Thinking creatively is a much sought after talent in the workplace these days, as competitions are stiff, and the flow of originality is stemming.'Show us your creativity!','We need a creative worker!'and 'Impress us with your creative ideas!'are all expressions that haunt many of us at the workplace.
*So what exactly is creative thinking?
Creative thinking is thinking that is distinguished from other types of thinking by the fact that it involves the production of new and original ideas or solutions to various existing problems. It is the ability to think differently, and beyond, sometimes even against,the horizons of what we've been taught. Like Pablo Picasso once said,"The chief enemy of creativity is good sense."
Thinking, psychologically speaking, is said to be creative when it is Constructive, Reality oriented, Appropriate, and Socially desirable.Hence making it such an important skill for any efficient worker in almost any field.
Creative thinking can follow two paths, as asserted by J.P Guilford, a pioneer in creativity research. According to Guilford, it could be Divergent or Convergent
Divergent thinking is the sort of thinking that is required in order to solve a problem that could have many plausible solutions. Basically open ended thinking. We employ divergent thinking when we try to solve problems such as effective resource management, making tastier healthier food etc. Divergent thinking employs qualities in the individual such as fluency, flexibility, originality etc to come up with various solutions for any given problem.
Convergent thinking, on the other hand, is the direct thinking that is required to find the answers to problems that can have only one solution. This sort of thinking is useful to us at a time of application, when we have to single out the best solution for a problem from all the solutions we have come up with.
As it has become evident, divergent and convergent creative thinking work alongside each other in various aspects of our lives, and help us solve problems innovatively.
Some Tips On Improving Creative Thinking
- Expose yourself to your environment completely and wholly. Become more sensitive and train yourself to notice small details and insignificant facts. Respond to the various stimuli that you come in contact with. Make it a habit to ask questions, process all events and answers and consider things from new angles.
- Always exert yourself to the maximum in coming up with as many ideas as possible for ever problem you encounter. Train yourself to look at any problem from all sorts of angles.
- Explore and experiment with everything you come in contact with. Always try to build new relationships between objects or events or rearrange existing relationships. Actively engage in fusing together the most remote ideas and thoughts.
- Constantly engage yourself in activities that require use of your imagination and original thinking capabilities. Do not fall prey to the routine of work. Always try to shake things up a bit and work according to your interests and hobbies.
- Never judge your ideas and thoughts before they are fully formed. Separate the judging from the creative thinking process. Do not engage in evaluation while you are generating ideas.
One must always remember that no one has zero creativity. We are all born different, and creative. We just have to inculcate the habit in us more deeply and effectively. Always remain positive and self confident. Never undermine or doubt your creative potential.