Leverage Language for Creative Thinking 1

Travelling to Virginia for an assignment meant leaving the house at 6:00 for an early a.m. flight. I was scheduled to take a tour of an amazing research facility when I arrived at the destination, so getting up at 4:00 was the first step in a process to experience a treat.

The plane had a problem though.  We sat on the tarmac for 2.5 hours so a bolt could be replaced, the repair logged, and inspection made.  The connecting flight at Washington D.C.’s Dulles airport was long gone before we were midway.

At Dulles the customer service rep handed me a dinner voucher.  I used it at the California Tortilla kiosk while waiting for the next flight to Norfolk.  Bean burritos are my favourite Mexican food so I asked for one from the cashier.

She looked at me blankly as if they didn’t serve them.  They did.  On the menu board it appeared as a ‘no-meato burrito’.  I just couldn’t muster calling it that when I placed my order.  Something about the name was too cute, too contrived, tasteless from my way of thinking and I wanted a bean burrito.  I succumbed.

I asked the cashier for a no-meato burrito almost gagging as I placed the order. She smiled, pushed the corresponding button on the cash register and three minutes later my order arrived.  Yummy.

I missed the tour of the research facility because of the flight delay and relearned something important I didn’t expect.

To engage people in using their creative thinking, you’ve got to speak their language.

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