Sunday, May 22, 2011

How to be a Brilliant Thinker


Contents
1. The need for different thinking 1
2. Consider the opposite 6
3. Confront assumptions 10
4. Analyse problems 15
The path to the ideal 16; Why, why? 16; Six serving
men 18; Lotus blossom 19; Summary 19
5. Ask questions 21
6. Think in combinations 26
7. Parallel thinking 30
8. Think creatively 35
9. Think laterally 39
10. Think what no one else thinks 44
11. Evaluate ideas 47
Selection criteria 47; Triage 49; Group evaluation
methods 50
12. Make difficult decisions 52
Pair rankings 54
13. Develop your verbal thinking 60
Get a good dictionary and thesaurus 61; Read 62;
Capture new words 63; Write, rewrite and edit 64;
Play with words 64; Listen to yourself 65; Take the
verbal intelligence questionnaire 65
14. Think mathematically 67
15. Get to grips with probability 73
16. Think visually 79
Questionnaire on visual thinking 82; Answers to
the questions 83
17. Develop your emotional intelligence 86
Self-awareness 87; Self-management 88; Social
awareness 89; Relationship management 91
18. Be a brilliant conversationalist 92
Ask questions 92; Listen 93; Give compliments 94;
Use names 94; Keep up to date on topical issues 94;
Be humorous 95; Speak clearly 96; Enjoy it 96
19. Win arguments 97
Dos, don’ts and sneaky tactics 97; Questionnaire 102
20. Ponder 103
Listen 103; Slow down your life 104; Prioritize 105;
Declu��er 105; Delay some decisions 106; Incubate 106;
Meditate 107; Allocate time for reflection 107
vi Contents
21. Maximize your memory 109
Memory pegging techniques 111; The virtual
journey 114; Mnemonics 116; Remembering
numbers 116; Remembering names 116
22. Experiment, fail and learn 119
Questionnaire on learning from mistakes 120
23. Tell stories 124
24. Think humorously 128
How to tell a joke 129
25. Think positively 131
26. Set goals 136
27. Prioritize and focus 140
Handling your to-do list 142
28. Turn thinking into action 145
Why procrastination is dangerous 145; Ask yourself
‘Why am I stuck?’ 146; It is all right not to know 146;
Don’t wait for perfection 146; Phone a friend 147;
Remind yourself of the benefits 148; Do something –
get into motion 148; Set goals 149; Share your goals
and actions 149; Pause, don’t stop 149; Mentally
rehearse and then act 150; Take the procrastination
questionnaire 150
29. Common thinking errors 151
The availability error 151; Mistaking the cause 154;
The gambler’s fallacy 155; The confirmation bias 156;
Clustering illusion 156; Cognitive biases 156
30. Boost your brain 159
Contents vii
viii How to be a brilliant thinker
31. Games for brilliant thinkers 166
32. Summary – a checklist for the brilliant thinker 169
Appendix 1: Answers 173
Appendix 2: References and further reading 174
Index 176
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