Insights For Success

Strategy, Innovation, Leadership and Security

Creative Thinking Tip #6 - But What If You Could

Leadership StrategiesEdward KiledjianComment

If you haven't read my other articles in the series, read them before continuing: 


Usually when I talk to someone who  is stuck, I get some type of response like “I can’t think of…” or “I can’t find a way to…” or something else similar to that chain of thought.

In situations like this, I take them out of the current environment. We may go for a short walk, go to grab a coffee or anything else that takes the person out of their existing environment. Then I repeat what they told me “I can’t think of..” and I add, “but what if you could […] what would it look like”. Often the first reaction is one of disbelief. They can’t understand why you would ask them that type of question when they told you they can’t. After I get them to play along, I keep facilitating this chain of thoughts.

  • “but what if you could […] what would it look like”.
  • “Then what would it feel like”
  • “what would it look like”
  • “If you did it, how would that make you feel” 

So on and so forth. Most of the time, I would simply wait for the person to finish talking then look at them and say gently “and” or “because” which encourages them to keep going.

If is very common for the person who was “stuck beyond help” to help themselves out of their rut and into creating wonderful new solutions.