Western societies have largely lost the ability to think in images rather than words.
Each day, I am amazed at the brain power that is lost when we focus solely on words; I now am using hand-drawn images more and more for:
- thought clarification
- memory enhancement.
For a couple of years, since reading neuroscientist Dr. Ian Robertson's Opening the Mind's Eye: How Images and Language Teach Us How To See, I have been increasingly convinced through many experiences that including both words and images enhances processes such as the four listed above.
Now it looks as if more and more people are coming to the same conclusion and practicing brain enhancement by image or drawing. Take a look at some of these links and excerpts below before discarding the idea of drawing pictures (and lots of them!) in your dispute resolution.
Over at idealawg, I posted about the new book The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures by Dan Roam. Roam's book about the value of using images in business has been in the top 200 at Amazon since it came out. Seems I am not the only one who found the book to be an excellent book, offering practical advice on using pictures—and explaining why you would want to incorporate images. A couple of articles about the book . . .
From "Doodling for Profit" (Business Week):
In a corporate landscape awash with slick computer presentations, charts, graphs, and logos, some managers still utilize an age-old tool for business problem solving: the hand-drawn doodle. Whether sketched on a legal pad or drawn on a whiteboard, a doodle has the power to humanize the abstract and simplify the complex. It's a way to add humor into a dry topic. And, when doodles are used in meetings with colleagues and clients, it's a way to pull people into the process of solving a problem.
The author of "Pictures aid communication, book argues" (Miami Herald) writes:
. . .I think the very act of trying to come up with the right images forces the presenter to break things down into the most important and meaningful components, which is a very good way to get a point across, irrespective of the chosen medium. . . .[A]s a way to get attention and disrupt the status quo and penetrate defenses, simple imagery is deceptively potent and effective.
Here's the "lost chapter" of the book: "The 10-1/2 Commandments of Visual Thinking." (pdf)
Best-selling author Dan Pink's new book (book's Web site) uses lots of images: it's a comic book! (Or manga to be exact.) Howard Zinn's newest title is in comic format, too. The graphic novel genre is growing in popularity and acceptance.
Pictures are great teachers. I was happy to see that I am in good