Did you know that some people are more creative than others? If you want to learn about a new creative process, we can help.
In this guide, we’ll go over the free association process.
Want to learn more? Keep reading.
What Is the Free Association Method?
Free association is when you spontaneously respond to the first word when presented with a stimulus.
The associative process is helpful in management, business, and advertising. It’s a great way to solve problems.
How Does It Work?
Free association occurs when you develop a new idea through a cycle of the word association. You will choose a word related to the problem you are trying to solve. Then you will write down another and another word.
Say whatever comes to your mind. Try to create a semantic relationship between the words on your list of associations.
How Does It Work?
The association method is a quick and effective creative problem-solving method. You can look at the problem you’re trying to solve in a new light. You may spark new creative ideas.
It’s a powerful technique because you will go beyond typical thinking. It can help people get out of ruts and move past stereotypical connections. You might develop or see a new angle to your problem that provides unique solutions.
How Do You Try It Out?
First, you will create a supportive and safe work environment. People should feel they can think and speak freely, following the flow of their thoughts. Let go of judgments or preoccupations. Don’t try to dwell on a created association and if it makes sense or not.
Try to clear your mind and let the associations flow. Try to accept your unusual or surprising ideas.
The free association will occur when you receive a spontaneous response. You won’t get restricted by grammar or semantics.
Say what comes to your mind relative to a word you wrote down or the two-word definition of your current problem.
What About Directed Association?
Controlled or directed associations are different. They will have pre-specified conditions.
Try out these different brainstorming techniques. Tell your team what the conditions are before you begin brainstorming.
Try Serial Association
A serial association is a chain of associations that will trigger the following association.
You can begin with a trigger word. Then write down the flow of words that come up, and let each word trigger the next. In the brainstorming session, you might reach a good association.
Someone might start with friends, relationships, connection, happiness, warmth, and life.
What About the Centered Association?
Try the generation of multiply associations to one particular trigger or word. This will prompt you to generate many associations to the original trigger. You will dive into a specific area of associations.
With this kind of association, you could try writing down a keyword in the middle of the flower. Then, you will write down four words associated with the keyword around it.
Write four-word associations. Follow every one of the four words with a branch of associated keywords.
Tips on Beginning
Figure out the trigger word related to your problem. Write down words relative to that particular trigger word. Continue writing until you hit a selected amount of words.
You could look at developing ten for 30 associations. Associate freely for 10 minutes and write down a list of words.
Afterward, you should look at reviewing the list of associations. Pick a random one and combine it with your trigger word, the problem you want to improve. See if there’s a relationship between the trigger word and the focus word.
Try to use your selected associations and develop ideas to solve the problem. The unrelated connection can trigger new thoughts or insights into your situation. Use this as a springboard for more ideas on solving your problem.
Why Should You Brainstorm?
Brainstorming with your team will help you collect different viewpoints. You’ll understand what your workers think about a particular product or new service. Ask your team what they think and get their perspective.
Viewpoints will differ from your particular perspective. Yet, hearing what your employees think about a specific project or issue will help. You might get some new insight you wouldn’t have received if you hadn’t chatted to them.
Brainstorming together as a team will help you gather new ideas. You’ll attain innovative ways to reach your goal as a company.
Encouraging your team to share their thoughts with you and brainstorm together will build trust and respect. When workers believe that you listen to them and care about their opinions, they feel appreciated.
Foster Close Team Relationships
When you choose to try out free association with your team, you will share the load. This way, one manager or supervisor won’t feel like all the pressure is on them to develop a new idea.
Employees will learn to work together respectfully. They will share the load and responsibility of finding solutions to their problems.
Bring in employees from different parts of the business. This can help encourage employees to connect with other team members.
Brainstorm as a team and build closer relationships with your employees. Your employees will see that their voice matters and feel more motivated to work hard for your company.
Try Free Association With Your Team
We hope this guide on free association was helpful. Consider how you can use free association psychology to begin solving your problems. You should choose a trigger word that captures the problem you want to solve.
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