Creative thinking is often used when encountering a problem or challenge. You know, that whole, “necessity is the mother of invention” thing. Creative Problem Solving is a process originally described by Alex Osborn and Sidney Parnes that takes you through a challenge to a novel solution. This process can be used for personal life challenges and for large business issues. It involves a whole way of thinking that is both freeing and comforting.

I’ll cover different aspects of the process as we continue, but let’s start with one simple paradigm shift: when you have a problem, state it as a question. Start the question with the words “How might…?” “How to…?” or “What might be all the…?” When you do this, you open your mind to possibilities and you kick start it into thinking mode. So, instead of bemoaning, “My kids are being brats; they’re driving me crazy!” try: “How might I improve my relationship with my kids?” or “How to enjoy each other’s company?” or “What might be all the ways to elicit my kids’ cooperation?” Do you see the difference already?

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