Advertising
Advertising

5 Tips for Using the Language of Creativity More Intelligently

5 Tips for Using the Language of Creativity More Intelligently

The language and words you use are powerful, and they help you set directions and goals for both yourself and the people around you. I would like to share some of my thoughts about how to foster creativity in your team and organisation. Today, all organisations need to be innovative, and creativity is relatively cheap to invest in compared with recruiting new staff, IT, buildings and other assets.

When working, I’ve observed that many teams are stuck in unproductive patterns, which results in objectives not being met due to poor communication and lack of knowledge about sharing and supporting new ideas. Staff members are hesitant to be creative and it is not the individual’s fault; it is a flaw in the culture and a lack of awareness of how creativity, ideas and innovation work.

Advertising

To use the language of creativity well you need to know how to express yourself. Here are some top tips to make the creative juices flow better:

1. Be positive about new ideas.

Say things such as: “please tell me more”, or “I like your new take on this, it sounds brilliant”. The people you speak to will automatically tell you more and the conversation will continue to flow.

2. Ask more questions.

In general ,when we ask a number of questions it makes people think, which can help you to take your idea or project to the next level.

Advertising

3. Avoid using too much jargon.

Words that are hard to define and are used all the time make people feel insecure. Many are not aware of this themselves, and they sit and agree with everyone as if they understood the problem, and the idea will not develop as well as it could.

4. Use storytelling when communicating a new idea, project or change.

We don’t like to listen to facts about why we must do something, but we love to listen to stories, so pass your message on as a tale instead.

Advertising

5. Go out for a walk to discuss your idea, problems and opportunities.

When we move our bodies, we release a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which works as a fertiliser for our brains and helps us build new connections between our neurons and synapses. If you are walking and talking, you will be able to see new solutions more quickly, and you’ll also come back to the office feeling refreshed.

If your organisation is looking into how it can grow and reach a new market, it is likely that the ideas that come up will be out of your comfort zone. If you are not aware of how to handle new ideas, you might kill them by mistake. If you do the same thing in business year after year, that may not satisfy your customers. When growing you need to be creative in developing new solutions that keep clients coming back for more: creativity is a real business advantage and your clients will notice this when working with you.

Advertising

In most people’s day jobs, creativity is about how you create something together as a team when working on a product or project. It’s not about a single person’s artistic work—most of us are not designers, artists, or writers—although I believe that artists and writers may be better at listening to what their target market wants, and the better they are at collaboration, the more successful they will become.

Your language and behaviour will matter for everyone in your team, so raise your awareness, as it’s your team’s collective muscles that will make the change happen. If part of the team is only using some of their muscles, new ideas are not likely to grow.

More by this author

5 Tips for Using the Language of Creativity More Intelligently

Trending in Communication

1The Gentle Art of Saying No 217 Ted Talks for Kids to Inspire Little Minds to Do Big Things 310 Toxic Persons You Should Just Get Rid Of 4Striving Towards Secure Attachment: How to Restructure Your Thoughts 5Being Self Aware Is the Key to Success: How to Boost Self Awareness

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

Advertising

But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

Advertising

What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

Advertising

But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Advertising

Read Next