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Online: Creative thinking is something you can learn

Creative thinking is more than just handy crafts. It's about breaking with your routine. About opening up your mind to new things and stepping away from the beaten path. To think out-of-the-box. To think of solutions for both small and large every-day problems. For some, it is a talent they were born with. For most, it is a skill that can be trained.

Creative skills

We spend most of our time 'thinking logically.' We want to get from A to B as quickly as possible. We want to find quick solutions to a problem. And often, for this reason, we will choose a solution we are familiar with. Creativity is about finding alternatives. The skills you need for this, are:

  • Delay your judgment
  • Come up with alternatives
  • Change your perspective/observe
  • Create associations
  • Apply visual thinking

Thinking methods

Creative thinking is something you can learn. Everybody is creative in their own way. It also has nothing to do with intelligence. Highly intelligent people can be poor creative thinkers. And vice versa, people who do not score very highly on an IQ-test, could be very creative thinkers.

There are many different thinking methods and techniques that improve creative thinking. For some, certain techniques will work better than others. One person might sit down for half an hour to meditate to get into the right thinking mode, while another person will start a mind map on a big sheet of paper. And a third person will want to brainstorm at the next team meeting, in order to come up with new ideas.

Three exercises to improve your creativity

  1. Do you find yourself having to wait? Put away your smart phone and look around you. Come up with a story that connects at least five of the things you see.
  2. Are you having a meeting later? Think of an opening or a closing of the meeting that you've never used before that will shake things up for sure.

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