A recent Brainzooming post on positive creative thinking skills from team members led to discussion about what the opposite behaviors are – team member behaviors in a group setting that kill creative thinking. Who knows how many different examples there are of ways to deal fatal blows to creative thinking in a group setting?

From a quick mental survey of team meetings and group settings I’ve been involved with the past few years, here are eight behaviors which can kill creative thinking pretty effectively:

  • Making your first comment all about what’s not working with the situation your group is working on, especially when you don’t have any real ideas of your own about what might be successful.
  • Sharing your assumption that creativity is more complicated or expensive than doing something practical.
  • Refusing to stop talking once you have a negative head of steam going.
  • Dumping verbal napalm on other peoples’ ideas, especially if you don’t have a sense of what their ideas are or how they’re intended to work.
  • Refusing to contribute to or build on a new idea someone else has contributed because you’re only able to voice objections to it.
  • Sitting silently and looking distracted, indifferent, or non-participatory when the group is discussing creative thinking perspectives.
  • Getting up and removing yourself from a creative thinking discussion.
  • Displaying “corporate aggressive” behavior in an otherwise calm meeting setting, i.e. raising your voice, leaning forward, stomping off, etc.

If you try to foster creative thinking in group settings, what fatal blows to creative thinking from team members have you had to endure? And even more importantly, how have you dealt with them successfully?  – Mike Brown


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