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How does visual thinking help you at work

Updated: Feb 26

Publication date: 16.02.2024


People think in two different ways. First one is verbal. This means that information you have in your mind is represented by words. Second one is visual. In this case your thoughts are shown as pictures or situations you experienced. Actually, the most important fact is that you have to be aware of which one of these two you are more used to. 

Temple Grandin, the author of the book ‘Visual Thinking: The Hidden Gifts of People Who Think in Pictures, Patterns, and Abstractions’, says that visual thinking is much slower than verbal one.

If you are a verbal thinker you probably don’t have any difficulties explaining what is on your mind. People who think in pictures have more issues sharing their thoughts in the oral way. So, realizing this fact helps you to be more clear with your communication and to determine your thinking. 


Try to use your visual thinking more often


Even if you are a more verbal thinker, there are still many ways to use your visual skill to improve your communication. When you use your imagination, you are able to reach the most interesting ideas and gather thoughts in an unclouded style. It’s definitely easier to remember things presented by pictures or colors than things described by the long wall of the text.


What’s more, a visual way to show information is a perfect technique to get the essentials of your process of thinking. It’s difficult to present every word as a picture but you can easily find the purpose of the sentence using icons or pictures. This is the way to make your idea more concentrated. 


A few examples of visual methods 


Mind maps 

Mind maps 

This is one of the most known methods. You can start with your main concept in the middle of your drawing, then use arrows and graphics to develop your idea. Afterwards, you can link every aspect with another and see the process of thinking step by step. Nowadays there is a lot of mind mapping softwares which can be helpful in this case as well.



Venn Diagram 

To compare two different problems, you can draw two circles which are linked with their sides. Each circle represents what is not similar. The shared space is a place for what is the same. 



Radar charts 

If you consider more than two aspects, you can use a radar chart. How does it work? Put every side of the problem on the edge of the circle. Then draw lines from the middle of the circle to each of the dimensions. Apart from that, you need to divide lines with the numbers. The closer to the aspect, the number is higher. Choose the weight of importance of every information. Now you can see disparities in the most apparent way.  



Sketches 

You don’t need to be a professional artist to show your thoughts through the visual way. Actually, it is a perfect way to vent some undescribed information and release accumulated stress. When you don’t know how to start with some idea, just try to put patterns, figures or objects on the paper. It can work in the similar way to sharing thoughts in the oral way or writing


So how and why can you enhance your company work structure with visual methods?


Visual thinking at work

 

Visual thinking at work 

Verbal ways of communication are traditional ones. Focusing only on the verbal aspects can be oppressive and in the result less productive. You can kick off finding the problem to sort out and encourage your colleagues or supervisors to work on it together in a different way. 


Try to use visual thinking strategies written above. The helpful thing is the whiteboard. For example, you can draw some mind maps, write motivational sentences or create colorful pictures there. 


It doesn’t matter if you are in charge of running the business or you work on your own. Visual methods give you a lot of opportunities to develop yourself at different stages of your life. They boost productivity, strengthen focus and improve communication skills. In a nutshell, try to have some fun with visual thinking and improve your workplace environment!


If you are interested in learning more about visual thinking and its benefits, we strongly recommend you to check out our business partner's blog.


 

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