Even if your job does not appear to be very creative, hiring managers frequently seek signs of originality and innovation in their staff. Curiosity and creativity often go hand in hand and may lead to you flourishing in your career – from problem-solving to innovative approaches. But how do you develop this essential soft skill? Mindfulness is one of the top tips for creativity, and it may help enhance the quality of thought and mental flexibility as well. Still, there are other strategies you can use to boost your workplace creativity and critical thinking and problem-solving abilities. Let’s take a look at why creativity is such a crucial soft talent to have. We all have the capability to be creative, but most people are unaware that our ability to solve issues creatively, whether in product development, business models, brand strategy, positioning platforms, or creative executions, is severely constrained by a set of innate mental biases. The mental habits we employ to choose, filter, and analyze information might operate as obstacles and limit our creative potential.
What is creative problem-solving?
Through a process of problem identification and resolution planning, creative problem-solving creates unique solutions to difficulties. It goes above and beyond traditional ways to find answers to workflow issues, product innovation, and brand positioning. To foster an environment of continual innovation, developing the talent for creative problem-solving necessitates constant progress. Problem-solving creativity is seen as a soft talent or personal strength. You may be asked to provide instances of times when you’ve displayed this talent during an interview. Employers ask this question to learn about your thought process, how you handle difficult situations, and how you may contribute value to their firm.
How to improve your creative problem-solving skills?
Analyzing an issue, establishing a strategy, and executing a solution are all part of creative problem-solving. To improve, it takes a planned approach and practice, just like any other talent. As we’ve seen, creative abilities are highly valued by businesses and may be really valuable in the job. So, how do you go about honing your creative abilities? Let’s go through some of the various methods you may boost your creativity. It’s important to realize that many of us express and develop our creativity in unique ways. While some of these arguments may be valuable to certain people, others may have alternative (but equally legitimate) points of view.
Use a strategic framework
Problem-solving creativity is a framework in and of itself. It enables you to deconstruct difficulties that are difficult to quantify using an organized method. Clarify your aim or problem throughout this step. Collect as much information and unbiased feedback as you can. Customer surveys, staff feedback, and research data are excellent sources. Consider all of the data you’ve gathered and seek for connections between each point. You may discover that your problem or aim has shifted. You might utilize creative brainstorming or mind mapping to question the parameters of the problems and current solutions at this point. Inquire as to why ‘X’ behaviors resulted in ‘Y’ outcomes.
To address your problem, develop numerous theories. Determine which options will produce the greatest outcomes, which can be completely implemented, and how to do so. Using A/B testing, experiment with various scenarios. A/B testing, often known as split testing, is the technique of comparing two alternative versions of the same product to evaluate which performs better. For example, you may test a book cover by displaying one version to half of your audience and another to the other half. Choose the test winner to promote.
Put the knowledge you obtained during your solution phase to use. Evaluate your outcomes and, if necessary, repeat the processes. Using the creative problem-solving strategy in this manner may reveal that an issue has several solutions. Video game firms, for example, frequently beta test their games with limited individuals to assure the maximum degree of playability. The games are now available to the general public after final tweaks based on beta testing.
Empathy is the ability to perceive things from another person’s point of view. It’s an important aspect of emotional intelligence. It enables you to grasp the perspectives of teammates and clients at work. A high level of emotional intelligence is also necessary for being a great leader. Empathy may be used to execute ideas that benefit both others and the company.
For example; You wrote your coworker many hours ago and have yet to receive a response. Consider the possible cause and exercise patience. If you work in the same building, ask them about it. If they appear to be overburdened, offer to assist whenever feasible. If you work remotely, try calling them or sending them another email. Objectivity will assist you in avoiding taking things personally that may be an error.
Get a hobby
A pastime brings its own set of problems that force you to think in new ways. Because creativity is a talent that can be transferred, you will profit from problem-solving exercises while also having a good outlet for stress. Exploring something new also allows you to push the limits of your abilities. A pastime allows you to take creative risks in a productive way. A pastime of creating scale models, for example, is tough enough to develop your brain while also allowing you to relax and relieve job stress.
Relax your assumptions
The more you notice something, the easier it is for your brain to bring it out to you. This may cause you to desire to address difficulties the same way you always have. Recognize this inclination when you require one-of-a-kind solutions or inventions. When you make an assumption based on prior knowledge or how things have always worked, key facts and information are left out. Overcome this tendency by setting target expectations, clarifying others’ assumptions, and responding accordingly. Customers’ tastes change, for example. Find out what services they value the most, where they spend their time, and how to effectively engage with them to increase leads. This information is very useful when launching marketing initiatives.
