How looking at art can help boost your business skills

Most small business owners want to hone their problem solving, analysis, and communication skills. Is that really possible by looking at works of art?

On The Small Business Radio Show this week, Amy Herman says that art can be the key to improving business skills. As a lawyer and art historian, she uses artworks to sharpen observation and communication skills. By looking closely at works of art, she helps individuals hone their visual intelligence to recognize the most relevant information and recognize biases that hinder decision-making. Her second book is called Fixed: How to Perfect the Fine Art of Problem Solving. She has worked with a diverse group of companies plus the FBI, the military and NBA officials to hone their skills.

Amy says art can help us solve problems by taking people out of their world and making them look at things they don’t feel comfortable with. She adds: “I don’t teach art as art, but I help them rethink their sense of critical inquiry and how to communicate most effectively. People make too many assumptions that everyone sees the same thing. But remember that seeing is different from I want them to say what they see before they interpret it. For example, in business, she asks leaders to talk about what the problem is, before they decide there needs to be a solution.”

Amy believes her methodology works because in art, “everyone sees something. You engage your brain in a different way that can help solve future problems.”

Unfortunately, Amy describes that many of us use pattern recognition and convert it into expectation patterns; “Just because you’ve seen something before, doesn’t mean the same solution applies. I help them clean their lenses!”

Listen to the full interview with Amy on The Small Business Radio Show.

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Image: Amy Herman

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