Putting Up With Cantankerous Creativity


Have you ever noticed how irritable creative people are? They seem unable to get on with others like the rest of us?

Research by Paul Silvia, Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, has confirmed that the more creative you are, the more disagreeable you are likely to be.

He says it’s because creative people are far more open to new experiences, which means they shun the approach of those who insist on routine. If they didn’t show these characteristics then they wouldn’t be able to come up with the great ideas. They also need the dogged determinism and self-belief to push through with concepts that others might quickly dismiss.

This can result in a lot of awkwardness in business. Creative people can create a lot of angst in the workplace.

But, as we discuss in today’s edition of BTalk, the discomfort is worth it. It’s unlikely that great new products will come without a certain amount of unrest. As Silvia suggests, an innovative organisation in which everyone gets on with each other all the time “would just be weird”.

First published on CBS News 

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