Technique of creativity; My own business coach; or; Six Thinking Hats 2

"1000 Roads" maps are a new business tool for consultations, metaphorical maps of a new generation, which carry all the advantages of traditional IACs and do not have their drawbacks.

If your activity has anything to do with psychology, then most likely you have already heard about metaphorical associative cards. But if you are far from "academic" psychology and at the same time are fond of self-development and self-knowledge, then the abbreviation MAC may be unfamiliar to you. In fact, metaphorical associative cards are a versatile tool that can be successfully used by both professionals and amateurs.

What are metaphorical cards

These cards, which are also called projective, therapeutic or OH cards (after the name of the very first deck), were born forty (!) years ago, although they became known and popular in our country only in recent some years. The history of metaphorical associative cards begins in 1975 with the Canadian artist Eli Raman, who was an adherent of the modernist method of changing forms, which involves the viewer being involved in the process of change. Art, according to Raman, must be brought as close to the viewer as possible, "put into his hands." Therefore, Raman's paintings were miniature in size, intended to be held in the palm of your hand, and not hung on the wall.

Eli Raman's neighbor was a gestalt therapist. And the artist himself was fascinated by this trend in psychology, which at that time was at the peak of its popularity in the United States and Europe. It is quite natural that the idea of ​​"art in the palm of your hand" was transformed into an unusual tool for the work of a psychologist. In the 80s, Eli Raman met the publisher Moritz Yegetmeyer, who later became his business partner. The first metaphorical associative cards with the works of Raman were called Oh-cards (from the English Oh! - exclamations of surprise, amazement).

Oh metaphoric cards

Later on the works of Raman, and after his death - on the paintings of other specially invited artists, other decks were published. Until the end of the last decade, there were no more than twenty decks of metaphorical associative cards in the world, and since 2021 their number has begun to increase significantly every year. But most of the maps used by modern psychologists come from Europe (Germany) and Israel. Until recently, original author's decks were not developed in our country.

Initially, MAC decks were popular exclusively among specialists (especially therapists) for individual and group work, but now the possibilities for their use are so wide that these cards have begun to be used everywhere and for various purposes, up to fortune telling and entertainment in a cheerful company. The range of use of MAC is really wide. They have proven themselves excellently for work in the field of psychotherapy, in individual and family counseling, in coaching, for solving parent-child and marital problems, when working with psychosomatic disorders and addictions, in business consulting and for resolving conflicts.

How metaphorical cards work

Traditional metaphorical associative cards are a collection of cards no larger than a standard playing card or small postcard with specific images. It can be both portraits of people and plot illustrations of their interaction, landscapes or images of animals, household items or even abstract paintings. Some cards may even have some kind of inscription (as a rule, individual words). There are also decks with cards of two types at once - with images and with words, which allows you to significantly expand their semantic meaning.

Metaphorical associative cards are projective techniques. The term "projective" was proposed in 1939 by Lawrence Frank to combine a large number of methods of personality research, which involve the implementation by a person of the symbolic content of the world on internal objects (this is a projection). And cards with abstract, blurry and sometimes surreal pictures are perfect for this. They help to remove a rational barrier, create a trusting atmosphere, understand a difficult situation, looking at it from a new angle.

There are some drawbacks to associative cards. The most significant is the lack of a sufficiently complete guide to their use today. This disadvantage can also be viewed as an advantage: each specialist has the opportunity to develop and apply his own methods of working with maps. But if we are talking about the use of cards by people who do not have deep knowledge in psychology and extensive experience, then in this case the scope of MAC application is significantly narrowed: the entertaining aspect comes to the fore, and deeper work with a positive result turns out to be impossible without detailed instructions.

Metaphorical associative maps

Sometimes, in order to move on, you need to look at everything that happens with a fresh eye. But saying and doing are different things. What methods will help to dispel the dregs and find new directions of business?

Among the brilliant statements of Einstein is the following phrase: "It is impossible to solve a problem at the same level at which it arose." All of us, faced with new challenges, must first of all overcome the limitations of our own views.

There are different ways to go beyond the boundaries of the problem. Someone is trying to find useful information on the network, someone is looking for advice from the pros, someone attends trainings. At the same time, most people believe that the more serious the problem, the more seriously you need to approach the search for its solution. That effort, money and time should be spent in proportion to the importance of the task. We're not playing with spillikins, after all!

