Creative thinking is an important skill. If you want to advance your career in this age of technology, then you need to develop creative thinking skills. The following article will give some strategies for developing creative thinking skills and overcoming common barriers to creativity.
What is Creative Thinking?
Creative thinking is the ability to come up with new and innovative ideas. It involves thinking outside the box and looking at things differently. As a result, creative thinkers can develop solutions to problems that others can’t imagine.
In straightforward terms, creative thinking is the ability to view a situation in various ways and find solutions to problems.
Creative thinking is essential in today’s world. With so much competition, you need to think of new ways to stand out from the crowd. To keep up with the latest technology, you need to be creative and develop new ideas. The best ideas often come from those who are not afraid to think outside the box.
Creative Thinking Examples
Creativity is what makes humans different from other mammals. It’s the ability to think beyond our means which helps us achieve success in any field. Creative thinking allows us to solve problems that others may not be able to. It’s what drives innovation and technological advancement.
There are many creative thinking examples around us. For example, let’s consider the crisis of the global COVID-19 pandemic. It required businesses to think of new working arrangements for their operations. Following the stipulated safety guidelines for curbing the spread of the coronavirus while continuing the process was a challenging problem.
It was through creative thinking many technology-based companies offered solutions for remote working. Utilizing such tech solutions, many companies could ensure their business operations.
Another example of creative thinking is that universities and schools have started utilizing online tools for learning. As opposed to traditional teaching methods, these institutions are now experimenting with new ways of thinking.
What are the Creative Thinking Skills?
To be creative, you need to have specific skills. These skills are:
1. Divergent thinking
Divergent thinking is the ability to come up with new and unique ideas. This is a way of processing information to generate more possible solutions for a problem.
With divergent thinking, you can find new connections between ideas. It’s what allows you to come up with creative solutions for problems.
There are several methods of developing this kind of thinking:
Making random associations without making judgments about the ideas Coming up with as many different answers as possible when given a problem Trying out new activities
Creative thinking involves taking risks and not being afraid of failure. Many people fail to be creative because they are too careful about what they say or do.
2. Productive Thinking
Productivity is the next crucial creative thinking skill. Productive thinkers can combine divergent thinking with convergent thinking (making rational decisions based on available information).
Productivity allows you to find the best creative solution and implement it to benefit society.
For example, business leaders may use divergent thinking when coming up with new ideas for their company. They then use convergent thinking to decide which view is the most profitable to pursue.
3. Attention to detail
Creative thinkers need to pay attention to detail to come up with innovative solutions for problems.
Creativity can be inhibited by too much information that needs processing, and this is why it’s important not to get distracted when thinking of creative ways of solving a problem.
4. Openness to experience
Openness to experience is a personality trait that allows you to have a wide range of interests. This skill can be used when finding creative solutions to problems. It would help if you considered various options to develop the best solution.
Creative thinkers need to analyze their acquired information to plan their innovative solutions. They need to break down a problem into smaller chunks and come up with unique ways of solving each section of it.
Envisioning an end goal and experience can help creative thinkers determine how best to solve a problem.
6. Organization of ideas
Creative thinkers need to organize their ideas to come up with the best innovative solution.
A creative thinker will look at how best to solve a problem and then determine which idea is most likely to succeed before coming up with the solution.
Imagination allows you to visualize solutions that do not exist.
Creative thinkers use a combination of divergent and convergent thinking to imagine a solution before planning how to implement it.
Creativity is the ability to come up with new ideas, but imagination allows you to visualize those ideas. Therefore, it can be difficult for creative thinkers who have difficulty being flexible in their thinking and coming up with new ideas.
Creative improvisation is about implementing innovative solutions that can change as the problem changes. It’s similar to divergent thinking, but it also involves taking risks and being spontaneous.
Improvisation makes it possible for you to go beyond your usual routes of thinking and come up with unique and creative solutions.
9. Effective communication of ideas
Creative thinkers need to communicate their ideas in a way that benefits society.
The ability to develop creative solutions for problems is not enough – you also need to know how to communicate those ideas effectively.
Curiosity is the final skill on our list of creative thinking skills. It allows you to keep an open mind and look at things from different angles.
Creative thinkers need to be able to come up with innovative ideas, but they also need to implement them in a practical way that will benefit society.
You don’t have to work alone or think of everything on your own – brainstorming with colleagues can help you improve your creative thinking skills.
Innovation always involves taking risks, but you won’t feel overwhelmed or discouraged by the possibilities, thanks to the creative thinking process.
Importance of Creative Thinking Skills
A study discovered that creative thinking skills were the most valued employee skills by CEOs. So it is only suitable that you learn them to be better appreciated as a worker in any organization. Below are five reasons building these skills is essential.
- Being Able to Make an Impact in Your Life and that of Others
- Fostering a High Level of Confidence and Self-Reliance
- Increase in Self-Value thereby Boosting Motivation
- Being Able to Notice Opportunities Easily
- Better Handling of Life’s Challenges
1. Being Able to Make an Impact in Your Life and that of Others
Creative reasoning can be very impactful in almost every area of an individual’s life. For example, as revealed in the study cited earlier, you could become a valuable worker to your employer. As a result, your status in the company would be elevated, leading to a boost in your career.
