4. Conceptual Thinking Coaching
Do you ever consider if you use your thinking in ways that allow you to come up with new ideas that divert from the norm? Conceptual thinking is an ability to see patterns by making connections to different ideas in a broad context. As a result new perspectives are brought about when conceptual thinking is invoked. In developing conceptual thinking the person will experience ideas that come to them in new ways. Too often ideas arrive in a linear fashion that can limit new directions. So learning techniques using conceptual thinking can add value to your creative work and mental processes.
Creativity relies in the relationship of opposites. The first example, is convergent and divergent thinking. Convergent thinking is systemized thinking that leads to methodical conclusion. Whereas, divergent thinking does not follow a structure, its value is in diverting from usual thinking patterns. Ideas are more accessible when divergent thinking is stimulated and supported. The value is in using both convergent and divergent thinking to access ideas and come up with solutions that are unique.
For example, I ran a workshop on divergent thinking for the University of Michigan Planning Department. At the beginning of the workshop I had them define a current issue in their department. At this point I diverted them from the issue and involved them in a series of drawings. They then forgot about their current issue and enjoyed the experience. We then returned to the current issue in their department with a brainstorming session, using convergent thinking. Due to the divergent process of drawing, the department was able to access better problem solving abilities with ease and more engagement.
When coaching focuses on Conceptual thinking the person experiences a more holistic view of what it means to think broadly by making connections to ideas that normally wouldn’t have been made possible before. Besides convergent and divergent thinking there are other supporting relationships that develop conceptual thinking. For instance, the relationship between the right brain and left brain, as well as the contrast between emotions and thought. The purpose of using opposites allow for a perceptual shift that results in novel ideas.