Among the soft skills, being creative is one of the most sought-after by companies. Developing creativity at work is not an easy task for those who do not consider themselves creative, but we can certainly improve by putting some tips into practice. Having good ideas is added values that can make your profile shine wherever you go.
Undoubtedly, the greatest enemies of creativity are the fear of failure and the culture of perfectionism we live in. Getting rid of these two prejudices will go a long way towards making progress.
First we will define what creativity is, then we will give some tips on how to improve one's inner creativity and finally we will carry out two group dynamics that encourage creativity in groups.
Step 1: What is creativity?
We will start the session by explaining what creativity is and how having creativity at work helps us to perform tasks.
What is creativity?
Characteristics of creativity
The importance of creativity
We can generate a presentation with the content.
Step 2: Tip to be more creative
We will start with a brainstorming session on how to improve our creativity, to see what knowledge the participants have.
After this brainstorming that we will have collected on a poster board or continuous paper we will watch the following video that talks about how to work on our natural creativity:
We will give each participant a list of tips with advice on how to apply them on a daily basis:
Surrounding yourself with good people helps you develop creativity at work. Admiring good ideas and innovative colleagues will help you be more creative.
Not every moment of the day is a good time to be creative. Some people feel more productive in the morning, others in the evening. Knowing this is key to fostering your own creativity.
Being ambitious, setting goals and being focused on achievement will help you develop that creative mindset. This will keep you motivated and help you achieve your goal of being creative.
Having good self-esteem and being positive is part of the plan to be creative. Here, as we said, we must put fears aside. Fear of the judgement of others, fear of our ideas being ridiculous, fear of not being liked... These fears must be put aside to prevent our creativity from being truncated.
This is a phrase that we repeat all the time but that we don't manage to believe for ourselves. We live in a culture of perfection where not being perfect scares us and fills us with insecurities. Surely, the ideas we have at the beginning are not the best, but it is also true that many of the best ideas have had their corresponding adaptations.
Impatience is never a good companion. If you want to develop creativity successfully, you must put it aside. Creativity does not always come when you want it to.
Brainstorming is a technique for teamwork that consists of brainstorming ideas for creative thinking and pooling them for the implementation of innovations and creative actions.
This technique is very useful not only at group level, but also at individual level to develop creativity at work. It will also help you to gain self-confidence when you make this practice a regular part of your work.
Step 3: Creativity diary
Each participant will have a blank notebook, we will generate a record of activities that encourage creativity.
Each page will be used to creatively record some aspect of the activity. The bullet journal is used to record the routines we do in our daily life, we can adapt it to our needs. In this case we will adapt it to activities that promote creativity.
Each participant can customise their pages, add or remove, here are some examples:
Step 4: Group creativity
Finally, we are going to work on creativity with a group dynamic and collaboration.
Participants will be seated in a circle and will be given a sheet of paper with colours and pencils.
We will start the round by drawing the head of a fictional character on a piece of paper, which must be completely invented. After each person has drawn their head, we fold the sheet of paper where the character's neck is and pass it to the person on the right. With this new sheet of paper, without looking at what their partner has drawn, they should draw the torso and arms of the character.
They will follow the same dynamic, drawing the legs and then the feet. The result will be a character made by 4 different people.
This exercise can be repeated as many times as the participants want as it is quite quick.
Learning outcomes (for the trainer/teacher)
Collaboration (empathy, trust, cooperation)
At the end of this WebQuest, the facilitator can use these self-reflection questions to find out how participants felt about this activity:
The use of creativity at work helps to differentiate us from our competitors, as the intellectual capacity of the workers that make up our company is very different from the rest, so we must encourage it and motivate our employees to exercise it.
In this WebQuest, you will work in threes. You are tasked with building your tolerance and cultural intelligence skills.
To begin, you will conduct some research on the importance of cultural awareness and tolerance in the workplace, and how cultural intelligence can help to create a more inclusive and positive workplace for all employees.
Next, you will participate in a group discussion about personal biases and prejudice, and how these things can affect a workplace culture. This group discussion will include some brainstorming prompts on how to improve cultural intelligence and awareness in the workplace.
Once you have completed your discussion, you will research ways to improve communication and understanding in the workplace. These skills are very important when building tolerance as they help people to better understand one another.
With your research complete, it’s time to put your learning into action! You will participate in a series of roleplay scenarios where you will practice your new understanding of tolerance and cultural intelligence. These scenarios are created to highlight the advantages of increasing cultural awareness in the office, the value of diversity in the office, and the importance of raising awareness of prejudice faced by disadvantaged peoples.
