Can Emotional Quotient raise Creativity Quotient?
"Emotional intelligence is defined as the use of thoughts, feelings, and intuition to help solve problems."
Human creativity is, without question, one of the core features that differentiates humans from all other classes of animals. Creative processes have paved the way for advances in all human-related fields, such as education, technology, culture, art and business.
Extensive work by Dr Mark Batey has given us a model profile of a creative person, which is explained by four traits of creativity traits with multiple facets within each
(i) "Idea Generation" (Fluency, Originality, Incubation and Illumination/insight)
(ii) “Self factors" (Curiosity and Tolerance for Ambiguity)
(iii) "Motivation" (Intrinsic, Extrinsic and Achievement)
(iv) "Confidence" (Producing, Sharing, Selling and Implementing)
So from this construct, if one was to ask, can creativity be enhanced, the answer would be, YES!
The way to do this would be through building Emotional Intelligence.
Emotional intelligence is defined as the use of thoughts, feelings, and intuition to help solve problems.
This also includes one’s ability to influence thinking and actions based on an understanding of one’s own and others’ emotions
THE ROLE OF EMOTIONS IN CREATIVITY
So why is it that some movies, paintings, commercials stay with us, make us cry, get us in happy clappy mood, while others, we can’t wait for them to get over? I guess we all know that the answers lies in the emotions that piece of creativity brings out in us.
A piece of creativity can be so powerful it can stay with us forever. Even though our brain knows it’s all fictional. Enacted by people who were getting paid to do so. But we still cry when we see pain. We cheer when the underdog wins.
We are able to create better emotions provoking work when we are aware of our own emotions. Emotional Intelligence makes us thinking about emotions. Our own as well as others. Our vocabulary of emotions start to get better, wider and nuanced.
For example do we know the difference between envy and jealousy?
We use them interchangeably. BUT they are two very different emotions.
Envy comes from greed. It is the feeling that the other person has something that i don’t. It exists between two people.
Jealousy is the fear of loss. I feel jealous when my friend flirts with my boyfriend. It’s between three people.
When our understanding of emotions becomes that nuanced, we are able to produce creative work that moves people.
Many of us also use ‘empathy’ and ‘sympathy’ interchangeably.
EMPATHY AND CREATIVITY
"When you show deep empathy toward others, their defensive energy goes down, and positive energy replaces it. That's when you can get more creative in solving problems."--Stephen Covey
So how does empathy translate to the day-to-day business of advertising? Well there’s the obvious – it requires a degree of empathy to know what other people might respond to. Taking the Dove Real Beauty Campaign. That one went viral like nobody’s business just because it empathised with 99% women. It’s just not possible for real life to be glossy and airbrushed. But empathy in advertising and other creative fields, is about more than just exploiting people’s emotions. With a highly evolved ability to identify with others and connect comes a finely tuned ‘fake emotion’detector. Without true empathy, authenticity is faked, forced and a total turn off.
The best creatives know when and how to empathise. When I use the word ‘empathy’ I don’t mean vague and fluffy FEEL-GOOD, teddy bearish niceness. I don’t mean emotional incontinence. And I don’t mean spinelessness. I mean that they are interested in people. They really do want to know what goes on with them at a deep level. They seek emotional resonance.
Emotional intelligence has one of its key tenets in building empathy. Empathy is a powerful communication skill that emotional intelligence helps to develop or polish that skill.
MOTIVATION AND CREATIVITY
One of the Principles of Creativity is Intrinsic Motivation, or the tendency for human creativity to thrive when people are motivated by a deep enjoyment of the work itself. Sportspeople would call it a “love of the game;” artists refer to it as an unstoppable need to express.
But sometimes in real world advertising there is also a reality check. It’s called THE CLIENT. This reality makes us not be so motivated all the time. Many times at bars and chaiwallas which are frequented by advertising wallas, one will hear ‘yaar jo maang raha hai, studio main kar ke de’.
In this situation how do you stimulate and motivate yourself to be your creative best? Especially when the situations like such sap the energy out of you.
Emotional intelligence teaches you to dispute that core belief of momentary negativity and energise yourself via ‘learned optimism’
CURIOUSITY AND CREATIVITY
Curiosity is part of an important part of emotional intelligence as it propels you to ask questions that will give way for knowledge and subsequent discoveries in every facet of human life. You may need to be curious to understand people’s mind, know how to relate with them. For everything man has discovered and been able to understand for inventions and development, curiosity is the mother and basis. This in a way also generates more empathy.
Emotional Intelligence gets people to be genuinely interested in other people, phenomenon, art, culture, etc to ask necessary questions.
DIVERGENT THINKING, ADAPTABILITY AND CREATIVITY
Divergent thinking – a key tenet of creativity – allows you to explore, evaluate and extract multiple solutions for a single problem.
But how can you perceive a problem from various angles if you are not open to new thoughts, new beliefs, new emotions and new experiences?
Emotional Intelligence makes you adaptable so as to embrace all changes in life. This makes you look forward to the thrill of solving newer problems and all challenges that become exciting like an exhilarating adventure, and you deftly blend into any situation.
SOME FINAL THOUGHTS
There are big research undertakings in most leading universities of the world to study this wonderful aspect of humans called creativity. Creativity, at its core, is a reflection of a deep sense of self-awareness. It is the notion that something is wrong with the present tool or process that makes for the desire to search for an alternative.
Fear - is an emotion, which is the strongest of all of the primary emotions. It is the enemy of creativity. Workplaces are inherently a place of fear – our guards are up, we are trying to protect our own backs most of the time. We need to use our conscious energy on what we say, who we say it to, especially when it comes to changing the status quo where someone, and in many cases, it is someone you actually know, may be responsible for that status quo- for creating it and sustaining it.
Being aware of your own emotional state, regardless of what got you there, and being able to regulate it, irrespective of consequences, is having higher levels of Emotional Intelligence. While creativity flourishes in safe nurturing environments, it’s not always possible in today’s dog eat dog culture of corporates. Emotional Intelligence teaches you to thrive in uncertain times and still be your creative best.
So to answer the question, ‘Does EQ raises CQ? The answer - The two, I would argue, are directly connected. In more ways than one
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house