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The Most Underrated Skill for Creatives? Empathy.

Emotional Intelligence

Being cognizant of how your behavior affects others is at the heart of emotional intelligence.

Think about these questions: What types of behaviors drive you crazy? Where does your anxiety show up? What do you do when you don’t feel heard? How do your resentments show up in interactions with others?

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The Most Underrated Skill for Creatives? Empathy.

The Most Underrated Skill for Creatives? Empathy.

https://99u.adobe.com/articles/24713/the-most-underrated-skill-for-creatives-empathy

99u.adobe.com

11

Key Ideas

Empathy Mindset

It gives us the ability to put ourselves in other people’s shoes so we can see and feel from their perspective:

  • Listening to how you're colleagues explain what they are thinking will give you valuable context.
  • Showing sincere appreciation and celebration of others’ contributions allows you to show that you value them.
  • Self-Awareness, an understanding your own biases and limiting beliefs.
  • Presence. Time is one of our most valuable assets, so be there fully.

Emotional Intelligence

Being cognizant of how your behavior affects others is at the heart of emotional intelligence.

Think about these questions: What types of behaviors drive you crazy? Where does your anxiety show up? What do you do when you don’t feel heard? How do your resentments show up in interactions with others?

Effective Communication Principles

  • Intention: Know what you want to say and be clear about your objective. 
  • Organization: Take the time to organize your thoughts and deliver them in a straightforward way.
  • Framing: “I think" and "I feel” are much more effective than starting with “you,” which puts people on the defensive.
  • Affirmation: Do people understand what you are saying? Asking if information makes sense may reveal a potential problem. 

“Becoming is better than being.”

“Becoming is better than being.”

A Growth Mindset

Rather than stigmatizing failure, a growth mindset embraces it as a necessary part of progress. 

Proactively finding positive outcomes despite any challenges helps build resilience. 

Curiosity + Instigation

  • Curiosity is a natural part of any creative cycle. It paves the way for “possibility thinking,” rather than business as usual. 
  • Instigation is an invitation to challenge quick fixes, lackluster solutions and mediocrity. Start by embracing discomfort and the unknown, allow space for dissonant ideas, diverging opinions, and seemingly improbable outcomes. 

Strategic Analysis and Analytical Thinking

  • Strategic analysis helps to identify complex problems by providing a top-level view into the interconnected web of what can often seem like isolated issues.
  • Analytical thinking enables people to suspend emotional decision making, and instead look logically at evidence-based research and tests. As part of the analytic process, one looks at everything from cause and effect to pro versus con to cost benefit analysis.

Complex Problem Solving

Long before solutions are offered and significant time is spent, make sure to identify the real problem before jumping into solutions. 

In order to get into problem-solving mode, you need to understand the true problem at hand, identify challenges in the way, resist simple solutions, identify constraints and pathways to feasibility, and, above all, make sure you’re open to experimentation. 

Conflict Resolution

Among the most effective skills to learn in order to resolve conflict are mastering deep listening, mediation and facilitation. Giving people the benefit of the doubt and leading with curiosity are also powerful tools. 

Most of us have little to no training with expressing negative emotions and our default reaction is to avoid discomfort, pretend nothing is wrong, or unconsciously become passive aggressive. 

Negotiation and Persuasion

You need to be clear about what you want and what you’re willing to let go of to get it.

 On top of understanding another’s perspective and being resilient, work demands that we find pathways to being effective. This requires negotiation and persuasion.

Leadership

A great leader recognizes that trust, transparency, inclusivity, and respect are essential pillars upon which a vibrant company culture is built. 

They understand that it’s not enough to build culture, it needs to be protected and maintained. A great leader also needs to make difficult decisions and hold everyone, including themselves, accountable. 

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