Insights from others, our perceptions, situations or environments, stimulate us to further develop our knowledge, perspectives, ideas, creativity, and positive emotions. Gaining insight, that flash of understanding, helps us to connect the dots in a new way, solve problems and make progress. As a result, we become more effective and productive. On this, how to gain insights stands important. Close upon, to realise that every person in the world has a perspective worth listening to, starts us forward to the fact that insights really do come from everywhere. Being in a senior position or having more experience does not always guarantee insights. So, keeping an open ear and mind, to the people you listen to, around you, helps you to filter through the noise and discover insights you can learn from.
Here features how to gain insights that inspire you.
1. Frame A knotty Task As A Question
Being asked a question instead of being told to do something, often starts us feeling more in control, less defensive, and consequently more open to new ideas.1 Questions stimulate our brain into discovery mode. They do this by provoking our curiosity and wonder. “Oh, I wonder what the solution might be,” not “I must solve this pesky problem.” The first statement carries the subtle suggestion of the question “will I solve this problem?”
Still on this, to put ourselves in a more explorative mindset, it is productive to frame a task as an open question. “What is the best way to solve this, ideally?” Of the same piece, ask rhetorical questions like “if I had no constraints, what would be my line of action?” This type of question helps our brains feel less threatened by the challenge. As a result, we loosen our thinking, and become more creative.
2. Step Away And Work On A Different Task For A While
When we stop consciously thinking about a topic, our subconscious connects the information we’ve just absorbed to the older memories stored in our brain. The new connections often form the basis of fresh insights, new ways of approaching a problem. Shifting attention from a complex problem to another different task for just, two, three or four minutes can help us make better decisions when we return to the problem.2 Practising this helps us contract ideas behind how to gain insights.
3. Map Out The Key Aspects Of The Problem
This approach unfolds. On a sticky note, write the central issue as a concise question. “What is the best way to launch our new product on time?” Then, get more sticky notes. Brainstorm the big factors affecting your issue; software bugs, product manufacturing, beta test feedback. After writing each on a sticky note, paste them round the central question. Create different clusters of closely-related factors like hardware, software, marketing issues. Further with, identify causal linkages. To have enough good programmers might affect software bugs. Put green dots on things currently helping you, red on factors holding you back. Fill obvious gaps and move anything that seems out of place. As you step back and look at your map, observe striking patterns revealing the most important or interesting thing to address. It may feature as incentivizing the best programmers.
4. Seek Out Stimulating Analogies For The Issue You Are Working On
Make use of interesting things you encounter outside your normal frame of reference; an unfamiliar workplace, a new street. Simple questions stimulate us to extract ideas from the strangest places. “How is this similar to the issue at hand?” “How is it different?” “What is most striking about it?” “What might that suggest as an idea to explore?”
5. Think About What Made What You Observed Or Heard Special
In this regard, read stories or articles about others’ achievements that inspire you. Attend events, see a movie or watch a documentary that stimulates you into excitement and creativity. Then, dwell on what made what you have seen or heard special.
6. Have A Different Conversation With Your Parents Or Friends About Their Life Experiences
Let your curiosity lead you. Ask them what made them do the things they did in their lives.
7. Write Down How You Can Make A Successful Idea More Impactful
Doing this often helps you to create a healthy habit of expanding your mind. In keeping with, cultivate the attitude to absorb knowledge and ideas like a sponge. This attitude lifts your confidence and primes you to take advantage of opportunities.
8. Record Your Ideas Anytime They Show Up
To root this concept firmly, carry a small pad and pen or have a note’s app on your phone, to enable you record your ideas anytime they clock in. Advantage to, you handle better the inconvenience of ideas coming when you are at the supermarket or catching a public transport. Further with, getting into the knack of condensing your ideas, supports the notions of how to gain insights.
9. Listen To The Perspectives Of Others From Outside Your Day-To-Day Life
Start a conversation with people you don’t know, in various settings or environments. Following this, harness the opportunity presented in an airplane or a sporting event. Initiate a conversation with a stranger. The encounter can spark fresh inspiration or insight. Proceeding with, the connection path that leads to insight, often thrives on having lots of ideas, ideas that could be contradictory. In this, it pays to expose ourselves to unfamiliar activities. Close upon, increase your encounters with different types of people, from variety of areas, exposing you to new ideas.
10. Attempt a ten-minute Free Writing Session On A Topic That Interests You
To embark on a free writing exercise, choose a topic that holds your attention. Then, write down anything that comes to your mind, about the topic, within a set time frame. Write until the time is up, without reading or changing anything. Clear with, we open ourselves to how to gain insight, as we focus on our interests, since insights often flow from them.
12. Pay Attention To The Body Language Of Others, To Observe Their Feelings And Obtain Insights
The body movement of others frequently speak more than their words. In view of this, you have to be Attentive to observe their feelings and obtain helpful insights, instead of just hearing them.
13. Use Confusions And Contradictions As Springboards For Insights
Frustrations and disruptions represent openings for making discoveries. When we replace our feeling of consternation with curiosity, we pave the way for this discovery.
To continue with, Mike used the path of contradiction, the disconnect between his old immature behavioural routines and the realities of starting a career, to gain an insight about himself. When he applied for a job, and got a firm promise that he will be hired, and weeks went by without any call from his would-be employer, he began to sulk. Eventually, he got a call from the person who would be his manager, offering him a position. Mike started off with the words, “I waited but you never called.” The manager cut him off. “Are you ready for the job or not?” Mike paused and replied, “I do want the job.” Afterwards, looking back, he realised that the whole episode helped him to discover some insights. Here they stand. No one outside my immediate family, cares who is to blame. People are interested in getting the work done. What matters is whether I can deliver and be trusted, not whether I can avoid responsibility or justify accusations.
14. Ask Yourself Why Things Are The Way They Are Around You
Being curious, asking questions, helps us to gain more insights and generate more creative ideas.
15. Share Your Own Insights With Others
With this attitude, you stand a better chance of influencing others to reciprocate and share their personal insights or ideas with you. In consequence, lifelong respect blossoms between two of you.
16. Sit Next To Someone Different In Every Setting You Find Yourself
Avoid sitting in the same seat every week, in a meeting venue or lecture theatre. To your advantage, you learn more.
How to gain insights that broadens our perspective, and boosts our creativity, boasts of ideas that motivate us to listen, observe, make new connections, and question the happenings around us. In plain, it entails a development of a keen awareness and feeling for ourselves and our environment.
1. For example: Burnkrant, R.E., & Howard, D.J. (1984). Effects of the use of introductory rhetorical questions versus statements on information processing. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 47(6), 1218–1230.
2. Creswell, J.D., et al. (2012). Mindfulness-based stress reduction training reduces loneliness and pro-inflammatory gene expression in older adults: A small randomized controlled trial. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 26(7), 1095–1101.