How to Build Your Creative Confidence

It’s a false construct to divide the world into the creatives and the non-creatives, says IDEO founder David Kelley. He helps business people “turn fear into familiarity, and they surprise themselves. That transformation is amazing.”

Reading Time: 3 min 

Topics

Like what you're reading?
Join our community
Member
Free

5 Free Articles per month, $6.95/article thereafter. Free newsletter.

Subscribe
$89 $44/Year

Unlimited digital content, quaterly magazine, free newsletter, entire archive.

Sign me up

It’s a false construct to divide the world into the creatives and the non-creatives, says IDEO founder David Kelley. He helps business people “turn fear into familiarity, and they surprise themselves. That transformation is amazing.”

Image courtesy of Flickr user opensourceway.

One bad childhood experience where our creativity was mocked can inhibit us as adults. It can plant the idea that we’re practical people, not creative people, and can grow into a full-fledged “truth” about ourselves later.

But creativity can be coaxed out of people, if approached the right way.

That’s according to David Kelley, who is certainly one to know. Kelly is founder and chair of the design firm IDEO and creator of the “d.school” at Stanford, formally known as the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, where students studying everything from business to medicine work on building their creativity to collaboratively solve complex problems.

In a recent TED talk, “How to Build Your Creative Confidence,” Kelley explained his thinking about creativity (a video and a transcript are at the TED site). Some highlights:

We can be inhibited by fear of judgment. Kelley says he hears from people all the time about “how a teacher shut them down or how a student was particularly cruel to them” in a creative endeavor. It’s at that point, he says, that “some opt out thinking of themselves as creative.” Kelley sees the fallout with IDEO clients, especially when they’re asked to work side-by-side with IDEO staff. “Eventually these bigshot executives whip out their Blackberries and they say they have to make really important phone calls, and they head for the exits. And they’re just so uncomfortable.”

We can break through phobias with “guided mastery.” Kelley met with his Stanford colleague Albert Bandura, a psychologist who studies phobias. Bandura has a step-by-step methodology for working through phobias by slowly introducing people to the thing they fear. “Bandura calls this process ‘guided mastery,”” says Kelley. “I love that term.” What Bandura was doing turned out to be similar to what Kelley was doing in business with his clients, taking them through “a series of small successes.”

David Kelley

A little confidence in creativity leads to a lot of confidence in everything else.

Read the Full Article

Topics

More Like This

Add a comment

You must to post a comment.

First time here? Sign up for a free account: Comment on articles and get access to many more articles.

Comments (2)
How to Build Confidence: 100+ Self-Confidence Tips
[…] though creativity feels spontaneous, it actually activates the same self-confidence muscles setting and achieving other personal goals does. Any creative act—playing music, painting a […]
Contract Relationships
Creativity is so important to innovation in business. Removing those emotional roadblocks can clear the way to overwhelming success for those individuals.