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8 Seeming Weaknesses Of Creative People That Are Actually Their Strengths

8 Seeming Weaknesses Of Creative People That Are Actually Their Strengths

When you think about the typical characteristics of creative people, what comes to mind? You may conjure up stereotypical images of pained artists, eccentric dressers with big ideas or living a life outside of the norm from everyone else.

There are many negative connotations when it comes to someone who is described as creative but are these assumptions fair? Are we too quick to judge someone for their natural creative flair and the ways in which they steer their personality and way of life?

Creative people often feel like outcasts in today’s society because they don’t always match up to the same ideals as other people, but what are seen as weaknesses are actually, in fact, strengths. Here are 8 ‘negative’ personality traits of creative people that make them unique and an asset to the world we live in.

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1. Following Their Instincts

We would all secretly like to trust our instincts and follow our gut feeling a lot more than we actually do. Sometimes gut feelings don’t make logical sense and it’s the fear of them being wrong. Creative people tend to just trust what they feel is the right thing to do and are attuned to what their intuition is telling them. Many people may see some of their decisions as reckless but they just know they are being fearless and brave with following the unknown.

2. Being Seen As Eccentric

Probably one of the most common characteristics of creative people is being eccentric. But who exactly decides what being eccentric looks like? The negative words used to describe eccentricity are usually ‘strange’ or ‘weird’ but these are only words used to label something we feel threatened by and don’t understand.

Being eccentric should be looked at as being unique, being different enough to stand out from the crowd and being happy enough in your own skin to live your life as your true self.

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3. Changing Their Minds Often

Changing our mind about ideas or what we want to do in life is often seen as a negative trait. It is proof for many that someone can’t stick to anything and will most likely sabotage their happiness because they aren’t staying with their one calling.

However, changing your mind means you aren’t stuck in one place. So many people just stay in one job or live in the same place for years because they’re too afraid of making the wrong decision if they were to change their circumstances in any way. Creative people have the ability to see different opportunities and act on them.

4. Dreaming Too Big

Creative people are often seen as big dreamers and this is usually deemed as reckless. But dreaming big is how we become successful in the first place – it’s the seed of success. Creative people aren’t afraid to follow their dreams no matter how big they are, they just need support from those around them rather than being told it’s out of their reach, fanciful and full of nonsense.

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5. Being Independent Thinkers

When people think independently they are usually portrayed as being difficult or rebellious. However, this is only a label given to independent thinkers by those who feel threatened or misunderstand intentions and attempt to shut them down. Creative people are willing to think outside the box and question ideas and ways of doing things more often. This is how new innovations, strategies and ideas are established and created in our world so it should never be seen as a weakness.

6. Making Lots Of Mistakes

Someone who makes a lot of mistakes is always known as the person who doesn’t know what they want, is a failure in life and has an inability to live in the ‘real world’. But we all know we need to make mistakes to learn from them in order to know what we truly want.

Making mistakes is a common trait of creative people which can tend to label them as lost in life, reckless or not willing to commit to anything. However, creative people learn much better from failure and use it as a catalyst for new ideas, to have the ability to see failure as a triumph and turn it into a new path to where they want to go.

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7. Getting Bored Easily

Monotony kills the spirit of creative people so linking back to the point of changing their minds frequently, creative people will more likely change their job regularly or refuse to hold down a boring office job that offers them no stimulation. To others this comes across as non-committal and flighty but creative people would much rather work a huge amount of different interesting jobs and be penniless than be in one soul-destroying job that gives them nothing but boredom and no challenge whatsoever.

8. Having Busy Minds

A busy mind is seen as one that can’t focus and is constantly distracted. But for a creative person, this is possessing the ability to think about, and pursue, multiple interests and passions. This allows them to open up their world to a much bigger perspective and they are willing to expand their minds to new cultures, people, ideas and beliefs. If it wasn’t for people like this, the world would be a much smaller, less broadened place to live in.

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Jenny Marchal

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on April 11, 2019

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

How Communication Skills Help Your Success

Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

Create a Positive Experience

Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

Help Leadership Skills

It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

Build Better Teams

Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

1. Listen

Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

2. Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

Here is a good way to think about it:

Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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3. Minimize

I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

4. Over Communicate

So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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5. Body Language

The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

Conclusion

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

Now go communicate your way to success.

More Resources About Effective Communication

Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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