How engaging creativity helps you be more resilient at work
About 5 years ago I became part of a creativity group as part of an enquiry into whole person approaches to learning. I did not join this group because I thought of myself as a creative person quite the opposite! I have never considered myself especially creative and wanted to find a way to access that part of my brain. Being part of that group has made me take opportunities I had never considered before, in my private life as well as in my work. Here are the five key lessons I’ve learnt on my journey with creativity;
Creativity introduces you to new people and new perspectives
Talk, listen and learn
Being part of that original creativity group gave me the impetus to think about doing something that was not connected to my work as Head of Whole Person Initiatives at Oasis. I decided to learn jewellery making working with silver. I had a fantastic time learning a new skill whilst being with a group of people of all ages and nationalities who were really interested in enhancing their skills to be able to create silver jewellery. I now create jewellery in my spare time and relish the space and time for creating something with my hands as well as thinking of different designs and just giving it a go.
Creativity can be shared
Creating with others
Even though the enquiry finished some time ago the group has continued to meet twice a year to share what we are doing and encourage each other to continue exploring our creativity. We are all interested in expressing our creativity in different ways but essentially, we continue to create the environment for sharing our hopes, ideas and dreams. There is nothing like creating together.
Simple is sometimes brilliant
Creativity does not have to be complicated!
Sometimes it is the simplest idea that is the best. My daughter-in-law asked me to make a ring for her for her birthday. I agonised over the design and used up a lot of copper to try different ideas until I thought about her as a person. I realised she is not someone who is into a lot of bling and big statement jewellery but prefers a simple and elegant design and in the end, this is what I made and she absolutely loved it (although it was by no means perfect).
Failing is OK
Learning is a life long journey
The first ring I made on my own with a stone was a mess. The design was great but the execution left a lot to be desired. It stayed in my jewellery box for ages before I had the courage to actually wear it going for a coffee with a friend. She was very interested in how I was doing with my jewellery making and I showed her my ‘mistake’. She said something really lovely; ‘It is a beautiful draft of the next ring you are making having learnt what not to do next time, wear it with pride’.
Small steps are productive too
If you run too fast you might miss something
There have been times when I have not been able to get to my ‘studio’ for a while due to holidays or other things life throws at you. I do miss my time there when I don’t go, but I have also discovered that I can be creative when I am not there. I can design at home and take inspiration in nature and from other people. These things always give me a lift, improve my mood and reassure me that I am engaging my right brain more then I think I am.
I have never regretted taking the step to learn a new skill to engage my right brain and it has helped me in so many ways in my daily life. I feel much more able to discuss ideas even if they are not fully formed. I feel able to look at a problem from different perspectives and know that my contribution makes a difference to the collective thinking. I love having a go at something I have never done before. This gives you an enormous sense of freedom and confidence which is definitely increasing my sense of wellbeing and my resilience. Try it, it is so worth it.
If you are an organisation in the UK looking to take a more proactive approach to Resilience and Wellbeing and learn from other organisations about works, then please consider joining our RAW Network in Yorkshire. It’s a one year membership scheme where members meet four times a year to share and discuss best practise for cultivating resilience and supporting employee wellbeing. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.