How many times have you found yourself saying that there you could find any solution to a problem and that lead you to a dead end? How many times have you felt stumped knowing that the problem lying before you is one you cannot solve? No leads.  No options.  No solutions. 

Did it feel like you had exhausted all possible options but still facing unconquerable and impregnable? When encountering such enormous problems, you may feel like you’re hammering against a steep mountain. The pressure of having to solve such a problem can become overwhelming.

But rejoice! There might be some hope yet!

With some creative problem-solving techniques, you may be able to look at your problems in a different light. And that light might just be the end of the tunnel that leads to possible solutions.

First of all, in the light of creative problem-solving, you must be open-minded to the fact that there may be more than just one right solution to the problem. Giving up the idea that you have to find that one right answer, will open up possibilities to explore alternative suggestions and resolutions. Since this is different from an analytical approach, it might seem hard at first to give up that structure and orderliness, but it can be rewarding and it can help you find solutions to problems you thought were unsolvable.

Leaving the conventional thinking behind will help identify opportunities, find fresh perspectives and develop your problem-solving skills. Everyone can use creative thinking to improve their lives, professional or personal, and there are just a few ideas to familiarize yourself with.  

First of all, what is leadership?

Leadership has many definitions, but they all come down to essentially the same core –the ability to motivate, influence and inspire other people to accomplish goals. Leaders are important everywhere because they make things happen, they contribute to the cohesion of a group, and lead teams toward success.

Contrary to what most people believe, leadership is not about power, neither is it about harassing people or managing them by using fear. It is about encouraging others on their way to achieving the goals of the organization. It is about getting everyone on the same page and helping them see the bigger picture. To be a leader, you must not be a boss.

Number one – identify the problem

Maybe the reason you cannot solve your problem is that you have not really taken a hard look at what the problem is. Trying to define the real problem and having a clear understanding of its underlying causes are vital in solving the problem.

It is very important to take the time and research the nature of your problem and ask the essential questions that will help you clarify it. Try to identify all the components and what the relationships between them are. Take note of the things you stand to gain and stand to lose from the current problem. Focus that analysis towards a simple statement to compile the problem to be solved.

Number two – free your mind

Try to take note of all of the constraints and assumptions associated with your problem. Sometimes, these assumptions obstruct your view of possible solutions, because you already have predefined ideas about a subject. A good exercise is to write down all your known assumptions about the problem and then try to reverse them, in an effort to create new ideas based on that. This will help you approach the problem-solving process from a different perspective and generate unthought-of solutions.

Number three – divide the problem

One way to approach a problem is to break it down into smaller pieces and challenge each of them in search of creative solutions. You may solve it by going through stages from a general view towards the more detailed parts of the problem. This is called the top-down approach. Write down questions for each element, and then come up with a one-sentence solution for each of them. Every little step will help you develop your creative approach and will lead you closer to a unified solution to encompass all the aspects of your problem.

Number four – combine logic and creativity

Although most of the times it helps to use critical thinking to solve a problem, you must also actively encourage your creative voice at the back of your head. Combining logic and creativity can be very productive in making new connections and revealing solutions that each of them cannot find on their own.

Number five – accept multiple solutions

To become a creative thinker, it is essential to recognise that there may be more than just one solution being developed at one time. Try to keep track of all the answers to the problem and their developments. Remember, there may be more than only one solution to the problem.

Number six – encourage collaboration

Remember that adage,” two heads are better than one.” That one is truer than it sounds. Always be open to new ideas. You can only benefit from listening to all the ideas each person has. This is especially true when the person you’re talking to has had experience solving problems similar to yours. You don’t have to be a solo hero to solve the problem. If you can organize collective thought on the subject, it would be much comfortable and productive.

Number seven – be patient and exercise

As long as you persevere, there is always a chance that a solution will present itself. Remember that no one was able to create an invention the first time around. Creative thinking exercises can also help you in your quest to be a more creative problems solver. Here is one example: Take a piece of paper and write any word that comes to mind at the centre. Now, look at that word then write the next two words that come to your mind. This can go on until you can build a tree of related words. This exercise helps you build analogical skills, and fortify your creative processes.

You may not feel creative all the time, but like any other skill, you have to push yourself to become better at it. Free your mind of the previous teachings and try new perspectives on old subjects, let your thoughts wander and invite creativeness in your life. So, next time you see a problem you think you cannot solve, think again. The solution might just be staring you right in the face. All it takes is just a little creative thinking, some planning, and a whole lot of work.

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