Dissecting Grey Matter

Life is more than just existing

Frustration is sitting amongst a grey fog, trying to figure out the solution to a problem, knowing full well that it's black and white that make up grey in the first place. So why can't you just cut through grey to come up with the solution you're after? 

As a business person, you are an ideas person. So, there's nothing more frustrating than getting stuck on an idea that needs a creative answer. 

Let's talk about a solution that often helps. 'Talk', being the operative word here.

How many times have you been stuck for an answer, inside your brain, and then as soon as you have started trying to explain your problem to someone the answer becomes clear? I certainly know this scenario well. So well, even, that I spoke with a colleague last week about the benefits of verbalising problems, then got myself stuck in a muddle while thinking about exactly how to share this idea with you. And - you guessed it - as soon as I discussed it with someone again, "poof" I had these very words you are now reading. I had to laugh, but please don't make the same mistake!

The reason "talking it out" works is: when you are stuck, you are essentially putting your brain on the exact same spin cycle. Moreover, your brain knows itself. It knows its half-ideas and its intuitions. You had the idea in the first place and you know what you want to achieve, you don't need to explain it to yourself. Talking to someone else, however, means you are suddenly forced to articulate in greater detail than before. Suddenly you are sorting through grey matter, separating the colours, and explaining everything in black and white. Suddenly it makes sense!

If that lightbulb moment eludes you when you explain your idea to others, try getting another perspective. Again, talking it out with someone can provide alternative input which might be just what your idea needs. New perspectives help our ideas grow by allowing new connections to form. The idea is to remove the ideas from the circle they are travelling around in your brain and give them new shape, sound, or colour. Going around in circles can create a lot of tension, so it's no wonder your brain feels stuck! When your mind is more relaxed, you are more able to creatively problem solve (more about that here).

So, who then do we talk to? Who do we trust with our ideas? 

The first go-to guy for ideas, is Joe Bloggs. If it's unimportant in terms of privacy, just talk! With anyone! Verbalising is what's most important; you need to remove the idea from the space it is stuck in and put it elsewhere. Understandably of course, is that business ideas are precious so you may not want to be confiding in Joe Bloggs. In that case, business partners, associates, and team members are all part of who your business is. Trust in the comradery and diversity that a team can provide.

Within a team, ideas don't need to be perfect before you share them because you all have the same ultimate goal. But if your ideas really must stay top secret this time around, there are still solutions. Talk aloud to yourself, talk to your dog, or write it out with pen and paper. Note that I said pen and paper, not keyboard - the time it takes to write ideas out by hand provides the same necessity for articulation as formulating your thoughts aloud does - typing is too fast.

I like to think of it as giving your ideas form and shape, which is why I like to think of the analogy of turning the grey matter into black and white. The analogy, I've mastered ... now I just need to put it into practice more. I hope you do the same. 

And if you need an extra pair of ears about marketing ideas, we're here to listen to you talk it out - maybe we can turn things black and white together. Call us: (09) 413 7999.


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