Sometimes, you just have to get creative. You might not want to - everyone has those days when they really just want to follow the rules, keep their head down and not make waves - but creativity will not only help you find solutions to problematic issues at work; it will also help you stand out at work as a problem solver and innovator. However, the creative juices do not always flow on demand. If you are having trouble solving office problems creatively (or at all, for that matter), try these simple tricks to stimulate your flexible thinking:
1. Put yourself in someone else's shoes
Sometimes a problem seems utterly intractable because you simply cannot understand why it is there. This is particularly the case with office interpersonal issues. If you cannot understand the problem, you definitely will have trouble solving it! Try to see the issue - honestly - from someone else's perspective. Sometimes just seeing where the problem started (even if you think the whole thing is ridiculous) can help you see your way to a solution.
2. What if you could do anything?
If you cannot see your way to realistically resolving an issue, take a break from reality! That's right: pretend you can do absolutely anything. How would you solve the problem? (Note: avoid resolutions like "kick her in the knee" since that would not actually resolve the issue). Thinking about a problem without your self-imposed confines will often open up avenues that you did not previously investigate.
3. Identify what you really want
Sometimes a problem exists because you are not clear about the outcome that you want. Be selfish: decide what you think will solve the problem and then determine if a change in your condition alone is enough to resolve the issue. Sometimes just changing your perspective can resolve the issue.
By implementing this advice, you will be able to see your office issues in new and creative lights that will likely result in your problem soon being solved.