Learn how the simple five-letter word “might” can help you be more creative. Might is a mighty word! When you change the format of your questions it leads to impressive results. This episode explains how to make a small shift and generate new, creative, original ideas. 

What You’ll Learn

  • Why “might” is a mighty word
  • How to change the way you ask questions to generate new ideas
  • How to increase the sense of possibility with your team, your family/friends, and your self


The Weekly Challenge

Use the word “might” at least three times a day for the next week. Try it when talking with your boss, bringing up a problem in a team meeting, asking your kids questions, talking about the future with your spouse. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of ways you might use the word “might” to create a sense of possibility and openness, and ultimately to generate more ideas. One of those ideas could lead to an amazing breakthrough.


Feel like reading instead of listening? Download the free transcript or read it below. Enjoy!

Transcript for Episode #060: “Might” is a Mighty Word

Amy Climer: Welcome to The Deliberate Creative Podcast Episode 60. In today’s episode, I am going to teach you how to use a five-letter word that can change the quality of ideas you generate and help make you more creative. First, I want to share with you a new iTunes review. This review comes all the way from Poland, which is so awesome. I am recording from the U.S. and so I love that it is reaching across the Atlantic. This is a five-star review by Kloosh.

Kloosh says, “Great source of all related to creativity and team development. I stumbled upon this podcast only by accident while preparing a creativity training for my company, but I found so much more. Amy has an amazing voice, positive attitude and passion about her that it’s hard not to get infected by it. I learned so much from the episodes I listened to so far regarding practicing and developing the skill of quality as well as lots of interesting insights about team dynamics and development. And the episodes are rather short so it’s super easy to snack one during a commute or while waiting somewhere. I’m a big promoter of creativity for all and helping others discover it in them so I strongly recommend it to anyone who gets here. Take the risk, listen to a couple of episodes and start/continue to nurture your creativity in all the people around you (smiley face).”

Thank you Kloosh! I so appreciate the review. It is so great to hear from you and I am glad that the podcast is making its way all the way to Poland. Super cool! The Deliberate Creative Podcast is on iTunes in 120 countries so we are everywhere around the world. I hope you are finding value and enjoyment in this podcast. If you are, please write a review on iTunes, Google Play, or Stitcher. I will be so appreciative. I read every one and I also share them on air. Thank you again Kloosh and everyone who has written a review. There is a ton of five-star reviews out there and that means so much to me.

Why “Might” is a Mighty Word [02:37]

Let’s talk about this powerful word in the world of creativity. This word is “might”, as in how might we help people develop their creativity? That is one of my missions. For those of you who do not know, I have a consulting practice called Climer Consulting and I lead trainings and do keynotes on the topic of creativity in teams. And that is what this podcast is all about, is how to help you be more creative within your team or how to lead your team to be more creativity. One of the things you can do is use the word “might” more often. I like to say “might” is a mighty word. In this episode, I am going to show you how to reframe your questions with the word “might” so that you can generate new ideas.

The word “might” is really used to express possibility and it conveys the sense of openness. If you are trying to generate new ideas from a group or even just from yourself, using the word “might” signals to our brain to the sense of possibility. And if the whole point is to be creative, which means you are trying to be unique or slightly different, you need to have that sense of possibility. If you are focused only on what is for sure going to work, chances are you are not going to be very creative. The word “might” helps you think with a sense of possibility and creativity.

Let’s imagine that you want to work with your neighbors to raise money for a new playground in the nearby park. You decide to take a risk. You invite a group of people over to your house to hang out in your living room and to generate ideas on how you are going to raise money for this playground. You get everybody together, and of course there are going to be some introductions and then you are going to talk about the value of having a playground in the neighborhood. And then there is going to be a point where you open up the meeting to get new ideas. If you need techniques and ways on how to generate ideas beyond especially the classic brainstorming methods, you can go to an earlier episode, Episode 05. If you go to that earlier episode, you will see some ideas on how to generate ideas. I digress. Let’s go back to the word “might”.

Change the Way You Ask Questions to Generate New Ideas [05:15]

Let’s say you ask this group this question: “how do we raise money for our neighborhood playground?” When you ask that question “how do we” it sounds like you are looking for a definitive plan, that you are looking for ideas that they know are going to work, they will work, they do work. You may get some decent ideas, but you might not get the most creative, interesting, original ideas. Instead, replace the word “do” with the word “might.” Ask, “How might we raise the money for our neighborhood playground?” So now it sounds like you are looking for ideas and possibilities that are not necessarily fully formed, but will be explored further later and they will be developed further.

Let’s just throw out some things like “how might we do that?” or “What are some possibilities?” I have certainly seen this in myself. When I even am asking myself a question and I use the word “might”, I can feel this shift in my brain and it almost makes me feel like more lighthearted, energetic and I can feel this sense of like, “Oh wow, let’s get a little crazy and wild here. Let’s get really original and creative.” Think about how you might use that slight shift in the work you do.

Let me give you a few other examples. “How can we attract more customers versus how might we attract more customers?” Again, the difference from how can we, “can” makes it sound like what is something you know will work? Versus how might we attract more customers, it is like again this sense of possibility. If you are a regular listener, you may have heard me say in the past that when ideas come out of our head and come out of our mouth where we express an idea, it is generally as deep as a Post-it Note. Meaning, it is not that well developed. It is just a sentence or two, there is a lot more that we have to explore to determine if that idea will work and there are all these nuances of like, “Okay, should we do this angle or that angle of the idea?” And when you say how might we, it gives you permission to throw out this unrefined idea that basically is detailed as a Post-it Note, as what might fit on a Post-it Note.

Other sentence stems or the ways you might change some sentences are; you might start out saying, what are all the ways we can… (Insert your challenge there) or what are all the ways we might… or, and I said this one a minute ago, how can we versus how might we. So how might… we come up with a new approach to this particular challenge, whatever it is? How might we… design our new building to increase creativity amongst our employees?

The Weekly Challenge [8:32]

I want you to play with that this week. Play with how you can change your sentences and your questions and insert the word “might” in there. I would challenge you, do not just do this at work, try this at home. Try this when you go out to dinner with some friends, throw out some question to them. It might be a question you are going to ask them anyway. Try this with your spouse, with your partner, try this with your kids. Let’s imagine you are going on vacation next week and maybe the last vacation you went on was okay, maybe some things happened that made it a little challenging and so you want to talk through with your family or with your friends, whoever you are going on vacation with, “How might we make this an amazing vacation? What might we do to make this vacation awesome? What might we change from last time so that this vacation is even better?” That term might it is also very non-threatening. It helps the listener realize, “Oh, you are not attacking me. You are not mad at me because the last vacation did not go well, but you are really looking at let’s explore how might we all be even better and have an amazing time together.” That is your weekly challenge.

More specifically, I want you to use the word “might” at least three times a day for the next week. Try it when talking with your boss, bringing up a problem in a team meeting, asking your kids questions or talking about the future with your spouse. There are hundreds, if not thousands of ways you might use the word “might” to create a sense of possibility and openness and ultimately to generate more ideas and one of those ideas could lead to an amazing breakthrough. That is how you might use this simple five letter word to help yourself and your team be more creative.

Let me know how it goes. Leave a comment on the shownotes and share what happened. Tell me about how you used the word “might”. You can find the shownotes at www.climerconsulting.com/060. Head on over there, check out the links in the shownotes, I will put a link to that previous episode that I mentioned. Do not forget to go over to iTunes and leave a review. It only takes a couple of minutes.

Y’all, welcome to 2017. I hope that this is the most fabulous, amazing year of your life. Go make it amazing! Bye.


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