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Spot the Fake News Exercise

Spot the Fake News Exercise
Exercises, Team Building, Creativity, Storytelling, Design, Creative Writing

Article Rating:::: 3 Ratings :::: Wednesday, January 29, 2020

The advent of “Fake News” means that we are currently going through a major phase in history. Fake news has come to dominate the news, literally. It is sometimes amusing, but most often frightening. Social media is the prime vehicle of distribution and it is very easy to be deceived by a combination of fake news, misleading ads and filter bubbles as you go through your feed.

As such, this topic deserves a lot more attention. Even though through various political earthquakes in recent years, we have been aware of the detrimental effects of this new phenomenon, not a lot has been done to mitigate it. We are still very susceptible to deception. There has been some pressure on technology companies to conform and do something about the prevalence of fake news, which is good, but if we follow the money, we cannot expect much change anytime soon. The other way to approach this is to train ourselves to become more resistant in accepting and believing everything we read online. We must harden ourselves to manipulation.  

The ability to question anything and everything, and develop independent thinking is fundamental in saving us from fake news, fake science, pseudo-science, religious preaching, desire-inducing marketing in things we don’t need, cult hysteria or belief in instantaneous combustion! We need to harden ourselves and our minds against random bits of unconfirmed news, unchecked sources, persuasive rants and unverified claims. This requires training.

This exercise is an opportunity to help us question everything by having an attempt in creating fake news in a controlled environment and see how others react to it.  

You can also use the exercise presented here for creative writing and team building. There is a certain amount of humour involved in everything fake and this exercise can help bring people together through humour. It can also be educational in that people can learn about some really weird stuff they had no idea about, so long as they can be convinced of them with valid references; this is the whole point of the exercise after all—to question everything.

This exercise is also ideal for younger people who are susceptible to manipulation due to lack of knowledge. See the Variations at the end on how to adjust the exercise to suit your specific training needs.

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Convergent vs Divergent Thinking Exercise

Convergent vs Divergent Thinking Exercise
Leadership, Exercises, Team Building, Creativity, Decision Making, Design

Article Rating:::: 6 Ratings :::: Tuesday, May 14, 2019

A useful distinction in thinking process was suggested by Joy Paul Guilford in 1967. Guilford coined convergent thinking in contrast with divergent thinking. With convergent thinking, you are trying to find a single best solution to a given problem. Examples are multiple choice tests, math quizzes, spelling tests and many other standardised tests in education systems. Convergent thinking is systematic and logical (Williams 2003).

In contrast, you can use divergent thinking to create several unique solutions for a given problem. Divergent thinking is creative, spontaneous, non-linear and free-flowing. Several solutions are generated over a short period of time and they can lead to unexpected connections, encouraging discovery of yet more unusual solutions.

After carrying out divergent thinking, you end up with a bunch of solutions. You can then use convergent thinking to organise these solutions, analyse pros and cons of each and find the most optimal answer.

The point of the distinction is that you need both processes for good thinking. Being good at convergent, analytical and logical thinking is not enough as you could miss on some creative solutions. In contrast, just coming up with spontaneous creative ideas is not good enough; you need to examine solutions systematically before embarking on an implementation.

Researchers such as Guilford have found that personality traits tend to promote divergent or convergent thinking. As such, in a given team you will have people who are natural at either divergent or convergent thinking and therefore resistant to the other style of thinking

The following exercise helps to bring this distinction to focus and help delegates see the power of thinking differently to what comes naturally to them.

This exercise is ideal for team building or training delegates on management and creativity.

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Boost Creativity Using the 6-Step Problem Solving Technique

Boost Creativity Using the 6-Step Problem Solving Technique
Training Articles, Creativity, Problem Solving, Design, Creative Writing

Article Rating:::: 3 Ratings :::: Monday, March 25, 2019

In the 21st century world, we often need to be creative when solving problems especially with the constant need to stand out in today’s crowded markets. Being creative is therefore a very useful skill.

Much like any other skill, creativity is something you can get better at by following a proven structured approach and by practicing. The more systematic the method, the easier it is to practice and master it.

In the past few decades, there has been much progress on creative thinking. The researches on this topic has led to some great insights. It is now well known that resting the brain after intense periods of thinking and problem solving can significantly boost creativity. Many thinkers and experts such as Edison, Einstein and Salvador Dali have utilised this technique to great benefit. The question is how you should go about this to maximise the benefits.

