No matter what field you work in, creativity is a big part of being a leader. It helps with everything from bringing new products to life to guiding your team be their best. As we continue our April theme of exploring how to be unique and bold in your career, let’s look at a few ways to nurture your unique creativity.
Creative people see possibilities everywhere and constantly take in information. Whether you use a notebook or a smartphone app, get in the habit of being more present. If it helps, jot down your observations. As you do this more often, you’ll start noticing patterns, making new connections, and gaining more insight.
Ask the big questions
When you run into the “that’s the way we’ve always done it” mindset, challenge yourself to take a fresh look. Where do the improvement opportunities lie in those situations? Ask the right questions to help others look at things from a different perspective and “connect the dots” in ways they haven’t been before.
Seek new experiences
Openness can spark creative output. By pushing yourself outside your comfort zone, personally or professionally— you’ll see the creative payoff in your work. Remember that this could also include challenging yourself to spend time with people with different experiences and points of view than your own.
Sometimes creativity means looking for the lessons or new opportunities in an obstacle or setback. Reframing failures this way increases resilience by depersonalizing tough situations, and seeking the gems within them.
Make a linkage to internal motivators
Psychologists have shown that creative people are energized by challenging activities, a sign of intrinsic motivation. Research suggests that simply thinking of inherent reasons to perform an activity may be enough to boost creativity. In other words, think beyond the task to the value it offers or what it would mean to you if you accomplished it.
This week, take a few minutes to notice how you feed your creativity, and select one strategy to put into play more fully. Remember, small steps can lead to big results.