Book Club September Week 2 Think Better

by Diane Wolf in Blog, Book Club
September 12, 2017 0 comments

DWC Book Club September Week 2 Think Better

Today is my middle child’s 32nd birthday. Like most of us, I’m wondering where on earth the time went. Just yesterday he was a little boy riding his tricycle, and now he’s married with two little children of his own. Just another reminder that we need to make the best of our time and be as productive as we can, while still making time to enjoy our family and friends. I am reading another book right now (might end up on the 2018 book list) that talks about how ‘work-life balance is a myth’. Instead of balancing, we need to work as hard as we can while at work, then leave work and play as hard as we can in the non-work times. Food for thought.

So, to this month’s book. Major ‘aha’ moment this week for me. Hurson talks about how we need both critical thinking skills and creative thinking skills to think better… BUT, we cannot use them at the same time if we really want to be effective. You see, they are actually opposites. Let me explain:

Creative thinking has three main components: It is generative, nonjudgmental, and expansive. We need to come up with as many ideas as possible without stopping to analyze them. It’s about quantity, not quality at this point. We need to NOT judge their value during the process of coming up with them, and we need to let one idea lead to another, even if it seems crazy. This is exactly what we tell people when we are doing a brainstorming exercise. Just let the ideas come.

Critical thinking ALSO has three main components: It is analytic, judgemental, and selective. We need to analyze our thoughts, decide if they are worth pursuing, and narrow them down to a realistic list.

So, of COURSE we need to practice both kinds of thinking, but they need to be SEQUENTIAL rather than SIMULTANEOUS! It is so easy to come up with an idea and immediately squash it as unrealistic because we move into critical thinking mode too quickly. Yes, this does make perfect sense, doesn’t it? We need to use the very techniques we train people to do in brainstorming for more of our everyday thinking. In my experience, most people ‘lean’ toward one way or the other, so whichever thinking style comes most naturally, we need to recognize that as our bias. It’s a strength, so we don’t want to minimize it, we just want to learn to become fluent in the ‘other’ thinking style… become bilingual, so to speak.

Next week, I’ll share some specific strategies for learning how to do this.

As always, if you know anyone who would like to join us, please share this link with them:

And, if you are interested in improving your presentation skills, check out my podcasts at Episode 6 was all about Conquering the Q & A session and there is also a download available to go with it.  You can also find the podcasts on iTunes by doing a search for Presentation Professor.

Have a great week!



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