Creative Thinking Techniques

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Creative thinking techniques are different methods of thinking that can help individuals deliberately think of new ideas and strategies for their execution. Please, pay attention to the word: deliberately. It means that a thinker does not need to rely on random strokes of inspiration but can train his mind to go beyond the boundaries of everyday thinking and discover new paths to finding unorthodox ideas.

Creative thinking techniques can be learned and successfully applied in everyday life no matter whether you are an artist, entrepreneur, professional or a scientist. Anyone with average IQ and standard education can learn and benefit from using these techniques. Just like any other skill, creative thinking skills should be practiced regularly if you wish to master them and use them as one of your own thinking styles.

tattoed artist drawing creative thinking techniques
Photo by Evan Clark on Unsplash

There are several creative thinking techniques that are most commonly taught and practiced.

Lateral Thinking

was developed by Prof. Dr. Edward De Bono. It uses different techniques that help individuals expand boundaries of their own thinking and discover less obvious information, or lateral impulses, that can lead them to discovering new ideas. Most of the thinking exercises that you find online or in books rely on Lateral Thinking technique as they all tend to provide original prompts that can help you generate new ideas.    

Mind Mapping

is a technique that is most useful in developing Associative Thinking skills. It explores connections between diverse pieces of information to create a visual map consisting of words and images. Technique was developed by Tony Buzan and can be used to search for new ideas, analyze things and processes or memorize large amounts of information. The beauty of this technique is that you can modify the way you group information until you find your own style of mind mapping.

Parallel Thinking 

is another technique developed by Prof. Dr. Edward De Bono. It is also known as Six Thinking Hats technique because it teaches you how to use different thinking styles: Exploratory Thinking, Positive Thinking, Critical Thinking, Emotional Thinking, Creative Thinking and Focused Thinking. It can be used individually but it is most powerful when used in group sessions because it encourages collaborative thinking among team members which leads to better communication, understanding and team-spirit and ultimately creates true creative culture.

Whichever of these creative thinking techniques you decide to further explore and practice, be prepared to become surprised at how creative you can be.

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