Creative Techniques: The Voice Of Reason Sucks

The voice of reason sucks

There’s nothing worse when you’re generating ideas than to have your thought flow stopped by someone using The Voice Of Reason

The one issue with the voice of reason is… by definition, it sounds reasonable. It can make your concepts sound wrong. It is the voice of calm, rational thought, cutting through your wild ideas with caution.

The voice of reason usually says “wait, don’t jump right in until we examine the situation carefully”. OK, there are thousands upon thousands of situations where that’s the right approach, where the voice of reason should be applied and actioned.
But not every time.

Sometimes, the voice of reason is simply a disguise for the status quo. It’s easy for a colleague or more often a superior to jump into the middle of a brainstorm with a “hang on, let’s think about this”. The problem is, that often means, “hang on, let’s NOT think about this. Let’s drop it because it means change, and change can be dangerous.”

People will resist change, and your ideas can be threatening, particularly in their wild, untamed state. But you need to get them out and understood before you can dismiss them.

When brainstorming, use the voice of reason wisely. Don’t allow it to talk your ideas to death before they’re even born. Give it space, give it time where it needs to be heard, but don’t slavishly lend it your ears every time it speaks.

De Bono’s Six Hats offers methods of using the voice of reason without allowing it to stop your ideas flowing.