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How do you think ? Normally when we have a problem or an issue to solve, very often it seems complicated and we get confused. Imagine a bowl of spaghetti with each of the lengths of pasta representing a different way of thinking; it might look a bit like this..

Not a pretty sight. A good method is to tackle each bit of the meal a section at a time, grab a fork pull out a strand or two, examine it and put it to one side, then onto the next bit. By breaking your thinking down into manageable chunks it enables you to deal effectively with the issue but more importantly it will leave a space for a bit of Creative Thinking.. So, here we go.. We will break our issue or problem down into 6 manageable chunks. A good first step is to write the issue down.

My issue / problem is -----------------------------------------------------------------------That’s a great start, it’s written down so now lets look at how we manage the thinking. 1. Now here is the first job. You will need a bit of paper, a pen and a watch. Gathering all the facts, imagine you are a robot, no feelings or emotions just dealing with data. That is what we want to do, get as many facts down as possible. There may be some facts that need confirmation; you might need to google something at the end of this worksheet. Now, you are against the clock.. You have 3 minutes; write everything down on your paper..

GO! ---------------------------------------------------------

Good Job, now onto the next ..

2. How are you ffeeeelliinngg? In this section we are looking at emotions and how something makes us feel, emotions are a really useful component for thinking but when we allow them to dominate it’s not the most effective method to solve a problem, and trust me many people base their decisions on how they feel about something. Now, bear with me on this one, as you will have about 20 seconds on the clock. Hang on a minute, I almost forgot the most important bit. I don’t want you to JUSTIFY anything, no big Gone With the Wind style high drama, just write down how you feel at the moment. For example: ‘I feel worried’ or ‘I feel elated!’ So, how do I feel about my issue / problem?

--------------------------------------------------------Well done, it’s out in the open, phew.

3. What are the bbeenneeffiittss?? Now this might be a bit Tricky.. What are the benefits of my issue or problem? What are the positives? What’s good about it? Now, this might pose a bit of a challenge, you have to try and find the silver lining folks. It’s not a mode of thinking that comes naturally when there is a problem at hand, but try it, in the scheme of things it is important as it will change your outlook a little bit and you might be surprised at what comes out. You can have 3 minutes

Off you go..

T h e g o o d t h in g s a r e . . Interesting isn’t it..

--------------------------------------------------------4. Now for something more familiar.. This next bit will be like wearing an old pair of slippers, comfy, fits well but a little bit worn maybe, that hole in the toe lets in a draft.. Think about the not so good, it’s the most popular mode of thinking, we are all experts at it and as a rule it is the dominant way of thinking. So, what isn’t working, what do I have to be careful about? What are the risks and cautions? Give yourself 3 minutes, and remember, don’t bring emotions into it. Just write down the things that won’t work.

--------------------------------------------------------Now, onto the best bit. So far you have broken your thinking down into manageable chunks, you have dealt with the facts, ffeeeelliinnggss,, the ggoooodd and the b a d , and the next bit is..

5 . C r e a t iv e T h in k in g ! ! ! What has happened so far is that you have dealt with the initial thinking modes and now you have made a deliberate, conscious space in your thinking process for Creative ideas. So, you are going to look at as many ideas as possible. For example; • • •

What else you could do? How could you do it differently? Is there another way?

Please just let yourself go, the craziest ideas are sometimes the winners. I want you to really think outside the box as they say. 3 minutes, but add a bit longer if you get on a role!

On your marks, get set, GO!

--------------------------------------------------------Well done!! I’m very proud of you. You have taken the first steps for making the time for Creative Thinking, you see, it wasn’t so difficult. Now to the last job..

6. Get organised. Now finally, looking back over all your organised thinking what actions do you need to take? Imagine this final step as a form of process control. You're the chief organiser. • • •

What needs to be done by when? Who do I need to contact? What are my first steps?

Thinking back to step 1. Gathering the facts, is there some information I need to find out and confirm? For example; Give yourself a time line; I am doing ______________________by 3pm on Friday.

Stick to it!

Ring a friend and get them to remind you the day before and check with you afterwards that you did it. You need integrity to follow through, I can’t do that for you but I know that you can do that yourself, I am sure you will and I believe in you! Oh, You might quickly want to ask yourself how you ffeeeell again. Is it different from when you asked yourself earlier? If it is what a delightful surprise!

Welcome to the thinking revolution ! ©d.astell2010

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