Seek Originality {part of the Be Creative Series}

Originality in terms of creativity means ideas or solutions that are statistically infrequent or in other words, unique or unusual.  I used to swear I had not an original idea to my name (instead I was always borrowing an idea from another person and modifying it).  However, I've learned that I am an original thinker on many occasions and that using the tips below, I find I can be even more original.

Quick tips to increase original thinking:
  • Original thinking typically requires longer amounts of time.  This time is called “incubation.”  Be sure to allot yourself plenty of time when creative problem solving. 
  • Heightened emotional arousal is important in generating original ideas.  Think of the real-life application and importance of the problem being solved.  .  If there is strong emotional connection, more original ideas are likely to be produced.
  • Original thinkers must be comfortable with being different in order to produce such original ideas. 
  • Instead of judging others ideas, try using the Praise-Question-Polish model when working with children and other adults:

  1. Praise – Find something genuinely to praise related to the efforts of the problem-solver, the child or adult.
  2. Question – Ask open-ended questions to help the child or adult clarify an idea, generate alternative solutions (if necessary) or elaborate on an idea.  Examples of questions include:  “Tell me more about….” OR “What made you decide to do…..” OR “How would you improve…..”
  3. Polish – Encourage the child or adult to amplify their idea or solution.  At this stage, the child or adult can refine, restate, redefine or rethink their idea or solution in hopes to “polish” or improve it.
    • The best friend of originality is fluency.  Remember the post on fluency here?  Practicing fluency is a great way to get increase original thinking.  Believe me!

    Onward original Upcyclists!


    Want to start at the beginning of the Be Creative Series?  Click here.