Ideation is like carbon. It needs work to be turned into a fine diamond. Here are ideation tips for you as you hone this talent.
It is very easy to mistake this gift for a curse. You might think of yourself as somebody weird and unable to easily relate with what everyone else is thinking. I know this firsthand because ideation is top 2 in my strengths profile. I have underutilized this strength to fit in when I was younger. Only later in life, when I learned about Gallup Strengths and became a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach myself that I realized how powerful this gift is. Thank God, it was not too late. In fact, it’s never too late to get to know yourself more.
So, here are tips for you on how you can better strengthen your ideation talents.
Jot Down Notes
Ideas come and go and sometimes they just slip away fast. And you don’t want to lose something that can later on lead you to success or help you generate your millions. So, jot them down. They also come about anytime and often when you are relaxed – before bed, upon waking up, in church, in the shower, in the car or commute. I call these the the creative gaps. So, keep a journal handy or keep a notepad app in your phone to store all your raw ideas in. Then at a later time, you can develop some of them to a mature, ripe state.
Doubt Your Doubts
People might doubt your ideas. It’s normal. People take comfort in the known, in the tried and tested. So new ideas get so much eyebrow raising. You even doubt yourself sometimes, right? Nevertheless, pursue your ideas, no matter how crazy, out-of-this-world they seem. For as long as you are firmly anchored on your why…on your purpose. And you have data that suggest your idea might work.
Use Visual Aids
At the start of my Clifton Strengths journey, I found that people don’t easily grasp what try to say. It could be that I’m not the best communicator or that they have not encountered it before. For example, if I said “cup of coffee,” images of cups of coffee would flood your mind. You might even smell it despite its absence. But if I said, “kalamay sa bao,” if you are not familiar with this Filipino treat, can you imagine what it might look like? So I would draw my ideas in terms of a framework, a sample output or even as a workflow.
Pair Ideation with Your Other Strengths
You have a whole slew of equality important and useful strengths, put them to use along with ideation. For example, I have both analytical and ideation high on my strengths profile. So, as in my example above, while I would venture into applying my new and sometimes never before done ideas, it was never without using some analysis or any data to support. If you have ideation and strategic high, you might want to use your ideas as a way to implement your strategies in creative and effective ways.
Partner with Others
Collaborate. Remember ideas in and by themselves are raw. In the office, I often collaborate with people who have strengths different from mine. For example, I have high strategic talent but my communication talent is not as much. I would partner with someone with high communications if and when I want to push forward a strategy at work. Even at home, when it comes to weight management, for example, I partner with my husband who has high discipline; his strict discipline partnered with my ideas on how to change things up so I keep at a plan has proven to be beneficial.
There you have it. I know your lightbulb is lighted so bright now. I bet you have core ideas and sidebar thoughts and mini-ideas under your big ones. Keep it up, it takes daily practice for you to see how much helpful it is, not only at work, but in your personal development as well.