Though our inspiration levels fluctuate from time to time, we all differ in our baseline levels of creativity. For instance, it is safe to assume that John Coltrane was more creative than Justin Bieber, and that the creative talent of Leonardo Da Vinci exceeded that of George W. Bush. In the world of business, few entrepreneurs can realistically expect to emulate the colossi of innovation, such as Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, or Richard Branson, or the companies they created.

But can you coach someone to be more creative?

To some degree, our creativity levels are hard to change. They come down to personality traits such as intellectual curiosity, openness to experience, and unconventionality, which are largely set by the time we reach early adulthood. Creative individuals have also been found to have higher IQs and lower latent inhibition – that is, an “inability” to suppress irrelevant or inappropriate thoughts, which provide the raw materials for their creative ideas. And, as recent research highlights, the key ingredients for creative performance are somewhat field-dependent: in the arts, IQ is irrelevant but the desire to seek beauty, a tendency toward fantasy, and a vivid imagination are all critical; in science, thinking, reasoning, and a drive for truth are essential, even more so than IQ; in business, EQ and extraversion help, not least because innovation depends on successfully selling your creative ideas to others.

So creativity is not 100% malleable – personality sets its limits – yet it can still be nurtured via deliberate interventions, especially over a long period of time.  Genetic studies suggest that genes determine only 10% of the variability in creative potential, so there is a lot of room for development.

Here are the main factors to consider when attempting to coach creativity: – Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic

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