As psychologists, we talk to many employees who will say they spend most of their day checking emails, responding to emails, organising meetings, going to meetings and doing a lot of stuff to get their jobs done. We affectionately call this the delivery loop. If you are stuck in this loop, you are probably not finding a lot of time to do much else, particularly think about how you might do things better.
Here is our challenge for you this week. Spend 10 minutes of your day in a different loop. We call this the discovery loop as it involves a specific kind of thinking. You will need to activate your curiosity and ask questions that prompt you to break old thought patterns and consider new perspectives.
To further sharpen your discovery skills here are some techniques to try.
Ask “what if” questions
“What if” questions prompt you to be unconstrained in your thinking. By asking “what if” questions you open your mind to new frontiers and challenge existing assumptions.
- What if I had access to unlimited resources?
- What if the opposite was true?
- What if I was completely free to suggest any ideas, what would I say?
New day questions
At the start of the day write down all the questions you have in your mind. Use these questions to uncover key themes and prioritise where to focus your attention and effort.
Start by identifying a problem/ challenge/ opportunity. In your next team meeting or discussion, write all the questions you have about this topic. Hold back from judging or discussing the questions at this point. Focus on getting all the questions out – go for volume. Answer the most obvious (burning) questions first, or place questions into categories. Allow this process to prompt deeper analysis, or spark fresh thinking or insights.
If your business is looking for ways to activate your discovery skills contact our team at firstname.lastname@example.org