No, you don’t have to do it.
You don’t have to cut off your ear, dye your hair pink or walk around with a melancholy expression to develop a reputation for being the creative type.
It may take effort and a certain ‘inventiveness’ on your part to rebrand yourself as the kind of innovative thinker whose creative mindset can drive a company into the future, but such drastic measures are definitely unnecessary!
So how do you develop a creative reputation, and use it to alter the perception of those who have already placed you in the ‘technically-competent-but-staid’ category?
Here are four strategies that you can employ to develop a reputation for being creative:
1. Demonstrate your creative know-how
Read books about the process of creativity, such as Michael Michalko’s Cracking Creativity. Study innovative societal trends. Follow news in your industry that discusses inventive developments.
Immerse yourself in these concepts and start sharing anecdotes on innovation with your colleagues whenever you see an opportunity.
Don’t restrain yourself from blatantly displaying your knowledge. Too often, modesty holds us back, but communicating ideas expertly and openly is an ideal way to demonstrate your creative ability.
2. Don’t dwell on past failures
You need to be in the right emotional frame of mind to be creative. You need to feel confident to be innovative.
Our creativity is dependent on how the brain functions, and our emotions affect our brain functioning. Negative emotions derail normal brain functioning and thereby creativity!
So restrain yourself from thinking about past failures and letdowns. Look at them as necessary stepping stones towards innovative growth.
3. Sleep to get creative insights
To get breakthrough ideas, access your brain’s ‘meandering mode’; the source of all our inventiveness and genius.
One easy way to access this genius mode is simply to “sleep on it”, according to Olivia Fox Cabane and Judah Pollack in The Net and the Butterfly: The Art and Practice of Breakthrough Thinking.
The authors explain that our brain works in two modes – the meandering mode (which you use to daydream) and the focused mode (which you use to get things done).
Just before you doze off or when you get into the shower, your brain unconsciously moves from the focused mode to the meandering mode. And this ability to switch between these two modes leads to breakthroughs.
4. Dress to be innovative
Lastly, while ink stains don’t work, a little thought on your office attire can definitely impact others’ impression of you.
According to a 2013 study, a man wearing a bespoke suit was predominantly perceived as “more confident, successful, flexible, and a higher earner” than a man in an off-the-rack suit.
Moreover, science also reveals that dressing formally makes you think more creatively than your casually-dressed colleague.
Great reason to bring out that pinstriped suit, right?
Over to You
According to a study by Adobe and Forrester Consulting 82% of companies believe there is a strong connection between creativity and business results. Which means that you can give a huge boost to your career by building a reputation for being creative.
Which strategies will you use to rebrand yourself as a creative person? Let me know in the comments below.