This week I’m looking for help.  Yes, that’s right, this Blog isn’t just a one way street, you know!

I had a goldfish that did this once.  It survived 30 mins on the kitchen floor.

I had a goldfish that did this once. It survived 30 mins on the kitchen floor.

I’m looking for your input into the design of a workshop I have coming up on the subject of Innovation and Creativity.  My client is asking me to develop skills in the use of Creativity tools to help the group to drive innovation.  I’ll be doing so through 2 hour workshops, so probably have time to look at 4 different techniques.

I was reviewing my thoughts on this yesterday and realised that I had fallen into one of the classic traps that we trainers overlook all too often:  designing something that would work for me as to what would necessarily work for “them”.

As an Extrovert, what would work for me on a short Creativity workshop would be to practice tools that work well in groups:  Brainstorming is an obvious example – a tool most people are familiar with, but all too many don’t in fact use effectively.

But think about it for 2 seconds, and you realise that this could be a big mistake:  Extroverts might well enjoy practising how to brainstorm, but, durrrrr, what about the other 50% of people in the session – the Introverts?  They get energy from inside, prefer to work alone, think before they speak, prefer to listen, like to reflect.  Asking them to get better at Brainstorming is asking them to get better at writing with their wrong hand.  Why not develop their skills at using a technique that works well with their Introverted preference?

Creative people always wear a bow tie, right?

Creative people always wear a bow tie, right?

I’m annoyed at myself for not having thought about this earlier, because it shows I have that bias towards Extroversion which is endemic in today’s society.  In a survey conducted by USA Today, 65 per cent of executives said they perceive introversion as a barrier to leadership, and only 6 per cent believe that Introverts are better at it.

So I’d like your help please.  I have some ideas on what might work (how to get some good Gestation going, for instance), but would love to hear from you, either as an Introvert speaking from your own experience or as someone who has worked with Introverts and learnt how to unlock their creativity.  The question is:

“What tools or techniques work best for Introverts to help them generate creative ideas?”

Answers on a postcard please, and I promise that if I get more than 20 recommendations I will write another article in which I summarize them, as well as share the techniques I use on the workshop (and how they were received).

© Sergey Nivens –

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