One of the main co-developers of NLP, Robert Dilts has studied the mental strategies of Walt Disney and realized that Walt had 3 distinct phases in his creativity strategy, the Dreamer, Realist and Critic phases.
I’ve found this strategy very useful not just in my own planning, but in coaching people as well. It’s helped me understand that it’s not because people are ‘unrealistic’, or ‘wishy-washy’, ‘cynical’, it’s that they lack enough different perspectives to see things from.
The part of you who dreams big and is not afraid to do so. Everything is possible, and anything goes. There is no censorship and the sky’s the limit.
The part of you that gets things done. She knows how to get everything planned and scheduled, she’s the organizer who knows her specifics.
The part of you who is considered the downer of the party, always shooting holes in plans and ideas. But essential because she knows how to spot the holes in the ship so you can fix them. Takes everything apart and points out anything that might not work or might go wrong.
Recognize any of them? Chances are you will, and not only in yourself, but also in other people. It’s quite obvious that some people are more naturally one than the other, but the real problem is not having all of them, and integrating them in a useful way, because all persepctives are needed.
You can imagine the trouble a brainstorming session would have, for example, if 4 out of 5 people were focused on being critics while only 1 is a dreamer. It’s also going to be a problem if you plan mainly from the Dreamer’s point of view without bringing the Realist or Critic in.
Robert Dilts has a great exercise on integrating the Dreamer, Realist and Critic positions and I’d like to invite you to check it out.