The idea of resting the brain is about silencing your conscious thought (CT) in order to unleash the power of your unconscious thought (UT). That conscious thought, however, must get engaged enough at some point for this whole thing to work.

If you are a trainer or are in a position of teaching any subject, you will inevitably be giving your learners some problems to solve. Problem solving often requires creative thinking. You and your learners can use the 6-Step Problem Solving Technique described here to strengthen your creative thinking. It is designed to help our minds work at peak performance.

 

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How to Practice Paying Attention to Detail

How to Practice Paying Attention to Detail
Exercises, Creativity, Personal Impact, Attention and Focus, Memory, Learning

Article Rating:::: 88 Ratings :::: Monday, June 5, 2017

One of the biggest and perhaps saddest trends in our era is that attention spans are shrinking. It is primarily fuelled by the explosion of online content, rise of social media and the ever-increasing range of things to obtain and experience. It is great to be living is such a rich world, the like of which we have never had in the entire history of mankind. However, there is a price to pay for anything good and in this case, it seems to be our shrinking attention spans, increased stress and the feeling that there is so much to do in so little time.

To learn how to manage attention, there are several exercises you can go through to reverse the trend and gain more control. In this article, you will be introduced to a series of attention management and concentration exercises that will help you achieve this.

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Diamond Ranking for Decision Making

Diamond Ranking for Decision Making
Exercises, Creativity, Decision Making

Article Rating:::: 27 Ratings :::: Monday, August 22, 2016

When making decisions, you often need to choose between a series of options. When told to rank options, people sometimes want to give the same rank to multiple options. In some cases, it might be more important to learn about the most and least preferred options rather than to spend time judging between the middle choices.

A technique known as Diamond Ranking can help you focus on the most and least preferred options.

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Creativity Exercise: Make a Monster

Creativity Exercise: Make a Monster
Games, Exercises, Team Building, Creativity, Exercises for Kids, Resource Management, Art, Design

Article Rating:::: 283 Ratings :::: Monday, November 23, 2015

This is a template for a creativity exercise centred on making monsters. It can be used for kids and adults depending on how you bias it and setup the exercise.

You can consider assigning the task to groups for an exercise on teamwork, teambuilding and management or run it individually for focus on creativity.

Ideally, you should run this exercise as a competition between participants to keep it fun and focused.

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Marketing Exercise: Cross Sell Your Products

Marketing Exercise: Cross Sell Your Products
Exercises, Creativity, Sales Skills, Marketing, Persuasion Skills

Article Rating:::: 26 Ratings :::: Monday, September 21, 2015

This exercise helps delegates to brainstorm how to cross sell products. It focuses on a random set of products so it is rather creative to see what marketing strategies delegates can come up with. The key point to make in this exercise is that any two products can be related to each other and this can be used as material for marketing and cross selling.

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Creative Writing Exercise: The Last Straw

Creative Writing Exercise: The Last Straw
Exercises, Creativity, Persuasion Skills, Creative Writing

Article Rating:::: 29 Ratings :::: Monday, November 24, 2014

In this creative writing exercise delegates change a given instruction to a funny statement that is deemed more effective. The humour helps to increase the likelihood of the instruction being followed and also make it more memorable. It is a good exercise for writing short instructions/signs to be used in public places.

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Storytelling Exercise: Make a Story with Three Images

Storytelling Exercise: Make a Story with Three Images
Exercises, Creativity, Acting, Storytelling

Article Rating:::: 29 Ratings :::: Monday, November 17, 2014

This exercise helps to test the creativity of delegates on their ability to make stories based on a series of images. Each delegate sees a series of images and needs to make an interesting story that will connects them all together.

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Marketing Exercise: Learn from Good, Bad and Ugly Advertisements

Marketing Exercise: Learn from Good, Bad and Ugly Advertisements
Exercises, Creativity, Marketing, Art, Branding

Article Rating:::: 32 Ratings :::: Monday, September 29, 2014

This exercise helps to develop delegates’ observational skills on advertisement and marketing and also helps them design their own ads. It creates discussions on what works and what does not in designing an advertisement. Delegates can use this knowledge to get inspired and create effective and interesting advertisements for their products.

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