Groups might do an exercise that brings to light differences among members in their social styles, ways of resolving conflicts, or methods of problem solving (e.g., see Basadur, Graen, and Wakabayashi’s Identifying individual differences in creative problem solving style.
Journal of Creative Behavior 24 (2): 111-131, 1990; see also Kirton’s Adaptors and innovators: a description and measure. Journal of Applied Psychology 61 (5): 622-629).
Inherent in such exercises is one of the key ideas lying at the heart of liberal arts education: the importance of bringing multiple approaches and perspectives to bear on a problem (see AAC&U VALUE Rubrics), with the consequence that no single lens allows full sight of either the problem or its solution.
Empathy comes into play, too, and an excellent resource for reminding group members to listen empathetically is a five-minute, poignant video prepared by the Cleveland Clinic: (Listening Empathetically).
Creative Problem Solving Handout
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