APC is an interesting thinking tool to help broaden our perception. (please read APC description here.) During an APC we are trying to think up alternate explanations, possibilies or choices. Please note that we are not talking about new ideas or creativity during an APC session. These will be dealt with separately in future posts about creativity.
Example 1: You see a friend, who is broke, driving a brand new, latest model BMW. You are surprised. Do an APC.
- He won a lottery
- He has got a new job at rent-a-BMW
- He is not your friend but someone else with similar face.
- He is taking the sick owner of the BMW to hospital.
- He is working for a BMW ad.
- He has rented BMW for few hours for his wedding function.
Example 2: Your intelligent friend has got really bad grades in recent university exams. Do an APC.
- He is addicted to social networking (read facebook) and not taking care of his studies.
- He has developed interest in a new course/subject.
- He thinks that good grades are not a guarantee of a landing on a great job and does not care much now.
- He did not feel well during his exams.
- His father (or mother) has put undue pressure upon him to show good results and he could not concentrate due to this.
- His study-mate has left for another university and he is not used to study alone.
- He kept helping his friends in examination hall and could not finish his own paper.
- He mis-interpreted questions in his exams.
Some exercises for you to do APC:
- A healthy friend has become suddenly sick. Doctors are unable to see the reason behind after many days of diagnostics efforts.
- A man is furiously knocking at your door.
- Your boss terminates you without any notice and reason.
- Your husband has been coming late to home for the last few months.
As always with thinking tools, you setup a specific time (1-3 minutes) to perform the exercise. During the exercise you do not allow your judgment to come into play and just list down what is possible. Judgment (what is more likely, unlikely, better, worse) can come later. These exercises can be done alone or with your family or friends.