Making Yourself Competitive: Skill 8

– A word from Gradlinc by Lizane Fuzy

Be creative!

Creativity can come in many shapes and forms. We often tend to immediately think about an artist with a bowl of fruit, but creativity is much bigger than that, and for many people has absolutely nothing to do with art at all. It is about thinking outside the box. Those who are not happy with the status quo (the way things are) and perhaps you are already thinking about Apple because they are one of the biggest examples of challenging the way things are. Just think about their famous slogan “Think Different” which encompasses their worldview in two words. Saying don’t be average, don’t accept things the way they are, don’t just be placid, be different and think differently. And the way you think differently is by being creative.

There is a reason why artists and those in the theatrical spaces are often seen as dramatic and ‘otherwise’ or just plain upstream. It is because they live their creativity outwards. They challenge the status quo through their artwork, their theatre productions, their music and other mediums. They are often labelled as rebellious. The question we must ask ourselves today is – why do we feel so threatened and scared of change? What about change makes us uncomfortable and what about change makes us so angry towards those who are comfortable thinking differently, but out loud? Change and creativity are not the problems. Our attitudes are. Our fears and comfort are. People don’t like change because it causes discomfort and brings an element of uncertainty, yet the assumption is often more negative than positive. That is why creative people are often seen as trouble-makers – because they ask questions, and they are too curious for those who like things the way they are and do not want to deal with uncertainty. Don’t let that stop you. Beware of the thin line between curiosity and arrogance though, because that will have the opposite effect. It goes back to emotional intelligence. Knowing when to ask the right questions and thinking about how you are phrasing the question and who your audience is. Take for example a booking system for taking appointments. First, make an effort to learn and understand the system before questioning it otherwise you will just seem ignorant. Then talk to those who use the system a lot and find out what challenges they face and go do some research on alternative programmes and the cost and maintenance of these alternatives. Then you can initiate a conversation with the manager and mention that you have a couple of suggestions perhaps. Don’t jump in on a random day and complain about the system of the manager without having some solutions in mind. Always assess the situation before putting out random new ideas because sometimes you have one opportunity to get your ideas across and if you don’t do a good job, the opportunity might not present itself again.

Hopefully, you get the idea that creativity can present itself in many forms and ways. If you spot something that can be improved in your work environment, find out as much as you can before wasting your time researching something that might never change, but be curious and keep on asking questions. The troublemakers are often the change initiators that were inevitable.

Inspired by an article published in Forbes and written by Natalie Peart: The 12 Most Important Skills You Need To Succeed At Work.

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