One thing we can do is train ourselves for parallel thinking; thinking about one issue in one mindset at a time instead of confusing ourselves with trying to differently process several issues in one go.
Most people are used to thinking in the adversarial way- one person puts something on the desk while another tries to wipe it off to the floor- you always look at things in a negative way. While this works pretty much alright for a two-man discussion, it can cause problems when several participants are involved; one reason being the competitive nature innate to this kind of discussion which allows for the idea of winners and losers where they are not necessary or applicable. This leads to eventual frustration. This two-sided approach doesnt benefit a lot from added manpower either; four men arguing is no better than two (a discussion having an outward air of calmness doesnt necessarily mean that its calm, an adversarial discussion is still an argument, no matter whether the participants appear frustrated or not)
Parallel thinking doesnt involve this kind of frantic racing. In parallel thinking for example, all the positive points of a matter are lined up first by everybody without following each point with an analysis, then all the negative points are lined up, it is only after all aspects of the problem have been accounted for that shooting proceeds. This means that in a group discussion, no one is denying or contradicting a single person or entity without a full picture of the matter and when negative points ARE being sought out, everybody is doing it at once keeping any blame from falling on an individual.
One of the best systems for parallel thinking is the Six thinking hats system. The specialty of this system is the way it visualizes, materializes and clearly segregates the different mentalities used in processing an issue. This system depicts the separate mentalities that people use to analyze questions by colored hats as follows: Factual thinking- White hat, Emotional thinking- Red hat, Critical thinking- Black hat, Positive thinking- Yellow hat, Creative thinking- Green hat, and Processing thought- Blue hat. The advantage of this is that when a person switches mentalities, he only has to imagine putting on a differently colored hat and since the color of a hat is something very easy to remember, he remembers the mentality hes currently using and doesnt accidentally stray off to others.
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