Most adults have a fear of looking foolish which is one of the biggest obstacles to creative thinking, especially in a group setting. Have you ever been in a meeting and hesitated to speak up about the great idea that just popped into your head? We don’t speak up for fear of criticism. It’s not an irrational or unjustified fear. It’s real. Everyone is a critic in meetings. Many new ideas are attacked and quickly shot down. This impact is especially damaging when the senior person in the room immediately shoots holes in an idea. The best way to completely constipate the flow of creative thought is to shoot down or criticize a new suggestion. Managers should be quiet, listen, and pay attention to what other people have to say. Who knows what it might lead to or what you might learn. Suppression of creativity leads to violence. People are naturally creative. When they are forced to crush their creativity, its energy force turns to destructive release. Their inherent humanity must express itself! Many opportunities and rewards are lost because creativity in the workplace is absent. Instead of having a productive and stimulating environment, workers are faced with boredom as a result of relentless routine.
There’s a widespread belief, that internal competition fosters innovation. But researches found that creativity takes a hit when people in a work group compete instead of collaborate. The attitudes that pervade the operations of a company can enhance or thwart creativity. A close-knit team, drawing on the particular strengths and skills of each member of the group, may be smarter and more effective than any individual member of that group. One of the keys is building feelings of trust and respect to the point that people feel secure enough to express new ideas without fear of censure.
The most creative teams are those that have the confidence to share and debate ideas, that way the work will go more smoothly because they’re taking it lightly. Creativity includes the use of colour, laughter and freedom to enhance productivity. Creativity is fun. When people enjoy what they do, they work much harder. Humour greases the wheels of creativity. Researchers report that when teams of people are working together on a problem, those groups that laugh most readily and most often are more creative and productive than their more hard-faced and well-behaved counterparts. When they’re joking around, they’re freer to consider any possibility–after all, they’re only kidding. Having fun helps them disarm the inner censor that all too quickly condemns their ideas as ridiculous. But when people compete for recognition, they stop sharing information. And that’s destructive because nobody in an organization has all of the information required to put all the pieces of the puzzle together.