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Different Perspectives

Different perspectives are different viewpoints from which to perceive a task, subject, or other phenomenon. This is important because each perspective has its defining set of assumptions and observations which alter the perception. Different perspectives help creativity by increasing the number of ideas that you can formulate. In fact, some of the most fertile settings for creativity throughout history have been those where people with different perspectives and ideas can communicate freely with each other.

How Perceiving From Different Perspectives Helps Creativity

It gives reason to extrapolate and makes it easier to do so.
If you have only seen one way of doing something, it is very easy to think that it is the only way. However, if you see a second and a third way of doing it, then it is easy to start wondering if there are many other ways that you do not even know about. Also, if you can find a common trait between 2 or more different ways of doing something, then it makes it easier to figure out the more general principles that govern the different methods. Not only will this allow you to evaluate your original methods, but it will also allow you to generate useful ideas that are very different from those in any of the methods that you observed.

It allows you to minimize unnecessary assumptions.
It is no secret that unnecessary assumptions limit our number of possible ideas. Fortunately, different perspectives allows us to see methods that work well while ignoring many of the assumptions that we take for granted. Not surprisingly, seeing this makes it much easier to abandon old assumptions.

How to Gain Different Perspectives

Learn about other fields.
Learning about other fields is a great way to gain different perspectives, especially if those other fields cross paths with your own. For example, there is little doubt that a building may be perceived differently when viewed by an architect, a civil engineer, a landscaper or an occupant. Also, each of these different perspectives could give some valuable insight when designing the building.

Try to learn from others with different styles.
Different styles are usually the products of different perspectives, and they provide great learning opportunities. Also, it is quite possible for 2 people to be very skillful in the same field but have totally different methods. For example, Salvador Dali and Vincent Van Gogh had 2 completely different styles. Also, any painter who studies these artists is likely to gain valuable insight from both of them.

Listen to others that have different opinions.
It is very easy to only communicate with like minded individuals. However, the greatest learning opportunities come from those whose opinions do not match our own. Now listening to others with different opinions does not mean that you have to agree with everything that they say. It does mean however, that they may have some valid points that you did not consider. This is especially true if their methods work as well as yours. The truth is that exposure to different opinions can open your mind to different perspectives.

Expose yourself to other cultures.
It is clear that different cultures come with different practices and different perspectives. For this reason, learning about other cultures can broaden your horizons. Ideally, if you are fortunate enough to travel then make the most of it. If not, then read as much as you can about other countries and cultures, especially as they relate to your chosen field. This method, like all of the others, requires "venturing" into unfamiliar territory. However, the benefits are well worth it.