Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Teaching Creative Thinking

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We love to have all the answers. When someone comes to with us with a problem, we want to be the one who solves it for them. We want to be a hero.
Our children's school project, our work group's assignment, our team's goal. We want to be know as the creative one: The smartest dad or mom in the world to our kids. The most knowledgeable boss or co-worker.
Part of that is because many of us have a need for validation or a desire to accomplish. When we are presented with a problem we act, we think, swe olve, we create.
But what if the person bringing us the problem needs also to learn how to solve problems for themselves? Part of us desires to do it ourselves because we're good at it (who hasn't built their child's volcano for the science fair?). Part of us desires to do it ourselves because it's easier for us to do it.
But with a little creativity we can use times like these as opportunities for growth and creative development in the lives of those we lead (children, students, employees, team members). When we get asked for help, consider responding by asking the person questions like these, so they can grow in their creativity and problem-solving skills:
  • What would you do?
  • How do you think it should work?
  • What would produce the most favorable result?
  • What if you're not able to pull it off?
  • Is that the best way?
  • If you had the time, what would you do differently?
  • If you had the money, what would you do differently?
Being creative may be easy for you. But reproducing that creativity in the life of another is a greater use of that creativity.
Question: When are you tempted to solve creatively rather than teach creativity? Share your thoughts below in 'comments'.
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