Now take a look at what you would be able to do in the lives of others—because of the above scenario. If you are known for having a high level of creativity, others will seek help from you. What would you be doing while rendering that assistance? Impacting their lives, of course. In addition, the positive influence would extend to the organization at large—aiding the achievement of goals and objectives.
2. Fostering a High Level of Confidence and Self-Reliance
Thinking creatively is key in achieving independence in your area of specialization. You would be able to handle tasks assigned to you in the workplace with little or no assistance. In addition, this builds a sense of personal satisfaction from being capable of getting something done with your intellectual prowess.
3. Increase in Self-Value thereby Boosting Motivation.
Many people discover themselves through their creative sides. You can also be one of them. In turn, you will learn to accept who you are and value yourself more—leading to higher Motivation. There will be ease in expressing your feelings or yourself, and other peoples’ judgments will not matter anymore.
4. Being Able to Notice Opportunities Easily
We mentioned something about keeping an open mind in the last point. One can quickly notice new opportunities with such a principle. Some talents can be discovered as your creative self evolves. Who knows? It may be one of those unique talents that will impact your life most. Imagine it becoming the primary fuel for your true passion.
5. Better Handling of Life’s Challenges
Life always brings new challenges. We cannot avoid such phenomena. However, we can always be up to the task because of our creative selves. You will never forget to tap into this side of you by thinking outside the box.
Experience with creativity will make you get better at facing each challenge that comes your way. You will realize that there is always a way to solve any problem or mitigate some enough for them to be endured.
Because of the above, it is left to you to waste no time in proactively improving your creativity.
How to Improve Creative Thinking Skills
Help yourself to think more creatively through the following ways:
1. Take Time to Interact with People who Have Dissimilar Interests and Views
You should not only socialize with those that share the same social background, interests, and views as you. It hinders your ability to keep an open mind to issues because others will be thinking the same way. Furthermore, your thoughts may never be disputed in such a circle leading to the inability to think critically.
2. Don’t Be Scared of Taking on New Challenges.
Being flexible to change is the right mindset for a creative person. Be open to discovering and taking up opportunities. Try new things and be willing to let go of old habits. Learn new skills or improve your current skill set. Push yourself to take on new challenges!
3. Be a Critical Thinker
You should be able to conduct research, challenge your thoughts, verify information, and oppose the ideas of others constructively. Analyze your ideas and those of others with an open mind—critical thinking and creativity work hand in hand.
4. Be Interested in the Arts
Appreciating music, artworks, literature, theater performances, movies, and so on will help you with the following:
- Making you reason more creatively
- Widening your horizon
- Making you feel more connected to the world
5. Take Creative Thinking Courses
This is self-explanatory. There are online courses to aid you in improving such skills. See the following subheading for a great suggestion.
Watch this YouTube video to learn more about improving your creativity:
How to develop Critical Thinking AND Creative Thinking Skills
Best Ways to Develop Creative Thinking Skills
Creative thinking skills are highly valued employable skills. More and more companies are looking for creative thinkers to join their workforce. If you want to advance your career, you need to start developing these skills today.
Here are steps you can take to develop your creative thinking skills:
- Be on the lookout for possible creative problems to solve. If you try to look at things from different perspectives, then there is a likelihood that you’ll be able to find innovative solutions for these problems.
- Be willing to experiment with new ideas and activities without fear of failure or judgment.
- Do not go with the first idea that comes into your mind. Instead, try to generate as many unique ideas as possible.
- Always pay close attention to detail to develop creative solutions for problems.
You can help yourself by taking a course. A few courses have been suggested below.
Building a Second Brain: Students will learn how to attain practical creativity by capturing, organizing, retrieving, and sharing their ideas with the aid of digital notes.
Learn 200% Faster: How to cope with insane workloads in less than one week.
Brainstorming Training: Expert Design & Facilitation to Generate Ideas
How does Creative Thinking Work?
Creativity can work in various ways. It depends on the area in which you are utilizing it. For example, you can take an artistic approach to your work. It is not only artists that can do this, of course. For instance: Arrange your workstation on your own by decorating it to your taste.
In creatively proffering solutions, you try to bring in new ones rather than implement old ones. In other words, you are trying to be innovative. For example: Thinking of new ways to streamline production processes.
Creative skills are also relevant in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). If not, how would the experts in these fields think of new methodologies, testable hypotheses, or hardware designs? There would not be much progress in STEM fields if the experts relied solely on old theories and ways of doing things.
How to Apply Creative Thinking in Everyday Life?
If you develop creative thinking, you can practice it in your regular life. You can try these:
- Have the zeal to learn new things through research.
- Be curious about what you do not understand.
- Do not take problems too seriously to be in a cheerful mood to exercise your creativity better.
- Let yourself daydream about your passion, work, and goals for the sake of having broader perspectives on life.
- Be willing to take risks because every goal and objective requires a drive.
Creative thinking is an essential skill that can be used in various areas of life. It is necessary for problem-solving and generating new ideas. You should be willing to experiment, pay attention to detail, and take courses to improve your creative thinking skills. You can also use creativity tools such as Canva to practice your creative design skill.