Dealing with a Global Thinker When You're Detail-Oriented


Last week, I shared strategies for global thinkers. But, what if your house, like mine, is home to a big-picture thinker and a detail-oriented person? Planning the same event can become a battleground unless one person does it all, or both people learn to speak the lingo. Here are three things detail-oriented people can do to make the most of their partnership with a big-picture thinker.

Try to take in the whole picture. I know that’s asking a lot. Detail-oriented people often have as much difficulty zooming out as global people have zooming in. If you can take a step back from the details long enough to imagine the finished product, you’ll not only get a sense of where your global partner is coming from, but perhaps prioritize your own lists as well.

Avoid the impulse to offer a smorgasbord of details. Feed details to your global partner in bite-sized pieces, and preferably off just one page of the menu. When she’s focusing on the food list, save the decoration suggestions for later. If she’s already drowning in details for one area, offering details for another may just sink the ship. (And that’s enough metaphors for this section).

Image via Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain

Ask how you can help. My husband has become very, very good at this strategy, which allows the global person to relinquish one detail at a time. One caveat: be aware that you must choose your tone very carefully when asking this question of a stressed out global thinker who still thinks her overly optimistic plan is possible.

Unlike the personal and organizational styles, these planning styles actually complement one another, so, temporary complications aside, being partnered with someone whose style is the opposite of yours can be just the thing to ensure that your event comes together beautifully.

Down to the last detail.

Copyright 2016 Lisa Hess


About Author

Lisa Lawmaster Hess has contributed articles to local, national and online publications, and blogs at The Porch Swing Chronicles, The Susquehanna Writers and here at She is the author of two non-fiction books (Acting Assertively and Diverse Divorce) and two novels, Casting the First Stone and Chasing a Second Chance. A retired elementary school counselor, Lisa is a lecturer in psychology at York College and enjoys singing with the contemporary choir at her church.


  1. Thanks for sharing!

    Another helpful thing my (detail oriented) husband does for me (global minded) is to give me the “thesis” or summary of what he wants to talk about before launching into the details. I have a hard time focusing on stories or discussions or issues until I can see how they fit in to the big picture.

    He prefers to build up to his point detail by detail, but I’m grateful for when he adapts to my style.

  2. How thoughtful! If you’re like me, the detail-by-detail build probably stresses you out. How wonderful that he adapts to your style! Thanks for reading & commenting. 🙂

  3. I’m thrilled that my husband has learned to ask me how he can help — but it has taken us 25 years to get to this point 🙂 I’m like your hubby, Barb — I just wanna have fun, and all of the details are hurdles. And there are so many of them!

  4. Admittedly I Want my global hubby to notice a few details a week. I accommodate globally in SO many ways. I have no idea how to globally communicate this. Would love ideas.😊 his adhd makes it tough too. He is medicated. Still tough.

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