Remember that time in the meeting when things were not as interesting as they should have been? You had that pad of paper in front of you and a pen in your hand, so you started to draw something. Probably not a masterpiece, certainly nothing you would want to share with the chair of the meeting, but all the same it was all your own work and in a way you were quite proud of it? Welcome to doodling!
I suppose we have all done it at one time or another, if only to pass the time. Some do it more consciously by using the pen and paper to draw out ideas, develop a new product, or help someone understand. The stories of new businesses being built from a sketch on the back of and envelope or beer mat are many. Google it and check it out.
I use doodling when I am coaching. Some people just like to talk and listen, others want to take things into the own hands – literally – and either write or sketch things down. Putting things down on paper provides a different perspective, it allows things to become more real rather than just a fleeting thought or a figment of imagination. For some it provides such clarity that the next step forward becomes obvious.
It seems there are others who think the same as I do about doodling. It even got a mention at a recent TED talk:
I have also found a pretty good book which uses doodling as a problem solving tool. The book is perhaps a little long for my liking, yet many pages are there to give the reader some space to try out a few doodles for themselves. The methodology is sound, and as a way to get one person or several people to look at a problem differently and then find a solution, this is a fantastic tool. See what you think. Unfolding the Napkin: The Hands-On Method for Solving Complex Problems with Simple Pictures
So, instead of being a closet doodler, how about putting those drawing to good use. How can you use them to help you?