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"Outside the Box" Thinking

Studies from the 1960’s first suggested the theory of Left Brain versus Right Brain functions. People whose thinking is more logical, mathematical and/or linear were said to be dominated by the left side of the brain. More emotional, artistic and/or holistic thinkers were said to be right-brained. Though recent advances in neuroscience suggest that the hemispheres of our brains do not operate as independently as first theorized, the references will provide a working context as we look at three talents that have more of a right brain feel in how they show up: Ideation, Futuristic, and Connectedness. 

It is not uncommon for people with these three talents to show some form of artistic expression and creativity through music, painting, writing and/or quirky expressions of humor. These Reflect talents naturally think outside the box for new forms of expression and innovations.

Those with the Ideation talent constantly gush creative perspectives. The challenge is they can get on a roll and spitball 12-20 ideas an hour with gusts up to 100. They can enhance the problem-solving process by focusing and filtering their Ideation to creative solutions or novel projects. Ideation needs to remember that not all ideas are good ideas, so learn to process and screen them first before sharing them with others.

Futuristic is a talent that can be the great visionary when refined to a Strength, or the hopeless daydreamer if mired in the Kryptonite of the talent. It envisions great things that could be implemented in a new world that will change the way we all live. Futuristic shows up often in entrepreneurial start-ups. Learning to get grounded into present realities helps them overcome barriers and short-sighted thinking to make the imaginable possible and eventually the new norm.

Connectedness thinks outside the box in a holistic and sometimes disparate manner to connect concepts, people, and visions. It may have a twist of spirituality that can come across as ethereal. Connectedness is my number 5 talent and people have often called me creative and imaginative. But as I have come to understand this talent, I realize that much of my “creativity” has been a holistic big picture view of how related and even unrelated things could fit together. I’m more of an assimilator than an innovator. A boss once said “You have a knack for seeing how things can work together. You took two failing programs and put them together to develop one of our best programs for emerging leadership.”

These 3 talents can bring new views that can inspire and sometimes challenge mainstream group think. When they are raw they can seem over the top, off the wall, or out there. But when they have been nurtured into Strengths, they bring fresh new thinking and transforming creativity that can change the way we do life.

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