It’s important to encourage creative insight. Community, business, and family dynamics often require more innovation and creativity from us than we originally expect. If we want more innovation, creativity, and fresh ideas, we must become empowered ourselves and encourage it in others.

Empowerment starts internally—it’s a process whereby we gain control over our thinking as well as our everyday affairs. Experiment with three ideas that empower people to engage in creative thinking.

  1. Notice brilliance. Assume that people have intellectual and creative potential. Energy follows attention. Every time we invest our attention in the negative or focus on what isn’t working, we are honing our ability to detect fault or incompetence. Shift your attention, and assume that the people that surround you at home and at work are full of brilliance. They will begin to manifest evidence of this in your presence.
  2. Practice listening. Shift from always knowing what another person should do and having a ready answer to their dilemmas and problems: “They don’t know what they are talking about.” “They need my advice, counsel, or answer.” Instead, listen with respect and without interruption: Even when others ask for your advice, assume they are asking the question in order to move into their own original thinking. Keep quiet. When they stop for a moment, instead of thinking of this as your cue, simply ask, “Is there anything more you think, or feel, or want to say?” They will let you know when they are finished.
  3. Engage in brainstorming. Many times I’ve watched individuals and groups stop thinking in a discussion after coming up with one or two solutions. Brainstorming improves our thinking because it opens us to a variety of possibilities. Safety is critical. In other words, allowing every idea possible, even the dull or nutty ones, creates a space for more inventive solutions. When brainstorming, generate at least 15-20 ideas. Most of the first ideas we list come from our current knowledge of what’s been tried before. The best answers come later as we think more deeply and as the list grows. Allowing many answers creates a space for more inventive thinking and innovation.

Check out Transformational Thinking for more ideas the encourage creative insight.