The challenge: hearing yourself above the noise.

In this noisy and busy world, we have become almost constant communicators. We spend much of our time either speaking, writing, listening and reading. We are surrounded by words from many sources.

Let me say here that I LOVE words! I love finding just the right ones to express exactly what I feel. I love word games…well, you get the point.

Words are wonderful!

However.

Sometimes they get in the way.

Since they are really symbols of things, they require translation. The word “happy” is not happiness, but just a symbol of that state of mind. When you hear someone say “I’m happy,” you must translate that into your understanding of the feeling they are expressing. Of course this happens automatically, and very quickly, and you don’t really notice the effort it takes.

It does take mental effort, however.

If, on the other hand, someone looks at you with a huge smile, you get the same information – and probably more – in a much more direct way. You immediately understand, and even feel, their emotion without translation.

When we take words out of the communication, we receive it more directly – and with less effort.

You may know this, and can probably think of examples very easily.

What you may not realize, is what I discovered in leading creativity groups. Some of our exercises were done in silence. And the result was a truly amazing increase in the creativity and clarity that participants experienced.

Even group activities which required the participants to communicate with each other, such as preparing a meal together, became totally new experiences when words are not allowed.

Creativity increased dramatically – and, almost as a bonus, it was also more fun!

The next time you are playing with your imagination, or looking to inspire creativity (especially with someone else or a group), try it without words. You might be surprised at the results!

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