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If You Have These 7 Habits, You Will Be Smart Enough To Create Something That Matters

If You Have These 7 Habits, You Will Be Smart Enough To Create Something That Matters

You’ve probably found yourself here because you’re curious to see whether you have any of the habits mentioned. We’re all capable of creating something that matters. Sometimes, we just get stuck in a rut and it’s hard to come out of it. Our minds work in incredible ways, but even the smartest and most creative people run out of ideas sometimes. Check out the 7 habits below, and start incorporating them into your life today.

1. Direct Experience is better than Filtered Experience

If you’re unsure of what the difference is, direct experience is when we interact with something, such as another person or nature, without the influence of culture or media. Filtered experience is just the opposite. When you drown yourself in what’s going on with others and submerge yourself with the dramatizations the media sometimes has, you can have a very distorted view and opinion of what’s going on around you. Direct experience allows you to look at everything through your own lens.

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2. Throw away self-censorship

Rejecting the ideas of others is somewhat common. But when you’re rejecting, denying, silencing, and shutting your own ideas down completely, that is a total crime against your creativity. Actually, it’s an act of mindlessness. By self-censoring, you shut down your imagination, and the long-term effects will eventually kill off your curiosity and creativity completely. The society in which we live teaches us to self-censor both directly and indirectly. If you feel that you’ve inherited self-censorship, identify it as a problem and be consciously aware of it so you’re able to get yourself back to a place where your ideas and creativity come to you with ease.

3. Stop telling stories about your past

Sometimes it’s difficult to not talk about our pasts. Over and over, we tell people stories from long ago, and doing that can keep us in the same place. We’ve made mistakes and learned from them so that we can become better people and smarter people. When you stop telling others, and more importantly, yourself, stories from the past that are ultimately holding you back, you can start using those energies to work towards a better future.

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4. You don’t need to explain yourself

There are times when we find that we are trying to explain ourselves and our actions to others. When you feel this starting to happen, flip the script, in a sense. Your intuition is powerful, so use it. When you find yourself holding on to choices that are no longer serving you, let them go. Once you do, creativity will find its way back to you.

5. More restrictions allow for more creativity

By putting limitations on yourself, you’ll force yourself to think outside the box, and this could ignite some new ideas. People usually believe that when you have more freedom, you will be more creative. As surprising as it may be, that isn’t so. When you place some constraints on yourself, you will begin to look for unconventional ways to get around those limitations. This is when creativity will truly flourish.

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6. Quantity over quality

You will typically hear that just the opposite is true, and most times, it is. It’s an age-old lesson. However, sometimes, quantity should take priority over quality, because in the end, it leads to higher quality. If you seek quantity over quality, you will get both. Let me give you a quick example. John Lennon didn’t like the sound of his own voice. Could you just imagine if he had never released any music to the world until he loved his voice? When you’re able to produce more than one thing at once, you’ll be less likely to be disappointed if something flops and doesn’t work out. Diversity is the insurance of the mind!

7. Don’t be afraid to get stuck

That overwhelming feeling that you’re stuck can really make things difficult. The brain is one of the parts of our bodies that we know the least about. It works in very mysterious ways. When you’re stuck, step away from the thing that is draining you mentally and find other projects to distract you. When you are actively ignoring something, your subconscious will create room for your ideas to grow.

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We all wonder, on occasion, what we can do differently to spark some creativity in our lives. Just remember that you’re human and that these things happen to the best of us. Try doing the above things when your creativity cup feels almost empty.

Photo credit courtesy of GettyImages.com

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Erica Wagner

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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