How Looking at Art Can Help Grow Your Business Skills

Most small business owners are looking to sharpen their problem solving, analysis, and communication skills. Can this really be done by looking at works of art?

On The Small Business Radio Show this week, Amy Herman says that art can be the key for improving business skills. She is a lawyer and art historian who uses works of art to sharpen observation, and communication skills. Looking closely at works of art, she helps individuals to hone their visual intelligence to recognize the most pertinent information and recognize biases that impede 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 businesses plus the FBI, the military and NBA officials to sharpen their skills.

Amy says that art can help us solve problems by taking people out of their world and have them  look at things they are not comfortable for them. She adds that “I am not teaching art as art but helping them rethink their sense of critical inquiry and how to communication most effectively. People make too many assumptions that everyone sees the same thing. But remember that seeing is different than interpretation. I want them to say what they see before they interpret it. For example, in business, she asks leaders first to talk about what the problem is before they decide needs to be done as a solution.”

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

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

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

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Image: Amy Herman