Behavioral Scale Deep Dive: Low Creativity

Creativity: The ability to act and think creatively.

Like intelligence, creativity can be considered a trait that everyone – not just creative “geniuses” like Picasso and Steve Jobs – possesses in some capacity.  However, compared with high scorers like Steve Jobs, low scorers in creativity don’t naturally tend to step outside of the box as often. They appreciate rules and norms and adhere to the tried and true. They tend to be more subdued, conservative and cautious. Low scorers in Creativity are more conventional, valuing security over adventure. They do not typically err on the side of “seeking greener pastures.” They may be less comfortable with uncertainty and complexity. However, because of these traits, they can have a grounding effect on some of their more scattered counterparts due to their preference for a slower pace, stability, low change and security. Let’s take a look at someone with a low creativity score.

Low Creativity

Meet Carol. Carol has worked as a bank teller for the same bank for 20 years and loves the financial security that it has provided her family. She loves the structure that her 9-5 schedule provides her and takes pride in making sure that all the bank’s policies and procedures are followed exactly. One day her boss asked her if she’d like to try a new task at the bank since she had been there so long but she preferred to stay where she was at because she was already very comfortable with the systems and transactions she needed to complete daily.

Carol is an example of someone who likely has a low creativity score. She:

  • Appreciates rules and norms
  • Adheres to the tried and true
  • Tends to be more subdued, conservative & cautious
  • Is more conventional
  • Values security over adventure
  • Is less comfortable with uncertainty and complexity

Tips for Managing Low Scorers:

Although Carol’s job as a bank teller may seem like it doesn’t need any creativity infused into it, she could maybe benefit by pushing her comfort zone a little- and may even find that she ends up making more money and has a more enjoyable day because of it. What if she were to try that job her boss suggested to her instead of staying in her comfort zone? She might just find that she likes it. Or what if she were to spice up her communication style when interacting with customers? What if she were to come up with a creative solution to a tech process that could make all of the teller’s lives easier?  All of these things could not only have a positive effect on Carol, but on the people around her as well. Many people have a common misconception that people are just born with creativity, and you either have a creative ability or you don’t.  Picasso famously stated “all children are artists.” And almost 100% of children in Kindergarten say they are artists. By the time they reach high school, the number drops to about 10%. Why? For multiple and complex reasons, we stopped believing we were artists. We succumbed to either our own doubt or the doubts of others. However, like all of our behavioral scales there are practices that a person can incorporate into their life to get their creative juices flowing a little more freely.  Here are some tips to encourage the growth of someone with low creativity:           

  • Look for ways to introduce a safe amount of variation in their experience. 
  • Encourage them to take an occasional risk or try something new in a safe environment. 
  • Pair them with people who are more comfortable taking risks who can support them in their growth. 
  • Encourage them to appreciate others who are good at taking risks and are adventurous. Tell them to ask them about how they feel in these kinds of situations to learn more about it. 
  • Encourage them to practice introducing unexpected elements into their communication, like an occasional joke or to surprise their friends once in a while. 

By encouraging someone with a low creativity score to be more open to new ideas , you can help them grow and they may even start to step outside their box more often, which can benefit them and your company in potentially innovative ways.

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