My experience collaborating with people using visuals for all the reasons portrayed above has convinced me that visuals have the power to shift our worlds at work, at home and in our bodies. When our understanding of something changes, we change. Wait, visuals? What do I mean by visuals? There are many ways to think about visuals: from fine art (be it photography, painting, or drawing) to crafting (hello collagers and quilt makers) to doodling on the scribbled cafe napkin (or drawing on a whiteboard at work) where one colleague describes a problem with drawn images. While these are all valid and help to open our lens of knowing, I'll focus on the last - hand-drawn work to convey something clearly or as a mode of problem-solving. Drawing things out can be the next big skill you take on! My goal is not to have you creating beautiful images. (Although that may happen.) In our modern societies we believe that drawing should be left to the experts with years of art training and experience. Noooooo!!! This activity belongs to every one of us. The value of drawing can be had with the goal you give it - you draw to explain an idea, to find the kink in a process, to add more context to what you mean, or to solve a big, daunting challenge. Opportunity arises when you are in the middle of drawing or discussing a drawing and someone says, 'I don't get it!' or 'It's not clear to me.' These are the best possible responses to hear. They bring the conversation alive letting you know to try another angle and ask more about how they see it. Then you're on your way to true dialogue instead of a mind numbing download of what’s in your mind. You move into a new social space and start to talk without misguided assumptions that you understand each other instantaneously. I invite you to try drawing your next big idea or the next challenge you come across. Draw it out! While you draw it out, think about the environment and what surrounds the idea/challenge as well as all the players and what's at the core! Notice what happens.
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