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13 Incredible Things About Highly Creative People You Can’t Miss

13 Incredible Things About Highly Creative People You Can’t Miss

Creativity works in a mysterious way often leaving us baffled. Inspiration and great ideas often pop up out of the blue and fail to show up when we need them. The science gives us a complex picture of creativity. However, there is a couple of telltale characteristics creative people possess that make them so unusually attractive, odd, and worth admiring at the same time!

1. They daydream a lot

They are here, but their minds are miles away during your conversation. Don’t be mad at them. It’s just the way they are! In fact, despite what teachers may have always told you, daydreaming isn’t a waste of time. According to this research, letting your mind wander can boost the process of “creative incubation,” or idea generation. Many of us know that often our best ideas come seemingly out of the blue when our minds are hovering in the clouds. Daydreaming actually involves the same brain processes associated with creativity and imagination.

2. They choose to work at odd hours

Many great creatives are known for working during odd hours. Haruki Murakami and Sylvia Plath preferred to get up at 4 a.m. and focus on writing for 5-6 hours during the day, and so did Nabokov, who also preferred to start writing once he got out of bed. On the other hand, Feodor Dostoyevsky was a night owl and wrote when it was dark and quite. Frank Lloyd Wright woke up at 3-4 a.m., and worked for a few hours before returning to sleep for a couple more hours. The creative type will figure out the times when creativity strikes most and structure the rest of the day accordingly. Don’t expect them to fit into a standard 9-to-5 grind.

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3. They have special rituals

The little unusual things they do when they need to spark creativity, focus on work or just get into the mood. Nabokov liked to soak for 20 minutes in a hot bath, with a sponge on his head when he needed to restore his mojo. James Joyce had a signature white coat he preferred to wear during work and mainly wrote lying on his stomach in bed with a blue pencil. Dali invented his own power nap technique. He would clutch a key in his hand, sit down in a chair and place his hand over a metal dish. Once he was falling asleep, the key would slip from his fingers and bang noisily on the plate, waking him from the brief moments when he had barely lost consciousness. Igor Stravinsky, the composer, began his day by standing on his head for 10 minutes to “clear the brains.” If you live with a creative type, you’ll soon discover their odd and curious habits and fascinating rituals that help them stay inspired.

4. They easily lose track of the time

Once a creative gets “into the zone” or what’s defined as the flow state – a mental state when a person transcends conscious thought to reach a heightened state of effortless concentration and calmness – they become immune to any external distractions and can stay focused on crafting for hours without keeping an eye on the time. Have you ever noticed how baffled they look when you say them it’s been already late evening and they spent the whole day at work?

5. They surround themselves with beauty

Creative folks usually have excellent taste and prefer to surround themselves with aesthetically appealing things. Studies show that musicians express particularly strong response to visually appealing objects and goodness.

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6. They are always curious

Creatives are not afraid to challenge the status quo and ask big questions typically starting with “What if….” They are immensely curious about different things surrounding them, always eager to know how things work and why do they work this and not the other way.

7. They take advantage of the life’s hardships

When life give them lemons, they squeeze out the juice, drink it and in the process create a new art piece about their painful experience. Numerous songs, books and paintings were created as a result of some strong emotional pain like heartbreak, grief or some other serious trauma. In fact, scientists proved that overcoming wrenching emotional pain and stressful life experiences if tackled correctly, can boost personal growth, interpersonal relationships, spirituality and creativity as one starts to see new possibilities in life and treasure them more. Today, there’s a whole new field of psychology called post-traumatic growth helping people turn their past emotional traumas into creative energy and subsequent growth.

8. They have no fear of being alone

Embracing solitude and appreciating it helps the creative to free their mind and let it wander – just like when daydreaming. A lot of creatives are often labeled as loners, yet they just need some alone time to think and listen to their inner creative voice, whispering the new powerful idea. Best works of art are often visual representations of the internal dialog the artist has been cherishing inside.

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9. They are very observant

People-watching is one of their favorite pastimes. Nothing escapes the eye of the artists. They love taking notes, they love making sketches, and they always comment on some random things like the color of someone’s hat in the crowd or a shape of the shadow that reminds them something. They pickup and gather those tiny observations to weave them later on in their next artwork.

10. They can’t stand routine

They need strong stimulations in order to stay active and they often neglect tasks they find uninspiring or repetitive. The thing is, creatives devote all their energy to focusing on their inner universe and don’t have enough strength to carry on effectively with the day-to-day tasks.

11. They combine playfulness and discipline

The light playful attitude is what we typically see or expect from the creative type. Yet for one quick moment think how many razor sharp pencil strokes were made before you could see this painting? How many hours the sculptor spent trembling over the stone, methodically cutting down piece after piece until it transformed into a beautiful statue? Despite their carefree attitude, creatives devote long hours and tremendous efforts to work, stubbornly aiming for not less then perfection.

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12. They are their own worst critics

Each writer loves each paragraph she writers, yet at the same time she’s being objective and knows which sentence doesn’t sound good enough. A painter will never be 100% satisfied with the final product and neither will the composer. It’s a huge struggle for the creative type to find a balance between adequate self-criticism and self-worshipping.

13. They are smart and naive at the same time

The paradox is that most well-known creative contributors had a high-level of general intelligence and gotten high scores on IQ tests. According to a study conducted in Stanford children with very high IQs do well in life, but after a certain point IQ no longer correlates with superior performance in real life. The cutoff point is around 120. It might be difficult to do creative work with a lower IQ, but an IQ beyond 120 does not necessarily imply higher creativity. At the same time, creatives often show immaturity and inability to deal with “adult” problems and important decisions. Often they never grow up and live with childish reactions and attitude towards various life difficulties.

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Published on September 23, 2020

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

What is Negotiation?

First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

Places We Negotiate

I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

1. Work/Business

This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.

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In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

2. Personal

I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

3. Ourselves

You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.

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Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

6 Negotiation Skills to Master

Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

1. Preparation

Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.

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It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

2. Clear Communication

The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

3. Active Listening

Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

4. Teamwork and Collaboration

To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

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If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

5. Problem Solving

Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

6. Decision-Making Ability

Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.

Conclusion

There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

More Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

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