Creativity

Habits and Blocks to Creativity

Angela MacDonald Mar 28, 2017 7:46:04 AM

For many of us in the working world, it’s important that we enjoy what we do. A common source of enjoyment for many of us is the ability to be creative within our roles. But sometimes we find ourselves stuck creatively, and this can have a surprising impact on our enjoyment of the job. Here are a number of creative blocks that might be contributing to that sense of low creativity:

Habits: Habits can certainly be good to develop. They provide order to our lives and give us a sense of safety and comfort. But when it comes to creativity, they can also keep us in a rut and resistant to change. Creativity is directly linked to change, which can push us outside our preferred realm of safety and comfort. If you’re relying on habitual actions too much, you might not be challenging yourself to move beyond your comfort zone and explore more creative options.

Values: Values are important and help bring people together with common beliefs. However, values can sometimes block us from seeing the possibilities in other ideas or opportunities that may be outside the box of our own beliefs. While you should absolutely be comfortable valuing the things you do, it’s important to consider why others might hold different values. Considering problems from different perspectives can support growth and awareness, and may ultimately lead to a more creative solution that encompasses a wider range of values.

Rules and Traditions: Like habits, rules and traditions can be a source of guidance – but the key is to not let them control you or prevent you from experiencing positive changes. When we challenge rules and traditions, a more visionary leadership style emerges. This, in turn, supports us to see ahead and be creative and proactive with challenges. We can use creativity and teamwork to discover new solutions. We can use critical analysis and be more flexible in coming up with solutions to challenges. There may be a new sense of excitement by trying new ways to resolving issues. It will allow us to increase our sensitivity to our colleagues who may or may not share the same rules and traditions. Overall, it can create a more lively and creative workplace.

Perception: We tend to base our decisions on perception. This can be helpful in some situations, but often, perception-based decision making can enforce a more limited viewpoint, not supported by facts. It can cause us to jump to conclusions, instead of being open to seeing situations or people from another perspective. Limiting decisions to a single perspective can have significant impacts on a company’s direction – and its bottom line.

Social Pressure: It’s common to stay within the norm and follow the rules so that we’ll be liked. How many times have you started a new job and get that line of ‘That’s how we do things here!’ and see clearly the resistance to change and the impact of social influence or pressures? It can be a tough block to get past, but the opportunity to be creative and break new ground for the organization to grow is far more beneficial.

Emotions: Our emotions can either block us or inspire us. When emotional barriers arise, it’s important to examine how it impacts creativity. The great thing about creativity is that we have the power to use it to break us free of emotions that may be holding us back or blocking us.

These are basic blocks to creativity. No matter your role in your organization, it’s important to be mindful of any habits or blocks that are suppressing your creativity. By identifying and working to overcome these blocks, you’ll be moving the organization – and yourself – forward in a more creative, exciting way.

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Topics: Corporate Culture

Angela MacDonald

Written by Angela MacDonald

Angela is the Manager, Client Success and Training at McQuaig where she consults, educates, trains, and develops clients in regards to successful hiring, onboarding, and developing the best staff.