The Bedrock Skills of Conceptualisation
I have been asked, apart from crafting skills, what my take is on the thinking skills creative communication practitioners need to nurture and employ, for personal gratification and professional workplace proficiency.
The challenge to summarise my conclusions about a much-debated topic of considerable complexity is quite daunting. However, drawing from my own experiences, and with the help of expert opinions and valued definitions sourced from the Internet, I have attempted as succinctly as I can, to offer some thought-provoking perspectives in response.
The interlinked aspects of enlightenment I believe are required for the cerebral development of effectively constructive communication, that academics like to describe as ‘cross-field’ outcomes, are the four bedrock skills of Emotional Intelligence, Intuition, Cognitive Skills, and Critical Thinking.
No doubt many communication practitioners in the advertising industry automatically employ a combination of all these skills as a subconscious input-regime for intuitive conceptual thinking, rational planning, and impactful media implementation.
1. Emotional Intelligence
According to American psychologist Daniel Goldman, the five key elements of emotional intelligence (otherwise known as emotional quotient or EQ) are self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills.
He describes ‘Emotional Intelligence’ in his highly regarded publication of the same title as; “a set of skills, including control of one’s impulses, self-motivation, empathy and social competence in interpersonal relationships.”
Many experts believe that emotional intelligence will become a prized skill as a result of the continued rise of automation and use of ‘Artificial Intelligence’.
With ‘AI’ simplifying the complexity of problems, tackling data and processing information at a rapid pace, empathy, self-reflection and social awareness will be in demand, with a consequential growth in learning and development, coaching, and skilled communication roles.
William Duggan, author of “Strategic Intuition”, believes that for solid emotional intelligence to be optimally effective, creative sparks are required that come from listening, and responding to messages one receives from within; the ‘gut feelings’ and the ‘hunches’ of intuition, that light the way to inspired creative inventions that burn brightly.
3. Cognitive Skills
Cognitive skills, also called cognitive functions, cognitive abilities or cognitive capacities, are the core skills one’s brain uses in the acquisition of knowledge, manipulation of information, and reasoning.
It’s about thinking, reading, learning, remembering, reasoning, paying attention, and taking incoming information for auditory and visual processing, and moving them into one’s storage bank of knowledge for contextual recall and insightful conceptualisation.
4. Critical Thinking
Critical thinking is the self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinking analysis of an issue, or situation, and related factual evidence.
As I have personally experienced, all critical thinking skills are vitally important for communication company managers and employees in implementing effective analyses, interpretations, inferences, explanations, self-regulations, open-mindedness, social communication, and the promoting of a teamwork approach to successful problem solving.