What Are Creativity Skills? (With Examples And Benefits)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 4 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Creativity skills are essential for problem-solving, developing ideas, improving productivity and viewing challenges from a new perspective. They can also lead to higher job satisfaction and low workplace stress. Learning how to develop these skills can support career growth and development for professionals. In this article, we define creativity skills, explain them with examples, discuss tips to build them and explain the benefits of being creative at the workplace.

What are creativity skills?

Creativity skills include the ability to think about a problem or a task in a new way and use imagination to come up with new ideas. The development of these skills involves creating innovative and useful products and services through practice, application and feedback. Here are some examples of creative skills:

Curiosity

Curious people actively seek new information and are eager to learn more about a topic. By fostering curiosity, you can expand your knowledge, work more efficiently in a team and make better decisions. Workshops and conferences are good ways for companies to boost curiosity and learning, as employees can present their ideas and learn from each other. Curiosity also helps build a work environment that is more accepting of new members and embraces diverse viewpoints.

Related: Core Values: Overview And Examples

Receptivity and flexibility

Being receptive to new ideas, arguments, data and information is essential for creativity. Being accepting of perspectives can be necessary to understand the thoughts and viewpoints of others. This usually includes developing strong listening skills, exchanging ideas with colleagues regularly, accepting constructive criticism and expressing willingness to try new ideas. Being flexible can also help you resolve interpersonal conflict or team conflict effectively.

Imagination

Developing creativity and productivity requires imagination. Using your imagination, you can visualise different outcomes of a given situation, anticipate their consequences and examine their benefits. Imagination helps employees and business leaders integrate their work experience and knowledge to ideate innovative solutions to complex problems. Creativity empowers professionals and businesses to think differently and distinguish themselves from the competition.

Related: Critical Thinking Skills: Definitions And Examples

Problem-solving

Problem-solving skills include the ability to manage challenging situations and complex business challenges in the workplace. Problem-solving requires both creative and analytical thinking. By developing creative problem-solving skills, you can help improve the organisation's efficiency, growth and profit. Most organisations look for problem-solving skills in prospective employees.

Related: Problem-Solving Skills: Definitions And Examples

Empathy

It is important to have empathy for customers, clients and co-workers so that you can understand their viewpoints effectively. Empathy is an important interpersonal and creative skill that can help you resolve conflicts, build efficient teams and improve your network. Empathy is also crucial for developing valuable professional relationships. You can practise empathy by asking open-ended questions to customers, listening actively, observing colleagues, showing reasonable concern and support for them.

Networking

Networking with people from diverse identities and backgrounds is an important way for creative individuals to learn and develop their skills. You can learn new ideas and develop creative thinking by working with people with different perspectives. Having conversations and working with such people can provide you with new insights. Networking can also be vital for exploring valuable career development opportunities and finding mentors.

Related: What Is Business Networking? (With Benefits And Types)

Tips to improve creativity skills

Here are some tips that can help you develop and improve your creativity skills:

Ideate solutions alone or with peers

Ideating facilitates the free exchange of thoughts and ideas without limitations or prejudices, allowing people to share knowledge and feedback. Individual ideating ensures that you can formulate ideas independently without mental blocks. Brainstorming alone can help you solve simple problems without turning to a larger group, while working in a group can find solutions to complex problems. Members of a brainstorming session are more likely to succeed if they consider all ideas and possibilities, collaborate and listen to each other.

Ask questions

A key element in developing creativity is the ability to ask the right questions. By doing so, you can solve problems, explore new possibilities and increase your knowledge. Questions that start with 'how' and 'why' often encourage higher-order critical thinking. For instance, if you have to prepare a market research study, an excellent way to start is by asking questions that pertain to the nature of the problem, product features, time constraints, business competition and customer feedback.

Establish a professional network

Creative individuals often seek interaction with other creative people. You can exercise your creativity by interacting with your peers, discussing challenges, exploring solutions and sharing knowledge. You can benefit from building a professional network by collaborating with colleagues and industry professionals on complex projects. Ensure that your network is as diverse as possible to meet new people and understand fresh perspectives.

Use mind maps

Mind maps are visual ways to represent ideas and information. They are interactive and capture a variety of interconnected lines of thought by using keywords, images and visual-spatial awareness. Using mind maps can be a highly effective way of boosting your creativity as it allows you to understand a challenge and identify the core issues related to it. For instance, marketers can use mind maps to plan sales or marketing strategies, oversee research and organise projects activities.

Collaborate with team members

The collaborative process involves working with others towards a common goal creatively. Team members can build relationships and grow together through collaboration, resulting in a more successful outcome and higher quality work. To ensure successful creative collaboration, ensure that you respect everybody's unique strengths and preferences by encouraging their input and soliciting their ideas.

Related: Collaboration Skills: Definition, Benefits And Examples

Practise persistence

Persistence is the ability to remain committed to your goals when facing adversities or in the absence of immediate rewards. It is an essential creative trait that requires staying motivated and committed to your goals. This usually requires recognising a problem, planning, outlining action plans, taking risks and seeking support and feedback from your managers and colleagues. Creativity tends to be an iterative process that requires persistence to generate ideas and positive outcomes.

Read regularly

Another great way to increase your imagination is to develop a habit of reading. Reading enables you to expand your knowledge, learn new skills and gain different perspectives. Extensive reading can enable you to speak with greater confidence and professionalism than your peers. For example, reading fiction novels can give you the chance to build your vocabulary and improve your articulation.

Solve puzzles

One way to develop your creativity, imagination and problem-solving skills is to solve complex games and games. You can learn how to play chess or any other strategy game of your choice to develop analytical, decision-making and mind mapping skills. Using an app on your phone is another way to solve mentally challenging games and puzzles.

Use a sketch pad

Writing and drawing ideas can help you improve your creative skills by allowing you to process information effectively. For example, when you attend a meeting and have some ideas or questions that you want to discuss, you can write the most important keywords or sketch your ideas creatively. This can help you improve your expression, remember all the feedback you wish to give and enhance the value of your contributions.

Benefits of creative skills in the workplace

Increasing stress and competition in the workplace has made creative skills important for professional growth and development. Companies can build a creative and innovative workplace by redesigning existing work processes, embracing diversity and empowering employees. Here are some key benefits of inculcating creativity and innovation skills in the workplace:

Increase employee trust

Creativity helps professionals ideate and think beyond conventional methods. Employees tend to be appreciative of companies that value and acknowledge their diverse skills and personal strengths. An organisation that encourages its employees to be creative is more likely to retain them and leverage their potential for business growth. To earn this trust, it is important for organisations to incentivise employees to exhibit creativity with incentives and rewards.

Support leadership development

Creativity is a critical trait for building effective leadership in an organisation. Increasing creativity in the workplace is beneficial to the self-esteem of employees and can encourage employees to develop new processes and solutions. As employees gain confidence in their abilities and experience, they can become eligible for leadership roles and positions to manage other employees.

Improve employee collaboration and teamwork

Organisations can foster a shared sense of passion at work through creativity. By facilitating an exchange of ideas, feedback and knowledge, organisations can enable employees to learn from each other. Creative skills can also help teams work with each other effectively, ideate better solutions and optimise the utilisation of resources and budgets.

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