In a world full of entrepreneurs and big dreamers, it is challenging to set yourself apart from the crowd. You may have interesting and unique ideas, but struggle with utilizing them to push you to the top.
Even if you’re the smartest person in the room, it’s easy to be flushed out by the louder voices who can articulate their thoughts and ideas better. In order to detach from the group and showcase the true leader you were meant to be, you’ll have to become more strategic with your methods.
The best strategy you can use to cultivate your niche leadership skills is learning how to enhance your creative intelligence. This is a talent that can be learned and practiced, and once you unleash it on the competition, there’ll be no stopping your success.
What Is Creative Intelligence and Why Is It Important for Success?
Creative intelligence is about your ability to come up with unique and innovative solutions to problems faced both daily and rarely. It’s all about how you can create and manage ideas in the marketplace.
When you completely make use of your creative intelligence, you’ll be able to combine your creativity and knowledge for every problem you face, and every idea you can come up with.
Let’s say you’re an entrepreneur, looking for a business opportunity. Every other entrepreneur is simply doing the same thing as their competitors. What you need is a creative edge, with abilities that make you stand out.
When you can harness your creative intelligence to the fullest, you will have the competitive edge that you need to become successful and develop a loyal following in your niche.
Learning how to innovate is essential to being successful in any business. Problems will always arise, and you will need to be quick with creative solutions that may fall outside of the box from your frequent way thinking.
When a customer has a problem, you should be the one who can think of the best solution for both the customer and the business. When others can depend on you for your problem solving in the marketplace, it will be noticed.
When you are pitching ideas or creating copy for products, you always want to have that unique idea that also ends up being the best one for the customer. Competition can be ruthless, and everyone wants the same things as you.
In order to push past your competitors and land at the top, you’ll need to be more inventive with your thinking. Building up your creative intelligence will assist you in your brainstorming process, so that you have the best idea at every turn and the competition struggles to keep up with you.
Become a Good Learner to Increase Your Creative Intelligence
Becoming a better learner is the beginning of increasing your creative intelligence. The easier it becomes for you to learn things, the more flexible you will be able to be in your creativity process.
Here are a few different methods to try to become better at learning:
Try different media formats.
When you take in information, there are plenty of different media formats to utilize. Try learning from each media format (reading, videos, audiobooks, etc.) to see which one works best for you.
The goal is to see which format allows you to retain the most information and it may be a matter of what you find most enjoyable. There may be several that work for you, so make sure you give them all equal focus when searching for a method to take in information.
Apply different learning styles.
Whether you are best with auditory, visual (or sometimes a combination of those), there is a learning style that works best for you. Try learning some information using these styles, and decide which one feels the easiest for you.
Once you’ve managed to figure out what style(s) help you learn the most, try to focus on that style when you take in information. You can find a variety of leaders and courses that will likely have resources on topics you want to learn in a style that best suits you.
Teach what you’ve learned to someone else.
In order to completely process information and have confidence that you know what you’re talking about, try explaining an idea or topic to someone who knows nothing about it.
If you can successfully get them to understand what you want to convey, then you’re increasing your ability to learn by learning how to teach others as well. And if you can teach something to someone, then you can present that topic to the world, and remain fully confident that you are a capable leader or expert.
You will never be able to increase your learning skills if you don’t test the ones you have. Whether you test yourself on a specific topic, or a general idea, it’s good to discover where you are in your understanding of a topic.
This will help you know how far along you are on your path to embracing your creative intelligence. Some people find it helpful to create charts and graphs where they test different skills they have, and keep track of it over time. This will give you a physical view of your improvements in learning.
Ask for feedback from others.
Pride may tend to get in the way of asking for feedback, but it is essential if you want to grow as a learner. Critiques and opinions will only help you grow, and you will be able to learn from your mistakes, rather than never even knowing that you were making them.
Some feedback may be difficult to hear, but it will only make you and your methods stronger. You want to find people who offer constructive criticism and have appreciation for their thoughts when they share them with you.
Create time to reflect on your process.
If your learning skills don’t seem to be improving, it may be time to take a moment and reflect. Think about how you’ve been trying to improve, and decide what’s working, and what’s not.
It’s important to give yourself periods of reflection so that you can check yourself, and change direction if needed. Creative intelligence includes being able to reflect on your own methods, and come up with inventive ways to improve on them.
Always ask questions.
Those who learn the most are often those who ask the most questions. But try not to get caught up in asking questions just to ask them, because that won’t get you anywhere. Don’t be afraid to clarify things and ask specifically about what you don’t understand.
Being fearless with your curiosity will bring out your creative intelligence. If you want to learn the most you possibly can, you have to ask questions of other people. Whether their opinions or thoughts are correct, they will provide you with points of view that you had yet to encounter, which may give you an edge in your marketing or product creation.
Don’t back down from a challenge – find them, instead.
Learning is not supposed to be easy. That’s why you have to get creative with your thinking, and innovative with your ideas. If you feel like everything you do on a daily basis is easy, or comfortable, then it’s time to challenge yourself.
Take the time to learn something new, or try a new approach on a project you’ve started. Try timing your reading, and work towards a faster pace. Learning is all about the challenges you face, and how you overcome or learn from them.
Work on your communication style.
One of the best ways to learn from others is to learn from the conversations you have with them. If you can surround yourself with people who are smarter than you, or at a similar intelligence level, you are bound to have fruitful conversations that will elevate your creativity and lead to big ideas.
You don’t have to work alone to succeed. Most people have some help along the way – they just tend to choose carefully about who the help is from. If you can learn how to be a master communicator, you’ll be able to learn many things from plenty of people who all have unique ideas, opinions, and thoughts of their own.
