Creativity: Six Doors to Creative Thinking

Dr. Purushothaman
October 13, 2013

You can be more creative when you want. You don't need to be naturally talented at creative thinking. You can learn the techniques and improve your thinking skills. It starts by understanding the key principles of creativity. It's not a contest. Creative thinking is simply a method of thinking that you can enhance. Ready? Use these six principles to open more doors to your creative thinking advantage.

Creative thinking is not a talent even though some people might appear to be naturally creative. The ability to think creatively is a skill that can be learned, enhanced and taught. People who seem to be more creative have just invested more time and energy learning and practicing to be more creative.

Children seem to be more creative than adults. What does that tell you? That everyone was creative at some point in their life. Many people become less creative as they grow older because they were rewarded for being un-creative. Schools reward compliance not creative thinking. Most jobs demand rigidity not creativity. As we matured we tended to be embarrassed by our attempts at creativity so we avoided that discomfort. If you want to be more creative - think like the child you once were. Spend more time around children and you will be more creative.

If you want to encourage creative thinking - tell a joke or read a funny story. To inspire your team to offer creative ideas, make them laugh. Laughter relaxes you and opens your mind to new ideas. Laughter removes inhibitions and allows your mind to cross over from logical thinking into creative space. If you want to be more creative, laugh.

Naïve Questioning
The best thinkers ask good questions. The most creative minds ask probing questions. When you ask questions without assuming the answer you will find more creative possibilities. Einstein perfected this technique as he explored the laws of the universe. The only way that he could find the answers to the question about the universe was to ask questions and explore the possibilities within his mind. Be more like detective Colombo on the TV series as he posed his questions to witnesses and suspects. Ask naïve questions. Don't pretend to know the answers.

Role Playing
When you are stuck for ideas, pretend to be someone else. That person could be real or fictional, dead or alive, a composite or specific. Get into someone else's mind. What would your favorite hero do in this situation? How would your enemy fix things? What would your best customer say about this problem? What would your grandmother do? How might future generations handle this situation? Pretend to be someone else and think the way you believe they would.

You are Creative
Believe that you are creative, even if the ideas aren't appearing fast enough for you. Remind yourself of the creative ideas you've formed and the creative things you have done. If you need help to remember your creative moments ask a good friend for ideas. Ask them, "What creative things do your remember that I have said or done?

Many people adamantly claim that they are not creative. If they believe that - they will choke their creativity. All they need to do is change their language to "Yes, I am creative." Then they will be creative. Creative thinking is only a matter of giving yourself the permission to explore possibilities.

If you want to be more creative just open one or more of the doors to creative thinking offered above. See you on the other side.


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