For the first step, you have to learn about the definitions and importance of tolerance and open-mindedness in the workplace. Using online articles and videos about tolerance, open-mindedness, and diversity in the workplace, increase your knowledge about the skill of cultural intelligence and the impact it can have on creating a positive and open working environment.
When researching try to keep the search board and look at the importance of tolerance and diversity in the workplace to create a safe and inclusive working environment for all people.
Here are some links to get you started:
The next step is to identify and challenge personal biases and stereotypes that may exist in the workplace. Think of the ways that cultural intelligence can benefit the workplace, and how personal biases and prejudices can affect the dynamics of a workplace and society.
Have a discussion about the different type intolerance that can be found in the workplace, and how we can work together to eliminate profiling and stereotyping in work to help create an inclusive and open working environment.
Here are some prompt questions:
Now that you understand the importance of cultural intelligence in the workplace, it is time to understand how you can increase your communication skills for inclusion.
After completing the previous process, you must learn effective communication techniques for promoting inclusiveness and understanding in the workplace. Research some online articles and videos about communication skills for diversity and inclusion, and summarise the key communication techniques for promoting inclusiveness and understanding in the workplace in a written reflection.
Here are some links to get you started:
Finally, the last step is to put into practice the concepts of tolerance and open-mindedness in the workplace. Using roleplays, demonstrate some opportunities to interact with colleagues from diverse backgrounds and participate in workplace events and activities promoting diversity and inclusion.
Below are some scenarios you can use to put your new cultural intelligence skills to practice. Complete these roleplays as a group:
Once you have completed your roleplay, take some time to reflect on each one, and what skills you used to relieve the situation. Note down the different types of discrimination or cultural difference experienced in each, and how these scenarios prompted you to consider the way that a workplace culture can be inaccessible to every employee.
Forevaluating this WebQuest, educators should use the following questions to reflect onthe learning experience for learners:
Congratulations, you have now completed this WebQuest about tolerance and open-mindedness! In this WebQuest, you learned the importance of tolerance and open-mindedness in the workplace, identified and challenged some personal biases, improved your communication skills, and are now ready to put these into practice in the workplace!
Open-mindedness is not just about tolerance and respect for others. Open-mindedness can also play an important role in your future career development. Taking opportunities as they arise, as well as being open-minded about new opportunities and developments as they occur is one of the best and most creative ways to develop your career to be fulfilling! The aim of this WebQuest is to increase your understanding of the importance of curiosity and creativity in a career, and when planning for the future.
In this WebQuest, you will have the opportunity to learn more about curiosity and how it relates to different aspects of our lives. You will learn more about creative thinking. We will also discuss our future career goals! Let's start! 🙂
For this WebQuest, work in groups of 3. To begin, you will carry out some research on the impact that creativity and curiosity have on career progression.
Then you will have a group discussion about what skills, knowledge and interests you already have to progress you in a career journey.
Afterwards, you will begin to explore different career paths by comparing your skills, interests, and knowledge to different careers and jobs available.
Once you have completed that, you will complete a skills and capabilities test to assess your current strengths and weaknesses.
Next you will have a brainstorm as a group to the different barriers that could be present to stop someone from taking potential career opportunities.
Finally, you will create a career vision board where you will set out the different skills you want to work on, reasons you should be open-minded about career opportunities, and being creative and curious while working!
Step 1: Creativity & Curiosity!
Your first step is to carry out a little research. You need to find out some information about how creativity and curiosity can have an impact on planning for the future!
Here are some links to get you started:
Can you find any other skills or attitudes can have an impact on career advancement?
Step 2: My Dream Career
Now that you have completed a little bit of research, it's time for a discussion. Thinking about your own experiences, consider the different knowledge and skills that you could bring to the table for career opportunities:
After your group discussion, take the time to see if the other members of your group have any suggestions for opportunities or careers that could suit you based on what you spoke about!
Step 3: Exploring the Career Jungle
Once your group discussion has ended, it's time to start your career exploration journey!
Carry out some research on jobs or careers that may suit you based on your skills, interests, and knowledge!
Here are some helpful links to get you started:
Remember to stay open-minded about the results of your search! Choose two or three of the career paths that interest you, and consider what each would require to progress to that point.
Step 4: Cultivating Creativity and Curiosity
Now that you have chosen 2-3 potential career paths, it's time to assess your current performance!
To assess your current skills and capabilities, take a skills assessment quiz to identify your strengths and weaknesses: https://www.123test.com/competency-test/
Can you find any information on how you would improve these skills?
Step 5: Being Open-Minded About Opportunities
With the newfound knowledge you have on career opportunities and the impact of creativity and curiosity on job searching, it's time to brainstorm!
Consider the 2-3 career pathways that you selected in Task 3 and think: What skills do I need to get there?