The best way to make mistakes

What is the main mistake of a serious and rational approach to solving problems? The fact that she does not allow, even a little, to play. As the famous Dutch philosopher, historian and cultural researcher Johan Huizing said, play is a concept of a higher order than the concept of the serious. If seriousness seeks to exclude play, then play, on the contrary, easily includes seriousness.

What's the point: if you move your serious, heavy task to an easier level, the level of the game, then you can work with it in a completely different way. In reality, you have no room for error, but in the game - please, as much as you like. In reality, you focus on the result, and in the game you see and live the process. Finally, in reality, you are endlessly pondering, you are in a motionless state, and in the game you are taking action and taking risks.

The technique of creativity called “Startup” is designed just to transfer the solution of serious problems to the game level. It takes place in the format of a board game, which can be played both with a company of like-minded people or with a work team, or independently. The essence of the game is to come up with a solution to a specific business problem (your own, from life) or even create a business idea from scratch. The playing field is a set of cards with non-trivial hints, after passing which, you completely consider your problem from six different sides.

How is the Startup game going

Based on your request. The task of the first stage is to accurately formulate your request. This request can be anything, it depends entirely on the players. For example, create a promotion for a new shampoo or increase traffic to a beauty salon. If the task has poorly expressed specifics, for example, is to come up with a business idea from scratch, then the process starts a little differently. In this case, the most interesting areas of activity are derived, which are taken from the unconscious. The choice of the direction of the future business is based on the needs of the soul, inclinations, and existing skills. It is with this baggage that the main stage of the game begins.

Use hints. The participant finds the answer to any question with the help of “1000 ideas” cards. The authors of the game, including psychologists, entrepreneurs and marketers, made sure that every step of the player gave him a stream of associations. Each card contains 7 unique stimuli-tips for creating ideas at once: an imperative heading, a metaphorical picture, a text description of the strategy that reveals the meaning of the heading, tips and techniques for the practical implementation of this strategy, as well as a trend (an example of the implementation of a strategy in the modern world) and a reference to the technique of creativity. Agree, it is unlikely that in an ordinary situation you will think of considering your task from the position of a provocateur or a moralist, a foreigner or a craftsman, an amateur to thoroughly follow instructions and laws, or a madman who embodies chaos. You can look at the same problem from 156 angles, and the entire playing field has 1092 hooks for your imagination!

New business tool in the work of a psychologist and consultant. What are 1000 Roads maps and how do they compare favorably with classic metaphorical associative maps?

What to do when there is no creative team at hand? We are modifying the world-famous Six Thinking Hats creativity technique so that one can come up with new ideas alone.

In the early 1980s, Edward de Bono invented the Six Thinking Hats creative technique. This is one of the most widespread and beloved brainstorming techniques in the West. One problem is that it really takes six people to do this technique. What to do when you are alone?

This cool technique can still be done alone - by hiring a creative team from the 1000 Ideas deck (if you need specific suggestions). Instead of office employees, ideas will be thrown to you with psychological maps. How do you like this prospect? If such a prospect pleases you rather than saddens you, then read on.

What is the point of the exercise

The six hats represent six ways (six directions) of thinking. In other words: six completely different and complementary points of view. You just need to take turns trying on these hats (ways of thinking) and speak for them.

Before proceeding to the exercise, formulate a problem-question, that is, for the sake of which you collect your cards for brainstorming. This exercise is very suitable for those situations where "nothing is clear at all", neither in life nor in business. The maps here copy real brainstorming with live employees. Everyone has their own opinion and everyone shouts over each other. They argue and express conflicting points of view. And you (the presenter) sit and watch this din and draw your own conclusions, listening to whoever you like best. You will see that in this layout the cards will behave like people.

How to do the exercise

Pick up the 1000 Ideas deck, shuffle the cards on the table, and draw six consecutive random cards, keeping in mind the six positions that these cards will symbolize. You can make clues on pieces of paper so you don't forget which hat is.

Six positions to place cards:

Please note that the six presented hat cards are noticeably split into three fun couples.

First couple. "Bore and funny." They will tell you about your present. About what you have come to at the moment.

Second pair. "Pessimist and Optimist". A pessimist will tell you about your future - what the worst can happen. An optimist (using the reframing method) will say that it's not all that bad if you look at it more closely. Or he will paint a different picture altogether - how events will develop if everything goes well.

Third pair. "King and the Clown". More precisely, the jester and the king - in order. They both sum up. Make a conclusion. But each in its own way.

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