Thinking differently; the way, the skills & habits of innovation

We often say listening is more powerful than speaking. That’s true, but speaking is also valuable. For those who get annoyed when interrupted, maybe it is time to pause and let the other side also speak, as your speech could need a little break

By Emile Fakhoury
Following your leader unquestioningly may help you secure your job or maybe grow your career, but it will put you back on the scale of mindset growth, and you may not survive if your organisation structure changes with a new leader. 

Thinking differently is healthy for your growth, will challenge your organisation's status quo, and will boost your innovation. It will also help you make decisions in different ways. It can ensure successful project delivery — a cognitively diverse team will individually approach challenges differently but collectively work together to offer the project a more comprehensive range of perspectives and insights. 

We celebrate equality, diversity, and inclusion (ED&I) every year in our organisations, but we rarely recognise that ‘real’ diversity’ is physical and mental in our different ways of thinking.

Different thinking or opinions drive innovation and help build a culture of psychological safety, where employees know it’s acceptable to disagree with others’ views.  Successful organisations require their employees to be engaged.

One key strategy for driving engagement is by embracing cognitive differences.

Research shows that employees are more actively engaged when they believe their organisation fosters an inclusive culture and their managers focus on their strengths rather than weaknesses.

By Tom Rath from Strength Finder 2.0

Here are a few tips that I would like to share that I have learned through my experience cycle:

Train yourself to Think Differently:

Question yourself about the assumptions and obligations before accepting them whenever you find yourself doing something. Doing something different will not affect your career. It might even make you more attractive to work with.

Learn from your experiences:

As life moves fast with the latest technologies, we must accelerate our learning, and our learning must occur in the moment. Accept your mistakes and move on to learn from them so you can improve your situation.

Be Confident and See Challenges as Opportunity:

It is natural and easier to feel worried and think negatively, as this is how we were hardwired for survival, and this has been our primitive instinct for thousands of years. We have information available around the clock, and some of it could affect us profoundly.

Thinking differently would help us seek other alternative sources of information and build our confidence, enabling us to grab the opportunities that come to us as challenges. Languages are ways of thinking differently, and if we speak several languages, then we would have different thinking styles.

For example, Chinese speakers perceive time as vertical (i.e. the week below or the week above), while European language speakers perceive time as linear (i.e. next week or last week).

Thinking Differently is just a different way of thinking than others. I'm not sure it is always creative, but it can lead to innovative thinking.

Let us realise a challenge and start Thinking Differently:

  • Start a conversation with someone new
  • Read a book you usually would not read
  • Listen to a speaker who holds completely different viewpoints from your own
 

Emile Fakhoury

Corporate Expert Writer, Business Professional in Energy/Water/Oil/Gas, Specialist in Coaching/Training, Association of Project Management UK Fellow Member. The professional who believes that adaptation to various social or corporate environments is the only way to survive and strive. Master the rules of the game in order to reach the top and change the rules.
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