8 Strategies to Encourage Creative Thinking

Whether you’re looking for ways to encourage creative thinking for yourself or others, I hope this post helps. If you’re a teacher or a manager, you can help create a culture that promotes creativity. Maybe you’re a parent and you want your kids to be more creative. In any case, these 8 strategies can help.

1. Emphasize for Importance Of Creativity

If you want others to get more creative, you need to let them know that creativity is a desired trait. People have often been shunned or corrected for acting creatively. Creative thinking goes against much of the practical ideals we’re taught during our school years. You need to let your students or staff know that it’s okay to practice creative thinking.

2. Make Time for Brainstorming

One of the best ways to start a creative spark is to practice brainstorming. But you have to allow time to brainstorm. Monday morning is a great time to have brainstorming sessions. It allows us to start the week on a creative note. It also keeps people thinking creatively over the weekend.

3. Switch Things Around

Repetition makes for boring work. Change up your physical settings from time to time. Rearrange furniture. Hang new pictures. Change up the workspace. You can also change up teams. Rotate players. Let your people do a variety of jobs within the unit. This allows different members to understand the bigger picture. The more you know, the more room for creative thinking.

4. Tolerate Mistakes

Creativity is never perfect. It’s hit and miss. Some ideas fly. Some are duds. You have to be willing to accept mistakes along the way if you want people to become more creative. Creativity breeds creativity. When we feel safe from criticism, we are much more likely to offer up our ideas. Don’t expect perfection. Expect mistakes. Allow room for error and you’ll create an environment that’s more likely to succeed at creative ideas.

5. Allow Time for Play And Exercise

Many researchers have studied the power of play. Play is an essential element in creativity. According to Creative Something, “The research shows that play-like activities put us into into a psychological state where it’s ok to fail, where it’s ok to wonder “what if?” A result of that thinking is the ability to freely explore the unknown. From that exploration creative insights are much easier to spot.”

6. Be Supportive

I’ve always been a creative individual. However, I never felt like my creativity was supported when I was a kid. When we support our kids or our team in creative thinking, they’ll feel free to develop their creativity further.

7. Offer Rewards for Creative Ideas

Let’s take it a step further: offer rewards for creativity. Support is great, but rewards will motivate individuals to push the limits and develop even more creative ideas. Rewards could be simple verbal acknowledgements. Or they could be small tokens of thanks, such as a dinner, tickets to an event, or perhaps even financial compensation.

8. Encourage Group Work

Creative thinking can be an individual endeavor, but working in groups allows for a greater feedback loop. When we work together we share a variety of creative strengths to help develop the best works possible. I’m a good writer. I can create music. But drawing is not my speciality. In a team, someone is bound to make up for my weaknesses.

There you have it. If you’d like to get more creative, or motivate others to get more creative, try these 8 strategies to encourage creative thinking.