Choosing one of the career pathways in particular, consider the different skills, attitudes, knowledge, and interests that would motivate you to enter that job! Note them down for later.
Sometimes the hardest part about career development is taking the plunge for opportunities that we are given. In your group, have a brainstorm of the different values or attachments that could impact somebody’s ability to take opportunities up as they come.
After your brainstorm has ended, discuss as a group, the ways that creativity and curiosity in your job can help to overcome these barriers.
Step 6: My Career Vision Board
Now it’s time to put all of your research and planning to work! Using the materials and information you gathered in steps 1-5, begin to assemble your career planning board using Canva!
It’s important that you track the development of important steps such as skill-building and personal development.
Here are some links on how you can create a vision board:
Congratulations, you now have completed this WebQuest about open-mindedness in employment! You learned about the impact that creativity and curiosity can have on your ability to progress when working. You also explored a few career paths, and you assessed your skills to find out your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to career progression. You chose an ultimate career pathway to assess, and created a vision board for what skills, knowledge, interests, and attitudes you would need to cultivate to follow this path! Now that you have completed this WebQuest, you are equipped with the proper open-minded attitude to participate in an open and creative workplace!
Fostering curiosity in the work environment can lead to greater innovation, continuous learning, better problem solving, effective collaboration, and increased employee motivation and engagement. Therefore, it is important for companies to encourage curiosity.
We will start the session with theoretical content on why it is important to foster creativity in the workplace. Also about the different forms of creativity that exist. Afterwards we will apply in a practical way some techniques that we can use to promote creativity in the work team.
We will start the session by explaining to the group the 5 types of curiosity that exist according to a study led by Todd Kashdan, professor at George Mason University (Virginia, USA):
• Joyful exploration. This is the classic curious person, who feels joy and fun in learning new things, from the most mundane to the most complex.
• Necessity curiosity. It differs from the previous one because the need to know - curiosity - generates anxiety or tension.
• Stress tolerance. It appears when anxiety is accepted in cases similar to the previous ones, but which generate changes. This type of curiosity reduces resistance to novelty and allows us to wonder what the situation will be like afterwards.
• Social curiosity. This is the most typical type of "gossip", although it is not always the case: it is wanting to know why people act in one way or another or what they think out of a feeling of empathy.
• Thrill-seeking. It is taking risks for new experiences. Parachuting, booking a flight at the last minute, or going on an unexpected adventure are other examples.
There are different ways to foster curiosity in the workplace. We will display them on a paddle board and give the participants the opportunity to express which of these ways are already being applied in their group:
1. Celebrate questions: Encourage employees to ask questions about the company, processes, products, and services, and demonstrate that questions are welcome and valued.
2. Promote continuous learning: Provide training and development opportunities for employees to further develop their skills and knowledge.
3. Encourage experimentation: Allow employees to try new things and experiment with different ways of doing things.
4. Create a safe environment: It is important to create a safe environment where employees can express their curiosity without fear of making mistakes or being judged.
5. Recognise and reward curiosity: This can include recognising employees who ask important questions, implement new solutions and approaches, and constantly seek to improve.
After analysing the reflections of the participants, we will move on to the next part of the session. We will now put into practice different techniques that we can use in our day-today work to foster creativity in the team.
Brainstorming: This is a common technique to foster creativity. You can organise a brainstorming session for your team to generate ideas for solving a specific problem or creating some material.
We will put it into practice by giving the group a goal to work on and brainstorm ideas for, here are some examples of situations:
• Improve or create a didactic material.
• Find possible solutions to a communication problem in the team.
• Identify training needs in the team.
The five-word game: This exercise involves selecting five random words and asking each team member to think of an idea or solution involving those five words. You can use this as a warm-up exercise to encourage creativity before a meeting or working session.
User stories: This dynamic consists of creating a fictitious user story that represents a specific user or customer. You should then ask your team to generate ideas and solutions that address the needs of this specific user. By focusing on the needs of a real user, your team can foster creativity and generate innovative ideas.
Brainwriting: In this exercise, each team member writes their ideas on a piece of paper and then passes it to another team member to add their own ideas. This technique can foster creativity by allowing all team members to generate ideas without being influenced by others.
We will close the session with a video explaining how to encourage creativity in the workplace and we will answer any questions they may have.
Encouraging creativity at work is critical to the sustainability and success of companies, as it helps to find innovative solutions to business challenges, maintain competitiveness in the marketplace, generate a more positive and stimulating work environment, foster the development of valuable business skills, encourage teamwork and collaboration, and attract creative and innovative talent. In addition, creativity also contributes to developing new products or services and solving problems more effectively, which translates into benefits for the company and its employees.
The European Commission’s support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein. Project Number : 2019-1-PL01-KA204-065089