Personal Creative Thinking Obstacles Essay

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Personal Creative Thinking Obstacles

Obstacles to Creative Thinking:

Personal Reflection

After reading this chapter, I am convinced that creative thinking is necessary in many parts of life. Without creative thinking, change could not occur, and change must occur for cultures, businesses, people, and a host of other organizations to survive. In my personal life, I'm convinced that I need to harness creative thinking in order to take care of my family and me. In my professional life, creative thinking is not only what sets the businesses that will thrive apart from those that will die, but also leaders apart from run-of-the-mill employees. I want to be a leader, so I'm ready to embark on my creative thinking journey, but this isn't as easy as it seems. Instead, many obstacles stand in the way of creative thinking. In this essay, I will take a look at the obstacles to creative thinking posed in this chapter -- perceptual, emotional/psychological, intellectual, cultural, and environmental. In examining these obstacles, I will identify them, give some examples of these obstacles, discuss my own reaction to them, and finally pose some methods for overcoming them on the personal and professional level. Through this personal examination, I hope to gain a personal understanding of my own feelings and abilities regarding creative thinking, which will better allow me to use and improve these skills in the future.Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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First, perceptual obstacles make it difficult for a person to step outside of his or her state of mind or comfort zone. The authors write that perceptual obstacles "make it difficult for us to view problems from different perspectives" (24). When I read about this type of obstacle, I thought about the phrase, "think outside the box." We all have a "box," or perception, that we tend to think inside of, but if we can get over this obstacle, we can access more than one perception, which increases the library of ideas that are available to us when trying to solve a problem. According to the authors, there are seven distinct examples of perceptual obstacles -- putting too many constraints on a problem, failing to address the right problem, ignoring the familiar, stereotyping, thinking too much from one discipline's perspective, using less than all five senses, and an inability to connect two seemingly unrelated "objects of concepts" (2-8). An example of a perceptual obstacle might be the tendency to ignore written greetings from a supervisor who sends e-mail resources on a daily basis. In a study of employee satisfaction with work environment, though, these greetings may have been key to creating a more friendly work environment for certain workers. I believe that perceptual obstacles to creative thinking are large obstacles due to the fact that they are so easy to ignore. People who didn't read about perceptual obstacles wouldn't know that they had them. They are too focused on thinking "inside the box." In addition, it is hard to think from someone else's perspective. Anyone who has been frustrated with a worker who called in sick can testify to that. We could feel sorry for that employee, but most often we're just mad that we have to do her work as well as our own or deal with an inexperienced temp. Overcoming perceptual obstacles, then, is difficult, but it can be done if a person "change[s] [his or her] attitude and then take[s] action" by looking at problems differently, avoiding assumptions, and talking to others who have different views, among others. Essentially, overcoming perceptual obstacles includes, primarily, being aware of other perspectives.

Second, the authors discuss emotional or psychological obstacles. These obstacles occur when our emotions or behavior get in the way of our creative thinking process. In other words, I think emotional or psychological obstacles aren't so much about how we see the problem or the situation surrounding that problem, but instead about our own personalities and tendencies and how they interfere with the problem. To me, the emotional and physiological obstacles had quite a bit to do with fear. People who are too afraid to push the boundaries and try new things can't think creatively, especially because the point of thinking creatively is to allow for progress and change. The authors give seven examples of emotional or psychological obstacles to creative thinking, including a feeling of being overwhelmed, a fear of failing or a poor reaction to what may seem like failure, an aversion to criticism, a fear of taking risks, impatience, a tendency to see in black and white, and a tendency to be overly judgmental. If a supervisor immediately criticizes an employee's innovative idea without considering its feasible points, then, this is an emotional obstacle. Furthermore, if that employee is so overcome by this criticism that he refuses to propose new ideas in the future, this is an emotional obstacle. I think that these obstacles can be very difficult to overcome because some of them may be been ingrained into a person through previous experiences or that person's personality. Some people, in my opinion, might even need professional counseling to overcome these obstacles, which can be very harmful in a person's professional and personal life. For example, a new mom or dad who is overwhelmed with the problem of finding medical care for a new baby in the midst of financial hardship has experienced very serious obstacles to creative thinking. According to the authors, however, people can overcome these obstacles if they try to break down problems so they are easier to deal with, are open-minded about criticism and failure as ways to learn, and try to use analysis when dealing with your or others' ideas so that you be less judgmental.

Third, the authors discuss intellectual obstacles to creative thinking. These obstacles occur in those who don't have a bank of resources that allow them to solve problems creatively. People who have these kinds of problems may lack the proficiencies needed to address the problems through different "languages" or perspectives. For instance, certain problems need to be explained using a more visual language, such as giving directions, while a mathematical approach may be needed to figure out what sale is a better deal. Other examples of intellectual obstacles include taking "an overall rigid approach to problem solving" (2-18), and the use of wrong information or no information. If a person has always been taught to solve problems using a certain model, then he or she is less likely to be able to step outside of that rigid system and use another, potentially more helpful system. An example of a person with an intellectual obstacle to solving a problem is a mother searching for her child's lost toy. If the child told the mother that she left her toy in the car, but she really left it in the house, than the mother is trying to solve the problem with too little information. I think, in addition to these examples, the authors should have included an inability to find information. A person who does not know how to use technological resources such as the Internet and e-mail, personal resources such as conversations and interviews, and literary resources such as reports or texts, cannot solve a problem adequately. For me, schooling has provided a great deal of opportunity to understand how to solve intellectual obstacles to creative thinking, such as thinking in different ways and dealing with information. Other ways of overcoming this problem include searching for as much information as possible, using many problem-solving strategies, and analyzing the problem, according to the authors.

Fourth, the authors list cultural obstacles as a means by which creative thinking is often stifled. Everyone has a culture, an environment of society, behavior, and persuasions that is familiar to them. Cultural obstacles occur when our cultures influence the way that we see problems, making it difficult for us to think outside of solutions outside of the culture. I think that cultural obstacles to creative thinking are often present when two people of different cultures try to collaborate on ideas. It is my opinion, though, that if those of different cultures try to see the good things about other cultures new ideas and solutions could be made. The authors list taboos, or things that seem unacceptable in some cultures, a fixation on tradition, having a closed mind, an "overemphasis on competition or cooperation" (2-23), and beliefs that render intuition and humorous activities uneventful as examples of cultural obstacles. I think that a good example of a cultural obstacle occurs when one person completely discounts a solution because of tradition or belief. For instance, if a person refuses to travel on water because of a cultural belief that water is a dangerous method of travel even though boat travel would be the most affective way of getting to a destination, he or she is facing a cultural obstacle. Cultural obstacles include many of the obstacles already stated, as our cultures include everything around us that we encounter. Thinking about why a person rejects a… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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