Tuesday, August 19, 2014

How to help a group of teenagers to achieve a creative peak

Russian writer and teacher Dmitry Bykov shares his method of helping teenagers maximize their creative potential:

(Russian version) Есть два способа добиться от детей абсолютного творческого максимума: во-первых, умеренная невротизация (все зависит от вас, доверяем только вам, больше никто не справится и т.д.). Во-вторых — сопутствующее ей, идущее в ногу с ней повышение самооценки: вы лучшие, вы сможете, вас собрали не просто так.

(a shortened English version)

To get a peak creative performance from a group of teenagers, tell them:

- everything depends on you (the children); nobody else can do it.
- you are the best; it's no accident that we included you in this elite group.

Bykov's recommendation aims at producing among the group members a moderate level of neuroticism and raise their self esteem at the same time. We know from a recent study that elevated neuroticism helps increase creativity, by stimulating divergent thinking. Most likely, adding high self-esteem to the psychological mix  extends idea generation into the realm of "impossible", further increasing the divergence and extra effort.

Should work for adults too.

tags: psychology, creativity, brainstorming, divergent

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