Creativity: What’s Your Type?

October 12, 2012 Uncategorized 3

Title: Breakthrough Creatvitiy: Achieving Top Performance Using the Eight Creative Talents
Author: Lynne Levesque
Source: library
Fun Fact: The author has a PhD in creativity.
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Summary: Helpful, practical, optimistic guide with something for anyone who wants to be more creative.

There’s just something about lists of “the top 10 ways to…” or “the seven easy habits for…” that seems a little bit gimmicky to me. For that reason, I had much lower expectations of this book than of the more academic creativity book I reviewed earlier this week. Boy were my expectations backwards. The other book was interesting, but I was sorely disappointed by it’s lack of useful advice. By contrast, this book was nothing but useful advice.

Actually, the book wasn’t quite all advice. The very beginning was a fun personality test, a version of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test. Then the rest of the book is broken up into sections, one corresponding to each possible result of the test. Based on your results, one of these creative types is considered your main talent and a second is considered your auxiliary talent. Not everything the author said about my types was true of me, but a lot of it was – certainly enough that her potential creativity blocks sounds familiar and her advice for overcoming them seemed very useful.

I liked the author’s writing style a lot. She has an earnest, helpful tone and is very optimistic in her type descriptions. The negatives of each type are mostly mentioned after the description and are always paired with techniques for overcoming those downsides. She did approach the subject of creativity from a business perspective, but surprisingly I still found nearly all her advice helpful. The least useful sections for me were those on working with or directing a team, since graduate research is more of a solitary pursuit. My favorite part by far was the list of the types of questions each type might ask when approaching a problem. I think every type of creativity has something to contribute and using her questions to get a new perspective seems like it could be a great way to brainstorm.

I’m still undecided, but I’m seriously thinking of buying this one. It’s one I could see coming back to and consulting later. Personally, my biggest block to creativity lately has been fear of failure when trying new things that are outside my comfort zone – I like having all the facts! But one of the suggestions the book makes is to be more open to possibilities and to shake up your routine, which is something I’ve been trying to do with more or less enthusiasm for a while now. Hopefully I can bring that mindset to my research a little more too 🙂

Do you feel there are any particular challenges you have to overcome to be creative? Any tips on overcoming my block?

Who should read this? anyone who thinks they’re not creative or who wishes they were more creative, anyone working at a job that rewards creativity

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3 Responses to “Creativity: What’s Your Type?”

  1. Marc

    I actually think our current education system destroys a lot of natural creativity. Not that there is more than more than one answer to 2+2=4 and that we don’t need certain skills, but rather that are different ways of approaching things that don’t fit the standardized process we have created. The following video explains a lot.

    Maybe the question should be be instead of how do we learn to think creatively, how can we better retain the creativity we start with?
    Seth Godin has a free e-book “Stop Stealing Dreams” that provides one with a whole new outlook on how we have been educated and what our future education needs are going to be.

    I like the way you are shaking up the topics here, it does add a different flavor.

    • DoingDewey

      I feel like I’ve read something similar, perhaps a manifesto by a teacher who believed math in particular was taught the wrong way. His point was that students were just handed answers, the one way to do things, instead of getting to play with numbers in the way mathematicians do in college and beyond. I’ll have to look up the Seth Godin book as well 🙂