Friday, February 27, 2015
Build others up
You are asked to take a test that measures your creativity for work or you do it for fun on the net, and the test results show you are not very creative. You have many ideas. However, if you are honest with yourself, most of those ideas are mediocre. Even your better ideas are, on reflection not as good as you first think they are. You would do better to keep your ideas to yourself and focus on your somewhat stronger analytic skills.
Now I would like you to perform a little exercise. I would like you to think of 25 creative ideas on how you might devise a better bathtub. Be creative and suggest the most outlandish, imaginative ideas you can. (Of course, I know that your Creativity score is below 25 points, so I don't expect you to have particularly creative ideas - but try anyway, please). You can list the ideas on a sheet of paper, draw a mind-map, sketch bathtub ideas, or just imagine them in your head. Whatever works for you.
Have you finished yet? Speed up. As I said before, your score on the creativity test was not very good I won't expect much from you. But you are determined so I know that you won’t give up on the exercise.
OOPS, the test results you were given were wrong, you really are a creative person. You bubble over with ideas and have a knack for generating creative solutions to all kinds of problems. Although some of your ideas may not be brilliant, given a little time, you can be relied upon to come up with ideas that are not only creative, but also highly viable. Even if you don't think of yourself as being creative, the truth is you are in the top 8% of the world's creative thinkers. Now, let's try that exercise again. Try to think of 25 really creative ideas on how you might devise a better bathtub.
Go on, a creative thinker like you should have no problem with this task!
You probably had had no trouble figuring out what has been happening. The first analysis was very negative not only about your creativity and such a negative personal review very possibly dented your confidence, particularly as the text described characteristics of a creative thinker in a very negative way. The result was you were probably not very enthusiastic about performing the creative exercise. I would not be surprised if you did not bother with it at all!
The second analysis was much more positive. It was also doubtless a more accurate description of you. If you tried the creativity exercise after that second analysis, you probably found it relatively easy to come up with 25 bathtub ideas.
If you would like to make a proper experiment of this, bring together two groups of people. Give members of one group the first description and the other group the second description. Then ask them both to perform the bathtub ideas exercise independently. Chances are, the second group will have better, more creative ideas than the first.
The conclusion probably does not surprise you. Confident people find it easier to generate ideas and to feel confident about those ideas. That makes them more comfortable sharing their ideas with their colleagues and selling their ideas to others.
People who do not feel confident about themselves and their abilities, on the other hand, will also feel uncertain about their ideas. Indeed, they will almost certainly find it harder to generate ideas because their non-confident minds will reject ideas rather than propose them. Even when non-confident people have good ideas, they will probably be uncertain about those ideas and reluctant to share them with colleagues, let alone try to sell them to others
Building the confidence of your friends and colleagues is not difficult. It requires you compliment them realistically - such as by stressing their strengths and positive contribution to the team. It requires that you stimulate them at work and give them challenging projects that demonstrate your confidence in their abilities.
There is a lot of literature available on how to boost self-confidence of yourself and others. If you want to learn more, I'd suggest you start Googling!.