Creative thinking is not about how many ideas you can generate in a brainstorming session. Creative thinking is the result of using a variety of thinking styles to improve your creativity. The result is better ideas that turn into better innovations.
We are born with a variety of thinking styles that are established based on watching our parents, how we are taught in school and the early success we have in career. We get it wrong by attributing certain thinking styles as creative and others as not creative.
For example, most people will attribute “right dominate” as being creative while “left dominate” as analytical and therefore not creative. Another example is saying that people who are creative have an internal radar that allows them to just know the solution (intuitive thinking).
I don't agree with these gross generalizations – especially around creative thinking. What I've discovered over the years is that we as humans are far more complex than we care to admit. Each of us have multiple thinking styles running around inside which makes categorization impossible.
Thinking Styles Related To Creativity
What are different types of thinking styles?
- Left Dominated Thinker versus a Right Dominated Thinker
- Fast Thinking versus Slow Thinking
- Rational Thinking versus Intuitive Thinking
- Convergent Thinking and Divergent Thinking
What am I? As best as I can tell, I'm a right dominated (I'm ore visually oriented), slow (I like to spend time to scan for ideas), rational (I'm an engineer), divergent (I'm an idea person) thinker. So that makes me an RSRD.
What are you?
Is there one group of thinking styles that can greatly improve your creativity? No. In one study, when individuals were asked to use a thinking style(s) other than the one they normally use, they were significantly more creative.
How Do You Improve Your Creativity?
So how do you exercise a different thinking style to improve your creativity? By setting aside time to consciously apply a different thinking style than your own to whatever problem or opportunity you are facing. I call this Deliberate Thinking.
To learn the specifics of each thinking style and how they impact your creativity, list to this weeks podcast …
Other Materials That Are Related To This Topic …
- A recent blog post titled, “3 Actions To Improve Your Creative Thinking“
- A recent podcast titled, “Creative Thinking: The Critical Skill For The Creative Economy S12 Ep18“