Thinking outside the box involves looking at objects, situations, criticism, challenges, or people from a unique perspective. It is an important skill when it comes to problem solving, negotiating, debating and more. Following are six techniques you can use to think outside the box:
- Challenge the status quo: The goal when challenging the status quo is to make processes, procedures, and rules more efficient or effective. Challenging the status quo does not involve pushing an opinion, saying something is wrong, or calling someone stupid. To challenge the status quo, ask why, what if, and how.
- Take a different approach: When you come to a roadblock or run short on answers try a different approach. Think “What if I did…” or “How can I…” instead of thinking “I can’t…”. A roadblock is usually not the end of the road. Typically, there is a way around or through a roadblock and a way to find the answers.
- Doodle: Doodling is not just scribbling you do when you are bored. Doodling is beneficial for visualizing information, engaging the creative side of your brain, and helping to relieve stress. Doodling is a good way to bring your thoughts together, it can help you have an “ah-ha” moment when you are stuck on a problem. I find myself doodling when I have a lot on my mind or I am trying to understand something.
- Read a mystery novel: A well written who-done-it will get your deductive reasoning flowing and trigger creative thinking.
- Brainstorm: Brainstorming sessions are a great way to open the mind and produce creative ideas/solutions. During a brainstorming session, write down any ideas that come to mind about the posed question or problem without filtering them. Filtering ideas during the session stops creativity. After the session, filter the ideas and act on the good ones.
- Conduct object exercise: Choose an object in your home or office and come up with as many different uses for it as you can. To trigger ideas, turn the object upside down and inside out (if possible), or image what would happen if you cut the object in half, into pieces, or used more than one.
To improve your knack for thinking outside the box, you must focus on actions that will spark creativity and develop your viewpoint. Actions that may include taking risks, trying new things, and making mistakes.
NEXT STEP: Below tell me one way you will start to think outside the box.
Next week I will share with you The Secret to Being a Good Conversationalist. Click “Follow” at the top right-hand corner of this post so you don’t miss upcoming tips for managing life’s chaos!
Make this your best day,
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Angie R. Boecker is a specialist in managing life’s chaos. She is the author of two books, Effective Grant Writing: Submit a Stronger Application and The Secrets to Thinking on Your Feet and a blog entitled The Travel Element. As a public speaker, Angie has spoken to audiences on topics that help them manage life’s chaos.
Note: Image from flickr.com through Bing Image Search