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  • Trefor Jones

Coaching as creating space for creative thinking

Updated: Jul 9

In his book, ‘The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything’, Ken Robinson explores the idea that creativity involves a form of thinking that uses much more of the brain than more common place logical or analytical thinking. He asserts that we have to embrace and encourage a different way of thinking in order to promote creative expression and innovation.

“Being creative is about making fresh connections so that we see things in new ways and from different perspectives. In logical, linear thinking, we move from one idea to another through a series of rules and conventions. We allow some moves while rejecting others because they’re illogical. If A + B = C, we can figure out what C + B equals... ... The rules for linear thought don’t always guide creative thinking.”

In drawing from the work of Edward De Bono, he goes on to say:

"... Creative insights often come in non-linear ways, through seeing connections and similarities between things that we hadn’t noticed before. Creative thinking depends greatly on what’s sometimes called divergent or lateral thinking,

Lateral thinking, developed as a concept in 1973 by Edward De Bono, is a manner of solving problems using an indirect and creative approach via reasoning that is not immediately obvious.


Lateral thinking can be learned, practised and used. It is possible to acquire skill in it just as it is possible to acquire skill in mathematics.

(Edward De Bono)


In coaching we have a fantastic model for creating spaces and moments when individuals can engage with a problem with an entirely new perspective. We encourage the making of connections that have not previously been made, therefore allowing the client themself to find the solution. In essence we are fostering creative thought.

“Learning to create is essential, necessary, vital & fundamental. It is the centerpiece in which you create the life that you really want.”

(John Whitmore)

Indeed, embracing the discipline of coaching is an opportunity to re-learn how we think and how we make decisions. We can develop these new thinking habits in order to be liberated from those things that hold us back, and to be able to realise our full potential.





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