As adults, we know that inside the mind of each person we meet there is some knowledge that could benefit us if only we could learn what it is.
Open-ended questions let people know we want to hear their ideas, opinions and thoughts.

Ex: “Mr. Smith how did you get into your line of work?”

The best way I know to practice asking open-ended questions is to try out a few on myself.

New ways to think

Thinking association is that the best way to remember names is to associate them with familiar objects and words.

The keyword technique is used by people who want to remember a series of ideas.
They join the initial letters of the idea words together to form a simple keyword. By remembering the keyword they can recall the whole series of ideas.

Next, think combination. Almost everything in nature is a combination of elements.

You can come up with some really great ideas by finding new combinations yourself. Everything you see, hear, touch, taste, and smell during the day offers opportunity to consider new combinations.

Next, think adaptation.
Airplane seatbelts have been adapted for use in automobiles to bring more safety.
The phonograph record and motion picture, originally developed for entertainment, are today adapted for instruction and education.

Next, think substitution.
how you might substitute a different material or thing for the one now used.
Aluminum is a substitute for other metals.
don’t assume that, because a particular thing has always been used in the past that you have to use it now.

Next, think magnification.
king size, giant packages.
Or, think mini-fication. solar battery, the transistor, the compact car.

What do you work with that can benefit from this kind of thinking? What can you turn around, revolutionize? Rearrange things, change pace, alter sequence, think of modifying, changing color, motion, timing, sound, odor, taste, form and shape.

our mind has an infinite variety of things it can do and an infinite capacity for work. Let it work for you.
Everything can and will be changed, improved.
Don’t wait for it. Be in the forefront. Help bring it about.

Creative Problem Solving

The first step in solving any problem is to define it. A problem well stated is a problem half-solved.
Now write down everything you know about the problem.
Third, List the names of people and organizations that are recognized authorities on the problem. This is your opportunity to go all out for facts.

After determining who can help you, contact them, talk with them, pick their brains for all the information they possess that can help you solve the problem.

The fifth step in solving a problem creatively is called individual ideation. This is personal brainstorming, thinking with the brakes of judgment off.
Don’t try to decide whether an idea is good or bad. Just write it down the moment it comes to you.

Four rules for brainstorming:

Then, rate ideas for effectiveness and facility.

Seventh, list only ideas that have received the highest ratings. Then, estimate the time and cost involved in implementing each of these ideas.

Be certain to give yourself a deadline for putting your plan into action. We work hardest and most efficiently when we know there’s a definite time element involved.