"Extroverts are better at creativity … people with lots of energy, bouncing off the ceilings and jumping around the place”. And so the conversation went on.
And as it did, so to did my belief in our purpose at We Are Unstuck
It’s estimated that a third to half of the population are introverts. If we assume that ‘extroverts are better at creativity’ then we’re writing off the creative potential of a huge number of people. People who - alongside their extrovert colleagues - have a significant contribution to make to any creative process.
So how can we encourage this mutual contribution? As I sit here after a fortnight of outwardly orientated activities, nurturing my need to refuel and reflect inwardly; these three things come to mind …
- We must acknowledge that the ingredients needed for creativity are as diverse as the people who we’ll collaborate with. Creativity requires an ability to empathise, to listen, to observe, to be still and to reflect as much as it requires fresh stimulus, group discussion; the building of ideas with others. In any creative process we must create the conditions for these ingredients to be combined
- We must develop our self-awareness. Do we have a bias for introversion or extroversion? How does this serve us? What is the impact of it on others during a creative collaboration? How does it fuel or hinder the creative process and what might we do about this?
- Creative collaboration is a learning experience. Through this process of striving for innovation, we must open ourselves to learning not only about how new technologies might disrupt our markets or how our customers might engage with a new product / service or how we can create businesses that have a positive impact on the world but also we must learn about each other. Whilst it’s not headline grabbing, we should stop thinking about those who are or who are not creative and whole-heartedly grab hold of the reality that we all have immense creative potential if we just create the right purpose, belief and conditions for it to be unleashed.
Simply, we must be smart enough to not let stereotypes get in the way of our collective creative capacity.