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Creative Thinking -- Question & Answer Listing  
Question / Answer

How can a leader encourage group members to contribute their opinions, ideas, etc. when soliciting group input?

A comfortable workplace climate or atmosphere where individuals feel welcomed, valued, and respected is key to getting individuals to participate. There are several ways to achieve this. For example, leaders who acknowledge their subordinates; recognize their efforts and sincerely care about their well-being shows they have value in and to the organization. It is just as important for the leader to foster this type of acceptance and respect among group members themselves.

How can creative thinking techniques help my organization?

Creative thinking techniques such as brain storming, mind-mapping, and affinity diagrams are often used by groups in organizations to stimulate new ideas. Allowing individuals to think freely about solutions to a problem, or ideas for a new marketing campaign, or themes for a fund-raising event (without regard to the resources needed or any other restrictions - or repercussions) often result in solutions or good ideas that might not have been discovered otherwise. These type of creative thinking techniques can be time-consuming, but they can be very useful tools.

What are the benefits of group problem solving and what are some things a leader can do to influence its success?

Group problem solving usually allows for a greater variety of options to be considered. Also, if group members are directly affected by the problem, involving them leads to greater acceptance and commitment of the resolution. Group problem solving can be ineffective if the issue is time sensitive since the more people involved in solving a problem may require more time to reach a consensus. A leader can assist in this situation by acting as a facilitator to ensure the problem solving process is timely. Leaders should encourage innovation and creativity from all group members when solving problems and facilitate group consensus among multiple viewpoints. Learn more about group problem solving from the resources provided.

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