Is it possible to assess your own creativity? We think so, and have just compiled this Creativity Questionnaire for that purpose.
Let me tell you how and why we created this questionnaire. Recently, our theatre company Mad Half Hour have been working with Hollywall Primary School through the Creative Partnerships programme. As part of the programme, the school has been given three years of funding to develop its creativity.
Now in its third year, the school staff wanted to work with creative practitioners who could help them reflect on their own creativity. We ran a day of consultation with teaching staff and asked them what skills they thought were part of creativity. We added a few skills to this too, from Treffinger et al’s Assessing Creativity report.
The creative skills list we compiled can be found in my earlier post What is creativity? for the full list.
From this this, we asked staff to choose the thirty most important creative skills. Then staff separated these skills into two categories: one set which they thought could be self-assessed, and the other which were better rated by an observer.
We transferred the skills defined as able to be self-assessed into a questionnaire, which you can download here:
This questionnaire is quantitative, and separates creativity into four categories: Generating Ideas, Digging Deeper Into Ideas, Exploring Ideas and Listening To Your Inner Voice. We borrowed these categories from the work done at the US Center for Creative Learning, as we felt they best represented the skills we were trying to categorise.
Our questionnaire asks you to score out of 3 how much you agree with certain statements about yourself. For example, how much do you think “I can adapt my previous skills to suit an unfamiliar task” applies to you?
What about “I like finding connections between things” or “My subconscious can sometimes solve a problem when I leave it alone for a while”?
Jan and I filled the questionnaire ourselves over lunch. Sometimes Jan asked me what I thought about her skills, and vice versa. It can be hard to be objective sometimes, and sometimes I underscored myself, rather modestly. Jan would then raise my score and give me an example of a time when I had done that. In that way, I found it very helpful to fill in the questionnaire with a colleague who knew me. Jan and I go back twenty years, and she knows everything about my creative capabilities.
The questionnaire really helped to highlight our areas of strength and weakness, and immediately pointed to training opportunities.
We’re often under pressure to perform creatively in a short space of time. I could see the potential for us both to train in generating multiple ideas very quickly.
Regarding vision, much of my work has been in nurturing teams of creatives, allowing the end product to emerge. This questionnaire highlighted the need for me to take on projects which need an overall vision before beginning, in order to develop my skills here further.
Next week we are going to ask staff at the school to complete questionnaires for themselves. We hope it will help them really understand how and why they are creative, and what kind of creative training might be needed.
Why not download the questionnaire yourself, and assess your own creativity. You might be surprised! You’ll definitely see your strengths and weaknesses, and highlight any potential gaps for training. Let me know what you think of the questionnaire!