Embrace the Freedom to Veer Off the Beaten Path
If you are someone with many goals and dreams in life, you probably look up to several successful people. One of the biggest keys to their success was their ability to be different from the rest.
You can’t be afraid of taking risks if you want to stand out. You have to embrace the fact that you can be different and unique all on your own. You may want to follow in your idol’s footsteps, but you won’t make it to the end goal if you try to emulate someone else completely.
Accessing your creative intelligence is all about forging a new path – one made up of your own ideas, insights, innovations, and dreams. It is your life and your career, so you have to take the reins and steer in a new direction.
Being unique is an opportunity that a lot of creators don’t comprehend. Success comes from making the most of the cards you have been dealt in life, not avoiding them. There are plenty of different ways to get the same thing done.
If you can come up with a completely new way, it will not go unnoticed. The way in which you’re different from other people and their products is what will put you in the lead.
When it comes to product optimization and completely utilizing your skills, you’ll have to step out of your comfort zone, and into the bright lights. Even if it means taking a risk and a leap of faith, it’s the only way you’ll be able to harness your creative intelligence and succeed against your competitors.
Use Tools at Your Disposal to Highlight Your Creative Intelligence
As you embark on the journey of merging your creativity and your intelligence together, you should try different tools and techniques that will bring out the best of both. These tools should be utilized when you want to spice up your creative methods, and need a way to plan and organize all of your thoughts and ideas.
Creating a mind map will help you make the connections between different ideas, and draw everything out in a way that makes sense in your brain. Since you are literally mapping out your brainstorming process, it may just lead you to the solution or product you’ve been searching for.
Storyboards are excellent if you need to organize a certain process into steps. You can even draw out your ideas, so that they fill up a picture, instead of just the far corner of your imagination.
You’ll be able to give numbers to each step of a process, and have a clear and cohesive path to follow when moving forward with your ideas. You can even rearrange the storyboard so that the ideas flow in a more logical method if you want to.
Guided meditation is the perfect release that your brain may need. By giving up the control factor and allowing your mind to be put at ease, you may have a completely new set of thoughts and ideas that come to you.
In order for the meditation to work, you have to be willing and able to let go, and find a place in your mind that is calm. You can find guided meditation apps and videos online that can help you find this creative release.
A great way to change your perspective on your stagnant situation is to try the method of reverse thinking. When you ask yourself a question or have a problem to solve, think about the opposite way to phrase your problem, and try to solve that.
Taking your idea and reversing it will show you a completely new way to view the idea or problem, which could lead to new ideas and solutions. This is a simple, yet productive way to shake things up.
Looking up different riddles and trying to solve them is a great way to get your brain working, and practicing your abilities to think creatively. But trying to create your own is a completely different puzzle to solve.
You have to be extremely creative if you can come up with your own special riddles that you made from scratch. It’s a great exercise to do when you want to challenge your mind.
Find different images, and try to draw connections between them. Or generate random images and create a story about them all. If you are looking for certain words or ideas, look at a picture and pick the first word that comes to mind.
Instead of turning the images in your mind to words, you are doing the opposite, which will help you create new perspectives. It doesn’t matter if it ties into the project you’re working on – the process itself will help your brain learn how to use this strategy when it needs to.
Checklists are a great way to organize your brain and make a plan of everything you need to do. Whether they’re large tasks that will take time, or even small tasks, they will help you write out your thoughts on what you need to do.
This way, you can focus more time on creative thinking and product creation instead of getting bogged down in minute details that should be easily addressed with a checklist instead.
Even if you aren’t very artistic, doodling is a creative way to get your thoughts flowing. It may seem meaningless, but allowing your mind to create lines and drawings is like turning a faucet on, and letting the first few jobs flow out.
Once you get some doodling out of the way, you’ll be ready to dive into the deeper things your mind has been holding onto, such as how to create an in-demand product or the best way to step up and serve your audience.
Explore Both Structured and Unstructured Options
When you’re learning something, coming up with new ideas, or working on product development, there are two paths you can take. You can go the structured route, which is more of a textbook way to go.
Using this method, you choose to learn from books, a class, a video, or something that directly teaches you what you should do or understand. This form of learning won’t challenge your mind as much, but it’s a necessary part of improving as a niche leader.
With structured ideas, you won’t be doing as much exploring of the mind. Structural ideas come from a more logical part of your brain – like creating a pros and cons list, where every idea is either one or the other.
This method will keep things more black and white in your mind, and may be more useful when it comes to making decisions. When you have a specific product, problem, or idea in mind, structural methods will help you stay on task.
If you go for the unstructured methods, the world of creativity tends to be more free. When you’re learning using this strategy, you’re teaching yourself by learning from your all possibilities – even the wrong ones.
Without structure, there is room for you to explore each lesson learned, and push yourself with challenges. When you’re foregoing structure when you brainstorm, you will find that your ideas can take flight in more colorful ways.
For example, you could sit down and brainstorm an idea by getting out an empty piece of paper and your favorite colorful pen. You could write down every thought that comes to mind, until there is an idea that you love.
The only worry with unstructured methods is the fact that you could end up with thirty different good ideas, instead of sticking to just one. The best method for your learning and brainstorming process is to combine both structured and unstructured methods.
Give yourself the creative freedom to brainstorm and let loose, while also creating a structural plan that keeps you on task and still helps you learn in the way that works best for you.
With a little bit of structure, you could plan on utilizing the tools and techniques mentioned earlier to completely embrace your creative intelligence. This is a strategy that most top leaders use, whether they label it as creative intelligence or not.
Only those who refuse to try new things stay stuck in a cycle of frustration having to watch as the competition outdoes them at every turn. You want more for yourself, and training your mind to tap into and cultivate creative intelligence is an easy and effective way to achieve that.