For so many years, instead of creative problem solving techniques, I relied solely on defined structures and set systems to come up with solutions. However as I got older, I realized the pure power that my right brain had to offer. While logical, systematic answers are great, our brains are capable of so much more. Our intuition is non-structured, non-judgmental and free-flowing and has apparently a multitude of the power of our logical thinking abilities.
So, get creative and try out these Creative Problem Solving Techniques.
In each of these creative problem solving techniques, you have to relax. This is to stop the left hand side of your brain from dominating "the conversation" and blocking the creative problem solving process.
- getting a comfortable position, sitting or lying down.
- ensuring there is no disturbance
- breathing deeply and listen to your breathing.
- being aware of your body relaxing
- de-stressing. if you are very tense, tighten up the muscles and then relax them.
- make sure your hands and your feet are open wide as if to catch energy, relaxed and warm. Turn your hands with the palms facing upwards.
- it can help to have soothing music in the background
- make sure you are warm
- Noting that should you fall asleep, this is okay too. Try to remember your dreams as you wake up.
Imagine yourself outside a house. This house has the answer to your problem. Stand looking and admiring that house. Take your time. Now, name that house.
You can now enter that house.
When you enter the house there are 3 doors, one left, one in the middle and one on the right.
You go to enter the left room. Someone important comes with you. They know all about this problem. You are invited to sit down and watch a film on a huge screen in the room.
A film starts. It is all about your problem in the past. Watch the film.
Remember the key parts; remember as many details as you can; remember who is in the film; remember how it makes you feel.
Now the film is over. You get to stand up and move to the room in the middle.
Again, someone goes with you.
In this middle room, there is another film playing. This film shows the situation right now.
Watch the film. Be aware of how you feel. Be aware of who is with you, where it is, what is happening. And slowly, this film comes to an end.
Again, you get to move to a different room. This is the room on the right and represents the future. Again, a film is shown. This film has all your dreams come true. The Solution.
Allow yourself to dream that anything is possible - no limits, no barriers, no restraints.
After 5 minutes, the film has ended. You can now leave the house and return to daytime.
You may not immediately understand what you have seen - as our intuition often speaks in symbolic terms. But note down or tell a trusted person what you experienced and you will be able to make sense of what your right brain has just told you.
You may wish to take the following text and record it on your smartphone or whatever. If you do, be sure to speak slowly and with many pauses to give your mind a chance to bring the creative ideas to the surface.
Identify the issue that is causing a problem. Be sure you have a really clear definition of the problem in your head.
Get relaxed (- as described above. )
Once you are relaxed, you recall the issue to mind. Just be aware of the issue or question. And gently go through the following fantasy:
Imagine now that you are the shore of a large body of water. (Pause).
There is a small rowing boat bobbing gently nearby.
Ger into the boat and settle down comfortably. Let it drift. Listen to the lapping water. Feel the gentle air all around you and the quiet movement as you drift slowly, peacefully along. (Pause)
You notice a light dimming ans see that you have drifted into some kind of large underground passage. There is plenty of room for you and your boat. It gets darker as you go into the passage, but the movement of the water continues. You drift along - quiet and peaceful. (Pause)
There is a light in the distance. Your boat is carried gently towards it. It seems brighter and brighter as you get closer until you emerge in brilliant sunshine, on a gently moving stream in a beautiful, quiet meadow. After a while, the boat comes to a stop. Step out onto the grass. Look around. Allow yourself to be quiet and still. (Pause)
Someone or something will bring you a gift that has a meaning for you - perhaps a message or an object or an image...wait for it to come ...it may or may not make sense. Don't worry about that. Trust that it will help. Take whatever time it needs for this gift to come to you. (Pause)
When you have received it, take your leave and get back into the boat. You notice it has a motor, so you can turn it on and travel quickly. (Pause)
Soon, you find yourself back out at the shore where you started. Step out of the boat, onto the dry land again, taking your gift with you.
Bring your awareness back to reality. Stretch and move about and then, before you forget it, write down as vivid and complete a picture of the events in the meadow as you can.
Over the next days the real meaning of what was given to you as a solution will become clear to you.
Source: Vaughan, (1979, Awakening Intuition)
Try using this creative Problem Solving Technique. It is not a method you need to do relaxation for.
It is a method that, when practiced, can come to you as second nature and be used anywhere, anytime. For me personally, I can say that I have come to many a great solution simply by using this easy technique.
Consider the problem issue - and describe it to someone else using the best metaphor you can think of.
- Is it a case of not seeing the wood for the trees?
- Is it a case of the Trojan horse - a pretty parcel with danger lurking within?
For more metaphors and parables, check out our collection of parables, stories and metaphors.
The best way I can describe this technique is using an example I once experienced. I was leading a team that just were very difficult. While talking to someone who knew this technique, I described the team (I was really angry, I have to admit) as being like a bunch of donkeys I had to drag forward.
He then asked why was I dragging? I said because I couldn't push, I didn't have the strength.
He asked me then why don't I lead them with a bunch of carrots.
The team needed me to show them the way and motivate them. If they didn't like carrots I was to find some other way of motivating them. But I was to recognize my own shortcomings in the situation and recognize the point when I didn't have the strength to lead the team.
A 30 second conversation using a metaphor lead to 3 great key points and an overview.
Your dreams are your right brain talking to you. They never talk in clear language but more in a symbolic nature. That is why you will see so many books written on the subject.
The point I am trying to make here is that keeping note of what your right and more creative brain half is telling you is important. One way of doing this is to keep a diary of your dreams. Here are the steps how to keep that diary.
1. Before you fall asleep, repeat the mantra "Tonight I will dream, when I wake up in the morning I will remember all my dreams"
2. When you awake in the morning, lie still, dont open your eyes and try to remain in the dream. Let the first thing come into your mind about your dreams and try to remember the details. With time and practice you will be able to remember more. Try not to allow the daily obligations come into your mind at these times.
3. Keep a pen and paper or even notepad beside your bed so that the first thing you will do is to note down all that you dreamed of - especially how you were feeling in the different instances. Should you be woken at night by some vivid dream, you can use your smart phone to make a recording of you describing your dream.
4. The important thing is to keep doing this every day. With practice you will get better and the collection will tell you more and more, at the very least you will become very advanced in interpreting your own dreams.
A 30 Minute Video with Greg White where he discusses the idea of dreams and their interpretations. Interesting use of metaphors too. A great back-up to our creative problem solving techniques.
If you have any Creative Problem Solving Techniques you would like to see added to this page, would you please let us know. We would be delighted to hear from you!