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People who think creatively have the ability to come up with new and unorthodox ways to solve problems and meet challenges whenever called upon. Because of their adaptable approach, they are extremely valuable employees to any company. By thinking creatively, you are approaching or looking at something in a different way. You are ‘thinking outside the box’, you are focused on lateral thinking and not on obvious patterns. Your abilities to think in this way can improve with practice.
A person approaching a problem tends to think about it in either a linear or lateral way. Each approach has its own strengths and neither one is the right or wrong approach, they are just different ways of thinking.
Linear thinkers think according to their held beliefs. Linear thinking is based on logic, rules, and rationality to solve an issue. The thought process is singular, methodical, and focused. Only one path is followed toward completion, which ignores other possibilities and alternatives. The linear thinking process is generally efficient and organized, and enables the thinker to get things done on schedule.
Lateral thinking allows organizations, teams, and individuals to be creative. Lateral thinking seeks a solution to an issue through unorthodox methods and techniques that are ‘out of the box’ and that would normally be ignored by logical thinkers. Lateral thinking techniques encourage thinkers to disrupt logical thought and arrive at solutions from another angle via a paradigm shift. The lateral thinking process is creative, turns problems into alternative solutions and taps into an unconventional way of thinking. Everyone can be a creative thinker, but only if you are open to thinking ‘outside the box.’
To approach a problem laterally, you need to think a little differently and challenge your held beliefs and personal paradigms. For example:
'Six Thinking Hats' is a time-tested, proven, and practical thinking tool devised by the creative thinking guru Edward de Bono. His techniques focus on enhancing the structure of thinking, so that decision-making and idea evaluation can be dramatically improved.
The Six Thinking Hats method uses ‘parallel thinking’ as an alternative to traditional ways of thinking. It’s a simple mental metaphor that involves six different colored hats – blue, white, green, red, yellow, and black - that can be put on or taken off to indicate a mode of thinking. One hat is worn at a time by an individual, or group in parallel, allowing more thorough, expansive thinking, and increased creativity and decision-making.
The Six-Hats tool provides a framework to help people think clearly and thoroughly by directing their thinking attention in one direction at a time:
Using the Six Thinking Hats method has many benefits, including:
CEO of Personal Skills Training, Senior Coach at Kevin J Reid Coaching, Co-founder and Communications Director of The Counsel.ie, and Lead Collaborator of LeitrimMade.com
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ABOUT THIS DIGITAL MARKETING MODULE
When it comes to improving your personal skills in the workplace, four essential skills stand out: the ability to be more productive at work; the ability to adapt to a changing work environment; the ability to manage your time effectively; and the ability to deal with setbacks. This module focuses on enhancing your skills in these four critical areas.
When it comes to productivity, you will learn about the difference between being busy and being productive, and techniques you can use to increase your output and to deal with unwelcome distractions and interruptions.
The lesson on adaptability focuses on how to cultivate an adaptable mind-set at work, and how to find alternative – and innovative – solutions to problems by using tactics like brainstorming and mind-mapping.
The time-management lesson explains how to prioritize tasks and set goals, how to save and create time, and how to eliminate personal time stealers such as excessively viewing email or attending too many meetings.
The module concludes with a lesson on how to respond to setbacks in the workplace. You will discover the importance of demonstrating resilience in the face of adversity, and how to turn setbacks into valuable learning opportunities.
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