In many aspects of our life, thinking puts emphasis on analysis such as in understanding a message, concept, or idea, following instructions, creating logical reasoning, knowing the wrong from the right, and so on. However, thinking does not limit itself to analyzing only; there is a different kind of thinking skill that allows individuals to look for other options and solutions, to explore other ideas, and to search for new possibilities. This kind of thinking skill is otherwise known as creative thinking.
Importance of Creative Thinking Skill Usually, people get the idea that being creative is being artistic. Indeed, to some extent, being creative does have something to do with artistic expression but there is more to it as well. There are many things in our life that requires the use of creative thinking, such as in problem-solving.
For example, in dealing with conflicts in the workplace, you need to not only think critically of the situation but you also need to find ways on how to better resolve the conflict. In helping a colleague or an employee to learn and understand a project, we need to apply creative thinking, because as you know, we are all different types of learners, so instructions and concepts cannot be taught in one generic way for everyone. Lastly, in dealing with customers, our approach must be different for various types of personalities.
Needless to say, formulating diverse sales approaches require a good amount of creative thinking. Creative thinking helps to create a vision, instead of seeing only limitation. This is important because we live in an ever-changing world; we need to try new things, think of new ideas and strategies, and come up with different plans all the time. The method used to market your product today may no longer be applicable two years from now. Creative thinking plays an important role in dealing with a changing environment because without it, it would be difficult to discover new possibilities.
How to Assess Creative Thinking Skill
For you to determine your level of creativity, you must answer the following questions.
1. Are you a curious individual? 2. Do you enjoy challenges and puzzling situations? 3. Are you optimistic? 4. Do you have an imaginative mind? 5. Do you see problems as exciting and interesting? 6. Are you persistent, hard working, and persevering? 7. Do you challenge issues and problems around you? 8. Are you open-minded? 9. Do you believe that there is always a solution for problems? 10. Do you think outside the box?
“Yes” answer to all questions above would indicate that you are a creative person.
One of the very big obstacles to creative thinking is fear- the fear to deviate from status quo; fear of being criticized, and the fear of losing. One must fully understand that to make a big impact on your endeavors, there has to be a willingness to take risks, and when one is willing to do so, there is no limit to one’s creativity.
How to Enhance Creative Thinking
Every person is naturally creative, and this is very evident in children. However, as we grow older, we start to become very conscious and concerned with status quo; we begin to experience fear and this is why our creative thinking becomes less and less used.
To enhance this particular skill, one must see a situation from a child’s perspective. Avoid thinking about limitations and barriers; do not let worries get in the way; do not be so conscious about what other people will say regarding your decision; and lastly, do not be afraid to make mistakes. When you can let go of hang-ups you are better able to utilize your creative thinking and you will be surprised at how much you can do, and how many amazing ideas you can think of simply by not limiting yourself.
Imagination and association also play a huge part in a person’s creative thinking. According to Aristotle, imagination bridges the gap between “ideas” and “mental images,” whereas association would refer to the process by which a person connects these ideas and mental images, and create something out of it. Such practice will help to boost one’s creative thinking abilities and must be used constantly.