My experience in working with leadership teams is that confidence, in a general sense, is practically a prerequisite for top business performers. However, there’s a difference between the confidence that comes from countless hours of work and years of experience in a chosen business field and believing in yourself creatively. My work is centered around showing bright, high-achieving individuals that creativity and the confidence that comes from uncovering – and trusting – that creativity, can yield dividends that elevate even the most productive performers. Below are three significant areas where creative confidence leads to long-term gains.
Increased problem-solving skills
In the – slightly paraphrased – immortal words of Abraham Maslow, “If the only tool you have is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail.” Problems come in all shapes and sizes and solving them all via the same approach is a recipe for sub-standard results. Given that there are problems and challenges you will face that don’t even exist yet, it’s unreasonable to think that your existing problem-solving approach will automatically be viable. With increased creative confidence, you’ll be willing to explore new and innovative ways of solving future – and even current – problems. Creative confidence adds new tools to your toolbox along with the effective but not foolproof “hammer” mentioned above.
In order to make the most of any collaboration, faith in your own creative ability is a must. It is only with a belief in your own creative capabilities, that you can not only contribute your ideas but also comfortably make room for the creative contributions of your team members. And, just as important, the creative confidence of your collaborators will allow them to feel good about adding their insights and points of view to the mix. An environment of creative confidence and trust can yield results far beyond the individual contributions of each team member.
Willingness to take risks
Innovation is consistently referred to as a critical part of a healthy business but, again and again, there is resistance to new, creative approaches when the current business model is working well. This is simply because taking new approaches feels risky. However, it is precisely when things are going well that your creative confidence will encourage you to explore new and innovative ideas in spite of the apparent risk. There is an institutional belief that the status quo is safe but over and over it has been proven that it isn’t. As I’ve heard it put, “Change is what happens to us and innovation is what we do to them.” Change is inevitable but with creative confidence and the subsequent willingness to take calculated risks, you can successfully navigate the ever-changing landscape of your particular business.
Creativity is not the domain of a gifted, chosen few. We are all creative. Whether or not you choose to honor and develop your innate creativity could be the difference between feeling stuck and exploring new and exciting horizons. A seemingly small daily investment in your creativity can, over time, result in a renewed sense of creative confidence which will broaden and significantly improve the quality of your work and life.
Find out more about Cliff’s innovation & creativity workshops for business teams and organizations.