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The importance of creativity for adults and children. How it has helped me as a leader.

When I was doing my Masters in Education, I wanted to do an essay on creativity. As an art teacher I have always been interested in how we nurture creative skills and as I progressed through school leadership I also realised how important creativity was as a leadership skill.

Creativity encourages us to think outside the box, solve problems, and come up with creative solutions. It encourages critical thinking skills, which are necessary for problem solving and decision making. Creative thinking helps you to learn how to see problems from different angles and come up with multiple solutions rather than one “right” answer.

Creativity also grows confidence through freedom of expression.

Leaders need to be able to think outside the box and come up with innovative strategies that will help their team succeed.

Teachers need to use creativity to create engaging lessons that will capture student attention and inspire them to learn more.

Students who are engaged in creative activities tend to have higher grades than those who are not exposed to any kind of creativity in school settings.

The positive psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihaly is widely known for his theories on flow and happiness but he was also a major theorist on creativity.

He said “When we are involved in [creativity], we feel that we are living more fully than during the rest of life.”

In his book ‘Creativity’ he outlines 5 key things-

  1. Creative individuals tend to operate at the extremes.

  2. The creative process is recursive, not linear. Mental meandering to allow the commingling of ideas is an essential process.

  3. Creativity comes from the heart. There is no other motivation other than the joy of discovering something new.

  4. One cannot be exceptional and normal at the same time.

  5. Stay curious. Try new things. Make time for reflection and relaxation.

I have a creative personality, I am drawn to activities that require creativity such as art, craft, cooking, writing and I have good problem solving skills. My subject specialism is art and my degree is in photomedia. Art based activities, such as painting and textiles, are the only things that I can get lost in for hours, where I achieve a sense of ‘flow’.

Also as someone with a diagnosis of ADHD, being able to focus for long periods of time can be even more challenging. People with ADHD can be very creative thinkers and are more likely to take risks.

I find that creativity activities such as doodling and having time to get lost in y thoughts, actually help me to stay engaged and on task but people often misconstrue these as me not paying attention.

3 popular ways to encourage creativity in adults and children alike are through drawing, writing and music.

Drawing is a form of art that can be enjoyed by people of all skill levels, even if they think they have no drawing ability this is often not true and a belief based more on other peoples opinions. Drawing is a great way to relax, get your creative juices flowing and can be done in any situation.

Writing. Whether I’m writing down key words and lists, progressing to journaling, writing short stories, or moving on to working on articles and essays, the act of putting my thoughts down on paper is extremely therapeutic for me. It help’s to spark new ideas and creative solutions to problems. Sometimes I use an internet search or more recently ai such as jasper to prompt me when I cant get started.

Music. Listening to music is always my go to if I’m struggling to get creative. Ig my mind is racing and I’m struggling to focus, I find that white noise really helps. so a great way to encourage creativity in adults. More importantly for me, music has been shown to boost moods and improve focus, both of which are essential for being creative. I have very eclectic taste and exploring new music is a great way to get inspired and come up with new ideas.

5 ways creativity has helped me as a leader

The ability to think creatively is a valuable asset for any leader. These are the ways I feel creativity has helped me as a leader-

1.Being able to come up with new and innovative ideas has helped me to solve problems and find new ways of doing things.

2.Creative thinking has helped me to communicate my ideas more effectively to different audiences.

3. Being creative has helped me to motivate and inspire others.

4.Creativity has helped me as a leader to build more diverse teams and create positive work environments by getting my teams to share ideas.

5. Personally, being creative has also helped me to deal with change and adversity and make better decisions for the future.

6.Creative thinking has helped me to make better decisions.

7. Being creative has helped me manage stress and challenges more effectively.

8.Creativity can help me stay focused and motivated.

In conclusion-

I strongly believe that we all need creativity in our lives – it’s what makes us unique and allows us to see the world in new ways. I agree with Csikszentmihaly that by understanding why creativity is important and how to nurture it, we can all lead happier lives.

If you’d like to learn more you may find the following useful, all from my audible library-

Also this clip from Soul


Thanks for reading my blog post, I hope its encouraged you to be more creative!

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