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Creative Thinking Skills and Techniques

If creative thinking does not come naturally to you then do not worry, you can still develop the skill. You do not have to be a natural. In fact, all you need is to bring the skills you have to the table and build upon them to make yourself a creative thinker.

Here are some skills you likely have already that can be used to develop creative thinking:

  • Organizational Skills – Being organized may seem the opposite of being creative. When people think of creativity they often thin unstructured thought and unorganized behaviors, but actually creative thought can be quite organized. When you are organized, you are able to better sift through your thoughts and get to the heart of the good idea.
  • Reasoning Skills – Being able to reason is very helpful in creative thinking. Reasoning skills come in handy when you are analyzing a situation. You are able to decide right away what will work and what will not work.
  • Objectivity – Being able to be objective allows you to consider many possibilities and not just be stuck on the obvious. This is key to creative thinking.
  • Any skill in the arts – This includes music, writing and artwork, like painting or sculpting. Having these artistic skills means your mind is already used to thinking outside the box. You have the ability to be creative and therefore you are predisposed to creative thinking.

While creative thinking is a skill itself, it does take other skills to be a good creative thinker. You may already have the skills described above or if you do not, then it can help to develop those skills before you start to work on creative thinking skills. This will help you to make developing creative thinking a little easier.

Creative Thinking Techniques

The way a person goes about creative thinking is a very individual process. There really are no hard-set rules, but creative thinking, as any way of thinking, usually follows a general process. Understanding the general process can help you to be a better creative thinker and make it easier for you to be a creative thinker.

The creative thinking process involves four steps.

Step 1: Analysis

You begin by looking over the situation. You should take in everything you can about the situation. Get details and ask questions. You must really get to know the situation at this point.

Analysis involves finding out the who, what, where, when and how of the situation. Once analysis is complete, you should be able to completely explain the situation including any obvious problems or issues.

Step 2: Brainstorming

This is the true area of creative thinking. Once you know about the situation, you can begin to start thinking. You can brainstorm in any manner that works for you. You may just shout out ideas or may write them down. Whatever works for you is best to do.

Brainstorming can take on many forms. You can write things down, talk things out or even conduct experiments. Brainstorming should be free flowing and recorded so no good ideas are lost.

Step 3: Break It Down

Now that you have a nice collection of ideas, you can start going through them and weeding out ones that will not work. You may find that if you change an idea just a little that it will work much better. This step is all about tweaking your ideas.

You will go over all of your ideas and weed out those that are not going to work. You should end up wit h the ideas that seem to be the best solutions.

Step 4: Review

The final step involves getting your final idea. This will help you to come up with one or two ideas that seem to stand out and be the best ideas.

You will go over the ideas you have left and narrow them down even more to one or two plausible ideas. You should then be able to go into detail of how each idea will work and how it will be implemented.

Being a creative thinker involves being able to think without a lot of structure, but these four steps are the basics of any thinking process. They may help you to be a better creative thinker.

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