a decision they make.

0    1    2    3

Before making a decision, they consider the factors, look at the consequences, get clear about the objectives, assess the priorities, and search for possible alternatives.

0    1    2    3

They are able to see the other person’s point-of-view whether agreeing with it or not.

0    1    2    3

They are able to spell out the differences and similarities between different viewpoints.

0    1    2    3

Your total score is

Analysis:

Calculate Total Score

INTERPRETATION

– If your total score in this test was between 51 and 60 points, your enterprise may already possess superior brainpower.

– If you scored between 31 and 50 points, your thought-leaders may have better than average brainpower.

– If you scored between 0 and 30, you may possess no additional enterprise brainpower other than the natural thinking ability that most untrained people have.

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Please don’t panic, this is NOT a scientific test. As you know, self-rating is notoriously unreliable so your ratings may be way off depending on your mood and other factors. However, it is a valid enterprise audit or metacognition checklist: to help you take stock of your enterprise lateral thinking, their attention skills, your own view of their cognitive engagement. That’s all!

Every day the output of your peoples’ brain is decisions. They make hundreds of conscious decisions a day, sometimes more. The quality of these decisions has a direct impact on the quality of their personal life, their family, their business and their friends. If you can raise the quality of their decisions you can raise the quality of their life.

A trained thinker can direct his or her thinking and use it in a deliberate manner to produce an effect. To a trained and skilled thinker, thinking is a tool that can be used at will and the use of this tool is practical. This ability to use ‘thinking as a skill’ is the sort of thinking ability that is required to get things DONE.

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