It is with great honour I represent our guestblogger Rik Nemanick, from The Leadership Effect. You will in the following weeks get blogposts about the rules of mentoring.
Ph. D. Rik Nemanick has spent more than 10 years helping organizations get more out of their mentoring programs […]
Having all the answers isn’t a good thing, says Tim Hurson, productive thinking and creative leadership expert. “Productive thinking requires us not to rush to answers, but to hang back, to keep questioning even when the answers seem obvious.”
Being OK with ambiguity fosters creative thinking, he says, but acknowledges it’s hard to do. “We are patted on the head for coming up with that one right answer quickly—the faster you answer, the smarter you are,” says Hurson, who’s also the author of Think Better, An Innovator’s Guide to Productive Thinking. “This drive for singularity and speed continues in our adult lives. In business, the successful manager is the one who is decisive and always has the right answer.”
But being able to stay with the question is one of the most powerful thinking skills you can develop. Here’s how he says to do it:
“Question. The more we question and the more we stay in the question, asking it over and over again, the more useful our ultimate answers will be.”
“Remember, initial ideas usually aren’t ideas at all. They are little more than regurgitations of the patterns we already have. The reason they arise is simply that they lie so close to the surface of our consciousness. They have little to do with productive thought. They are merely recalled.”
“Live in your question until you can see the vast panorama of possible answers.”
“Make lists all the time. Ask why things are the way they are. Ask how things might be different. Always be making lists.”
“Your mind is a treasure box of ideas, inspirations and insights ricocheting and resounding through your hundred billion neural connections,” Hurson says. “Sometimes you just have to wait for them to come into view.”
Marcus Buckingham is a leadership expert, internationally renowned speaker and New York Times bestselling author of several books, including First, Break All the Rules; Now Discover Your Strengths and Find Your Strongest Life: What the Happiest and Most Successful Women Do Differently.
He’s the founder of TMBC, a management consulting company, and has been hailed as a visionary by corporations such as Toyota, Coca-Cola and Microsoft. He has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and Larry King Live and been featured in major newspapers.
What are the best ways for people to discover their strengths?
Marcus Buckingham: It’s ironic that your strengths can be so easy to overlook, because they’re clamoring for your attention in the most basic way: Using them makes you feel strong. All you have to do is teach yourself to pay attention. Try to be conscious of yourself and how you feel as you’re completing your day-to-day tasks. Most of the time, we’re so focused on getting our work done that we don’t really have time to notice how we feel about it.
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