Can Creativity Be Taught? We Think So.

light-bulbWhen we think of creative types, we often refer to the artist, musician or brilliant entrepreneur. As such, most people tend to assume that creativity is a spur of the moment kind of thing that comes and goes with little to no control; something you either have or you don’t.

In some regards that is true because creativity can be tricky at times. Some days you are taking the lead in a brainstorming session, while other days you can barely muster a word, let alone come up with an idea.

But, that doesn’t necessarily mean that creativity can’t be taught. In fact, according to a poll taken by Fast Company, 73% of those interviewed believed that creativity can actually be learned –Something we couldn’t agree with more. So, here are some tips on how we think creativity can be taught. Take a look below:

Leave the handbooks alone and try something new. So now that we’ve told you that creativity can be taught, you might be thinking you can go to the nearest bookstore and buy up all of those guidebooks on how to be creative. But the truth is, there is no definitive way to become creative. Rather, it is about challenging yourself to do something out of the ordinary and different. Try hanging around people who inspire you, opening yourself to new environments, or exploring new fields. Whatever it is, surrounding yourself with creativity and creative people will do you much better than sitting down and reading about it.
Change your attitude. Generating those creative sparks begins with a change in attitude. If you always feel bogged down and stress yourself out about being creative, then chances are you probably won’t be coming up with new ideas anytime soon. In reality, creative sparks happen when you are least thinking about it. Out of those surveyed in that poll by Fast Company, 19% responded that they had their creative breakthroughs in the shower, while only 2% said they came up with an idea during an office brainstorming session. So, try to not stress yourself out about being creative, because the fact of the matter is that everyone gets stumped –even the creative types.
Be open to other ideas. A big part of creativity is about being open to other people’s opinions and ideas. Having a level of openness can really help get those creative juices flowing because you are essentially looking at an idea “outside of the box”. The more you do this, and the more you collaborate with others, the better you’ll be at seeing a problem or an idea from a new perspective, allowing you to have a more well-rounded grasp of what you are trying to accomplish.
Accept that you can be wrong. You could say that Louis Mobley, founder of the IMB Executive School, knows a thing or two about creativity and how to teach it. When putting together his curriculum for lectures on creativity, Mobley had six insights that he believed helped develop the foundation for creativity. One of those insights was accepting that sometimes you’re wrong. According to Mobley, there are no bad ideas or wrong ideas, rather all ideas are building blocks for even better ideas. In short, by accepting that you can fail at times, you are allowing yourself the chance to better things the next time around.

What do you think? Do you think creativity can be taught or is it just something you either do or do not have? Let us know your thoughts by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter. We’d love to hear from you! 

photo credit: Light Bulb No. 1 via photopin (license)

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