Use Visual Thinking for Clarity and Persuasion

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Having spent over 15 years helping 5000 clients use visual models to present more effectively, through my former company Brilliant Image, I value the power of great visuals to help clarify thinking and support efforts to persuade people. Unfortunately, too many of us default to text and data rather than visuals.  For that reason, I invited Todd Cherches to meet with the CEOs I serve through Vistage to spark the use of visuals, through his book and workshop, VisualLeadership; VisualLeadership: Leveraging the Power of Visual Thinking in Leadership and in LifeAnd now I want to do the same for you.

In his book, he notes that there are 10 different types of visual thinking. How many ways of thinking do you commonly use? Which ones would help you be more effective?

  1. Divergent: Expand on the initial idea while suspending judgment to create additional ideas.
  2. Convergent: Once you have a lot of ideas, narrow them down to the best ones
  3. Integrative: Develop even more effective ones by connecting them and synthesizing new ones
  4. Analytical: Dissect some of your ideas to get to the core 
  5. Critical: What’s your opinion about the facts/data you see based on your experience
  6. Creative: Use metaphors and imagery to come up with new original ideas
  7. Innovative: Take the creative ideas and explore real-world application
  8. Evolutionary: Use progression as a way of explaining how one thing progressed into another. 
  9. Revolutionary: What’s a radically different way of seeing something?
  10. Paradigm-shifting: How does a radically different idea change your mindset and open new possibilities?

One of his exercises was to explain what your company does – only using images. This was eye opening for some of us, as we found easy ways to do so. Indeed, at the very next meeting our host introduced his company’s new work using the approach – and for the first time everyone “got it” immediately.

How’s your visual-leadership? If it can be improved, read his book and become a better Visual Leader!