Saturday, May 26, 2012

Twelve Ways to Challenge Your Thinking

Thinking Differently
by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson
I've heard more than once that I challenge other people's ways of thinking. Apparently, I do it well enough that I've been asked to be with people for that reason. Here are 12 things you can do to challenge your own thinking:

  1. Tell someone about it. The process of articulation often causes us to change our point of view.
  2. Listen to what he says. Now that you've told them, lean forward and listen wholeheartedly.
  3. Ask questions. Get clear on what you're hearing.
  4. Imagine fully what she means. What must be true for her to say that back to you?
  5. If that is true, then what? How would you have to change your thinking to accommodate, adapt, account for?
  6. Create an excellent thinking environment for someone else.  Challenge their thinking by listening wholeheartedly.
  7. Play "What ifs?"  Explore by turning ideas, arguments and thinking this way, then that.
  8. Put Spanx on it. Compress your thinking into 3 words.  Focus yourself.  To be concise brings clarity.
  9. Put it in a wheelbarrow.  Describe your thinking in sensory-based terms.  What do you see, hear, taste, smell and touch as part of that thought or idea if it were to come to fruition.
  10. Step away. Sometimes giving it a rest is the best challenge.  Your mind will background process.
  11. Draw, sing, paint, write or dance your thinking into physicality.  Affinity diagrams, haiku, movement experiments can all offer insight.
  12. Cook a meal, take a shower, drink tea while watching the rain, go for a walk - do anything that gives you a little time for your unconscious to sneak out and talk to you while you aren't paying close attention to everything else.
Enjoy being a challenging thinker!

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