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Ever been on a project where you had trouble keeping all the 'if' questions straight? "If this happens," you say, "we'll do one thing. But, if that happens, we'll do something else instead, but only on a Wednesday."
In cases like these, especially with high stakes, you may have drawn a diagram on a piece of paper. That way you could visualize the forks in the path ahead, while still seeing the objective at the end.
Diagrams map our reasoning and can be as simple as a few lines on a napkin, or as complex as computer models. Called mind maps, these diagrams help us make better decisions, or make difficult decisions more easily.
But, let's also think of them as a system for better communication. Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words, as the saying goes.
Mind mapping helps us communicate in at least three ways: to illustrate the components of complex situations; to show the outcomes of a series of actions; and to highlight otherwise unrecognized linkages.
Whenever I redesign my website, I'm dealing with a complex situation. So, I draw a simple diagram, with boxes representing pages and lines showing their connections. It's only a modestly complex website, but keeping track of the hierarchy and connections can drive me crazy.
So, you can imagine how hard it is, not only to work with a more complex situation, but also explaining it to someone else. However, a simple visual outline of the components and their relationships can effectively communicate even the most Byzantine of structures.
You can also apply mind maps to track the outcomes of a series of actions. By way of an example, some manufacturers of consumer products wonder about selling directly to consumers on the Web. First they ask themselves whether or not they think such an initiative would be profitable. Second, if it will be profitable, how much will they have to spend, and how long will it take? And the list goes on.
By now, though, you're getting the picture. One thing depends on another, and the answer to it depends on the answer to a previous question. Mind maps illustrate the actions and consequences, and give us a way to forecast possible outcomes.
Now, let's turn to highlighting unrecognized linkages. One of my former newsletter clients is a major printing company, and part of our newsletter mandate involved explaining changes in the work world to employees. On some occasions we found it helpful to create diagrams of the forces behind the changes, and of our responses to them. We might show how technology relates to globalization, for example, without overwhelming our readers with words and abstract concepts.
In summary, mind mapping, or diagramming our reasoning, helps us communicate by simplifying complex situations, showing the possible consequences of a series of decisions, and highlighting linkages among seemingly unconnected events or players.
Robert F. Abbott writes and publishes Abbott's Communication Letter. Learn how you can use communication to help achieve your goals, by reading articles or subscribing to this ad-supported newsletter. An excellent resource for leaders and managers, at: http://www.communication-newsletter.com
The 7 Simple Steps To Harnessing Your Creative Power And Achieving Incredible Success
Let me repeat what I believe is the most powerful and fundamental knowledge available to man:"YOU CAN CREATE ANY ACTUAL PHYSICAL REALITY YOU WANT THROUGH THE INTENSE DESIRE, BELIEF AND PERSISTENCE OF YOUR MIND"Your desire for success brought this knowledge to you at this very moment, there is no doubt of that. But do you know how to harness it? To wield the power it makes available?Every great man and woman to ever walk the Earth harnessed this knowledge and wielded a power that allowed them to exceed the limitations of regular humanity.
Top Five Journal Exercises
Keeping a journal is a form of creative expression that enhances the creativity coaching process. Keeping a journal develops emotional awareness, reinforces self-esteem and aids in problem-solving.
Inspiration, Creativity, and Channeling - Opening Ourselves to Greatness
Channeling is much easier to do than most people suspect. As a matter of fact we have all seen people channeling and you have probably done it yourself many times, even though you may have been unaware of it or didn't know what to call it.
Mind Power Games
Want a fun way to tune up your brain? Why not use some classic mind games to help you increase your brainpower and get you out of your thinking "ruts." Good mind games habituate you to using creative problem solving as a normal part of thinking about things.
Creativity and Inspiration
Creativity for the mystic has special meaning. In the world of the mystic all is one.
9 Ways to Live Creatively
Creativity - according to Webster's it means having the ability or power to create; characterized by originality and expressiveness; imaginative. Ok that sounds great, wouldn't we all like to be more creative every day? Sometimes the hardest part to trying something new is the first step.
Creative Memory Tricks
What's the biggest problem with memory tricks? Remembering to use them, of course. There are many memory techniques that work well, but you'll forget them when you need them most - unless you make using them a habit.
Overcoming Artists Block (part 2)
Once you are ready to start working again you will know it instinctively. All artists go through periods of 'creative block' - it's normal, but after one such episode there are ways of stimulating ideas and getting the creative juices flowing again.
How You Can Improve Your Creativity - What You Need to Know
Would you like to enhance your creativity? Do you think that increased creativity is something that would improve your life?Before you answer yes or no to that question, take some time to explore what the word "creativity" means to you.If you think that creativity is something that you only need if you're an artist, while you happen to be a middle-manager in a corporation, you may decide that increased creativity is not really important to you.
3 Simple Steps To Solving Problems
You can move beyond your stuck states by contemplating all the possible consequences of your own particular situation.What is it that you want to work in your life?What inner obstacles prevent you from achieving the successful outcome you desire?Once you have confronted your own fears, pulled the emotional skeleton's out of your mental closet, then you will be ready to take stock of your current situation, look at it objectively, and try out new strategies.
Creativity and Broken Eggs
In 1420, the dignitaries of Florence held a competition.They offered the enormous prize of 200 gold florins to the architect whose genius could span the unfinished dome of the Florence Cathedral.
Quiz -- Are You Creative?
Worried you may not be creative or you may not be creative enough? This quiz will help you find out just how creative you are.Take a piece of paper and number it from one to seven.
How to Make Time for Art
The key to making time for art is the ability to say "NO".If you say "yes" to everything that is asked of you, you will not have time to be creative.
Self-Care for Creative Artists: 10 Reasons To Care About It
1. To be more comfortable in performance situations - performance anxiety usually stems from a variety of causes - physical, mental and emotional.
How To Discover Hidden Talents Within You And Begin Appyling Them In Your Life Now
Have you decided it may be time to start creating some new excitement in your life? If you are now retired, soon to be retired, or just now reaching those "golden years" do you feel your life has become a little dull? Uneventful? Maybe even a little discouraging?After all, when you reach this period in your life, your routine may have changed, your energy may have dwindled and even your drive may have simply slowed down a bit. So if you are not happy with this situation what do you do about it? Well here's something to think about that could just change the whole picture.
Business Innovation - Personal Creativity
Creativity can be defined as problem identification and idea generation whilst innovation can be defined as idea selection, development and commercialisation.There are other useful definitions in this field, for example, creativity can be defined as consisting of a number of ideas, a number of diverse ideas and a number of novel ideas.
Be Creative to Get Money
Creativity alone can make you money and no matter what anyone tells you or what you think, anyone can be creative. Creativity is like a skill that needs to be developed.
I Want To Create...
What would you like to create? A peaceful life, a successful life, a good life, a sculpture, a piece of art, a book? What is it that you would like to create? Whatever you want you can achieve it. All you have to do is follow your natural compass.
True Power: Understanding the Source of All Creation and Creativity
"True Power" is a series that will focus on proven techniques to accomplish any goal. Each exercise is designed to enlarge your ability to believe what you want is possible and will actually happen.
We Tend To Make Up Our Own Truths: What Stories Are You Making Up?
Someone once said that man keeps looking for truth that fits his reality. Oddly, more often than looking for truth, we tend to make up our own truths.
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