Friday, April 02, 2004

When Are You Most Creative?

It was a question that was indirectly posed to me this week and got me thinking. So I decided to write a blog around it, hoping for some input and comments from you to create a dialogue (that's what that wonderful comment link is for by the way).

Most people will tell me they need some quiet time to create and in the course of an insane day, they never have the time to get to what they want to do. Others tell me they're pumped only when they have others to bounce ideas off of, or are in the midst of a chaotic time when their thought processes are fine tuned and churning out creative solutions.

Just for the record, and based on the people I work with, it's usually a combination of the two. They're pumped when challenged and looking for a creative way out; solutions to the challenges not only escape. And then they need the quiet isolation to get a plan of action together to make it happen. If it's writing and creating resource material I find the best ideas come to me when I'm working with a client, see their perspectives on issues and go from there. After all it's what pushes their buttons that needs brainstorming on....not mine. There is something valid about the expression 'Two heads are better than one' and in my mind, it grows exponentially when there are three, four, five, 25 and 100. Which is why I have a blog, a collaborative of Coaches I work with and am part of an international R & D group. No matter what field you're in, if you want to be innovative and creative, become a part of an R & D group. When discussing subjects put on the virtual table, even if you're brainstorming about someone else's subject, it inevitably reflects on something you're living at the time anyway. So listen. See how it can apply to what you need and start those creative juices flowing.

And if you can't find an R & D group you like, create your own. Use friends, colleagues, clients, anyone who can help you put ideas together in a form that will help them all in the long run. Besides which, everyone likes to be asked for an opinion or perspective. Give them the chance. I learn an incredible amount from my clients. They might be technology experts or architects, medical practitioners or HR specialists. I don't have to be in their field to help them move forward in their lives. But while I am working with them, the learning curve is a steep one. And in learning, I can give more to the next client and the one after.

So to ask the question again, when are you most creative? How are you creative? What do you need to create, to expand your horizons, learn something new you never in your wildest dreams ever thought you might be interested in? And in addition to that, what about yourself would you like to change and enhance, having no idea where to start? All it takes is that first question and then the sky's the limit.

Donna Karlin

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