Your Personal Creative Style (or a tool for identifying your needs)

I’ve been doing an online course with Coursera called Creativity, Innovation, and Change and I want to share some of my personal experiences along the way. Here it goes…

Estimated Personal Creative Style 

One of the exercises was to analyse my estimated personal creative style, an exercise developed by Mr. Rich Rafferty & Dr. Stephen Harris at the Barnes Center for Enlisted Education, United States Air Force.

The exercise was to answer a series of questions about my process I undertake tasks by selecting which statement sounds more like me e.g:

Screen shot 2013-10-02 at 13.28.39

The aim of these questions were to uncover my cognitive preference which reflect my characteristic manner in which I solve problems, make decision or generally be creative!

The outputs

The spectrum below shows the outputs from being ‘highly adaptive’ to ‘highly innovative’ which is essentially someone with a preference for less (innovative) or more (adaptive) structure:

Screen shot 2013-10-02 at 13.18.45

It’s worth pointing out that there is no position along the spectrum which is ideal (and it’s all relative, of course). Also, your creative style won’t change throughout your lifetime but there are times when behaviours won’t completely align with that style because there are times when other motives are at play (this is called the ‘coping behaviour’).

You can use the table below to get a feel for where you fit on the spectrum (click on the image to zoom in):

Screen shot 2013-10-02 at 13.16.57

My personal take

For me, this exercise uncovered some really interesting stuff which has started to help me change the way I thought about myself and what my needs are, particularly around the way I communicate with others.

I’ve had some feedback recently that the way I communicate can sometimes come across as reserved and I’ve often put this down to the fact I am largely introverted most of the time and I process a lot of things in my head.

However, now it’s starting to make sense and I can see what my real needs are e.g. If I know the rules of engagement and the constraints then I might be able to make my input more valuable.

Overall, this started out as a simple exercise to help me clarify my creative style, but in fact it’s become much more of a useful tool for helping me understand my needs and ways I can develop.

If you want to know more, you’re not too late to sign up for the course (it’s free!)