Divergent and convergent thinking is not just for creativity in the workplace. We use them all the time in our daily lives!
Choosing what to wear in the morning is an exercise in divergent and convergent thinking.
You start by looking in your closet to explore options. There are so many choices to consider! You could wear pants, shorts, a sweater, or a t-shirt. In fact, forcing yourself to look at things that you haven’t worn in a while is good example of using divergent thinking.
With the time ticking away, you narrow your options down to a final selection. You make choices by considering a range of factors. How hot is it? Is it rainy? Is there an important meeting on my calendar? Focusing your consideration set is convergent thinking.
Picking out what clothes to wear is a simple example. But we can take it a step farther to illustrate the important relationship between the two modes of thinking.
Without diverging, you sacrifice the opportunity to create much better options to choose from.
Without converging, you’ll keep too many options open and sap your team’s attention and energy.