Study Reveals Key to Creativity

Creativity is fostered by creating an environment where one can be receptive to criticism, according to a new study.

The study found that when creative professionals or participants received criticism from a boss or a peer, they tended to be less creative in their subsequent work.

However, if an individual received negative feedback from an employee of lower rank, they became more creative.

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The key takeaways from the study are as follows:

  • Bosses and coworkers need to be more careful when they offer negative feedback to someone they manage or to their peers
  • Feedback recipients need to worry less when it comes to receiving criticism

“The tough part of being a manager is pointing out a follower’s poor performance or weak points. But it’s a necessary part of the job,” says Yeun Joon Kim, the study’s lead author.

“If you’re a supervisor, just be aware that your negative feedback can hurt your followers’ creativity.

“Followers tend to receive negative feedback personally. Therefore, keep your feedback specific to tasks. Explain how the point you’re discussing relates to only their task behavior, not to aspects of the person.”

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