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‘Uncreative people’ can use this simple tip to easily brainstorm new ideas, Adam Grant and Brené Brown say

By | Natasha Piñon |

There’s an easy way to think of new ideas, even when you’re feeling totally uncreative. 

Just ask organizational psychologist Adam Grant and leadership researcher Brené Brown. Both are bestselling authors who regularly generate freshconversation-starting ideas, despite formerly identifying as “uncreative” people.

The pair discussed their strategies on Tuesday’s episode of the “A Bit of Optimism” podcast, hosted by fellow bestselling author Simon Sinek.

“I grew up thinking I was completely uncreative,” Grant said. “What I was good at was figuring out what was going to be on the test, and then getting an ‘A.’”

Brown said she felt similarly, dating back to her family’s move to the Houston suburbs during her childhood. There, she was pressured into conformity above creativity, she said.

“All of a sudden, it was ‘conform, conform, conform,’ which aligns with the research we see on shame and creativity in kids happening … in middle school. High pressure, peer-conforming ages,” she said.

For middle school girls especially, the so-called “confidence drop” can be precipitous: Research shows girls’ confidence levels drop by 30 percent between the ages of 8 and 14. 

Brown and Grant got out of their respective creativity ruts by using the same tactic, they said: looking for patterns around them.

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