Persistence in pursuing a goal necessitates keeping a degree of strategic attention through difficult conditions until a resolution is reached. Some issues take longer to solve than others. Perhaps the information is not easily available, the technology is not yet evolved enough, or you have not found the appropriate links. Having a reason why your difficulty or issue has to be solved is a fantastic motivation to persevere in the face of challenges. Practice perseverance by reducing the time between recognizing an issue and taking action. Some goals need constant, everyday activity over lengthy periods of time.
Show perseverance by looking for information or resources and experimenting with different solutions until you find what works. A businesswoman realizes that her existing marketing strategies are ineffective. After a few years of experimenting with various company ideas, she learns search engine optimization techniques and begins writing digital content for small businesses. Every morning, she makes time to work on her business and locate new clients until it can support her full-time salary.
Question standard practices
Collaborating is an excellent technique to generate innovative ideas. It is also an excellent method for identifying apparent answers that others in your business may not have considered. If your coworkers or industry are pushing toward one option, assess if it is the best answer and try to propose alternatives. A salesman, for example, is constantly turned down by prospective clients. His coworkers advise him to keep phoning till they ultimately say yes. Thinking there must be a better method, he decides to discover what the client loves and values. This enables him to connect with them on a personal level and provide them with customized products and services. Clients continue to boost his business.
Consider your past experiences
Your history is rich with collected experiences and skills acquired in a variety of ways. Use your own past to choose whether to persevere and when to shift your emphasis. This is not the same as relying on previous assumptions. Past experiences provide you with a distinct viewpoint that you may utilize with critical thinking. Ask yourself whether you’ve ever been in a position comparable to the one you’re now in at work, how the situation ended, and what you can do to attain similar or better results. A personal development coach meets with a group of persons he is assisting on a weekly basis. This is his first time leading a group. He’s learned from previous encounters with individual customers that individuals require responsibility to stay motivated and engaged. The coach introduces this concept to the new group and gives everyone a position based on their talents, which will help them all succeed.
Become an expert in your field
Sometimes additional talents are just required to be more creative. The more you learn about your industry’s technical side, the easier it will be to clarify challenges, uncover links, and build solutions. Exposure to additional scenarios also provides you with the foresight to recognize problems before they occur. An artist, for example, wishes to be able to draw realistic depictions of people. To do so, they begin by understanding everything that influences the realism of an artwork, such as texture, lighting, and line contour.
Practice creative problem-solving
Practice is the greatest method to learn a talent. The more situations that require creative answers that are offered, the simpler it will be to hone a problem-solving method. Try exposing yourself to various settings that need diverse thinking on a regular basis. You may accomplish this by attending conferences in your field or any relevant subject. For instance, suppose a backend engineer desires to study graphic design. This expands the services he can provide and introduces new obstacles that need him to adopt new methods to his profession.
Ask for help
Understanding the innovative ideas of others in any business might help you make better decisions. A mentor may be a very important asset to your career. If you’re stuck on a problem, get guidance from someone else in your profession. Their personal experiences expose you to a way of thinking that you may not have considered before. For example, a freelance web designer has a customer that is constantly seeking additional additions to their project and rejecting work without providing adequate feedback. She seeks assistance from a more experienced designer, who advises her on how to define scope limitations and assist the customer in clarifying their ideas. The beginner designer is, therefore, able to provide excellent service to the customer while still feeling good about his or her job.
How to show your creative problem-solving skills?
Employers want to know that when challenges come, you are prepared to develop effective solutions. In an interview, describe an instance in which you took measures that resulted in a beneficial conclusion. Use the following guidelines to help you develop your response:
Show creativity through adding constraints:
Explain a case in which you discovered a solution by imposing project scope restrictions. Customers, for example, may become overwhelmed by too many options on a website, leading them not to purchase any things advertised on the page. The buyer will be more likely to make a purchase if they view fewer goods at once and more at each level.
Show creativity through removing constraints:
‘Describe a situation when you had to examine the most obvious assumption about a project. For example, you may describe a circumstance in which you helped a shop improve sales by promoting greater customer service.
Show creativity through gaining knowledge:
Describe a time when you solved a problem by learning more about the industry, the customer, or the technology. For instance, you may describe how you revamped a website with low click-through rates after a consumer study indicated it wasn’t user-friendly.
Creativity and problem-solving abilities are more vital now than ever before. Employers will be looking for candidates who can exhibit their creativity and innovation capabilities, as well as those who have demonstrated critical thinking and problem-solving abilities. Improving your knowledge and understanding in these two areas may have a significant impact on how you operate and interact with others. Teamwork is more vital in the modern workplace than ever before. With 92% of managers believing soft skills are just as essential as hard talents, there’s never been a better opportunity to strengthen your creative and problem-solving skills, according to LinkedIn’s 2019 Global Talent Trend Report.