How to Use Mind Maps For Problem-Solving and Overcoming Obstacles

Not unlike the pilot of an airplane, a business owner spends a lot of time course-correcting. While goal setting and having a vision for success is crucial, it’s also important to deal with problems and obstacles effectively as they come up.

Mind maps can be extremely helpful in this pursuit. While they are often used in the brainstorming and idea phases, they can also be highly effective when problems arise.

Relaxing the Stress Response

Just the word “problem” has a negative tone and connotation. However, when you bring creativity into the mix, the mind often relaxes. In this way, using mind mapping for problem solving opens up solutions that might not have otherwise presented themselves.

There are several ways to create mind maps, but the traditional method involves starting with a central hub objective from which ideas radiate and give birth to new concepts and possibilities. Images, sketches, different colors, and different styles of writing/text can be used as inspiration guides you.

The Benefits of Mind Mapping

Both the process of creating a mind map and the final result can bring profound insights for business owners and staff. New revelations unfold, and the final image will contain the solutions you have been seeking.

Some of the other benefits of mind mapping for problem solving include:

Organization/Prioritization. Within the process and scope of a mind map, the key steps to problem solving often emerge. This allows business owners to forge a clear path to successfully overcoming the challenge.

Creative Stimulation. The use of organic lines, imagery, different colors and hand-written words has a stimulating effect on both the problem solving and creative centers of the brain.

Solutions and New Ideas Emerge. The radial process of creating a mind map generates logical associations and a progression of thought. Ideas branch out from the central thought (problem) and lead to innovative solutions.

Inspires Big Picture Thinking. A mind map naturally guides you to looking at a panoramic view of the situation instead of just one small part. In this way, mind mapping furthers the mission and vision of the company by projecting outcomes in a non-linear fashion.

Mapping the Problem to Find the Solution

One possible approach is making one mind map of the problem and all of its aspects, and another mind map that explores solutions. Exploring and fleshing out the problem and all of its aspects ensures you’ll have a total understanding of the issue from all angles.

After the experience of creating a mind map of the problem, solutions will likely already be brewing in your mind. The solution map could contain sections such as:

  • Resources
  • Internal changes
  • Professional organizations
  • Tools
  • Techniques

From there, the solutions that are most likely to be effective, practical, efficient and most cost-effective can be explored.

Mind mapping is usually associated with brainstorming new ideas, but it can also be invaluable when addressing current challenges and seeking solutions. Next time a problem has you stuck, try making a mind map. It just might facilitate a breakthrough that takes your business to the next level.

“Remember, wealth has nothing to do with money, success has everything to do with failure and life is as simple as you make it!” – John Dessauer

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