Teach yourself to be more creative

We know our brains are flexible – and with practice, we can train ourselves to be more mindful, more positive, and … more creative?

If that seems too intimidating, or that it might take too much work, read on.

New research (brilliantly described and summarized by Jonah Lehrer in his new book, Imagine – How Creativity Works), provides practical insights into creativity and how anyone can train themselves and their organizations to become more creative – and in this competitive day and age, it’s imperative we pay attention.

In his book, Lehrer supports many of the trainable aspects of creativity that Applied Improvisers already know. To be creative, we must learn to relax the brain, release our inhibitions, and focus on creating new associations and new perspectives.

In a basic sense, improvisers train themselves on these 3 facets by:

  • increasing observation skills to be more open to the ideas and contributions of others, the associations that may arise from what we observe, and training ourselves to view everything as an “offer”.
  • Relaxing our brain by practicing mindfulness, listening skills, using humor to release stress, and adopting an “embrace failure” mindset
  • Releasing inhibitions by practicing “creating without worry”, and getting rid of our censor.

Practicing these skills and behaviors allow teams of people to increase their creative potential. Take a cue from this neurological research and consider what techniques you can adopt to increase creativity where you work.

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