When giving presentations I often ask people to raise their hand if they think they’re creative. Most often, instead of raising their hand, people stare at their shoes, the floor, their cell-phones…anywhere but at me! However, when I ask them to raise their hand if, in their spare time, they play a musical instrument, garden, or cook – all creative activities – almost everyone does. (Some even admit to drawing and painting!) Seems to me then, that the problem isn’t that people aren’t creative (as human beings we’re all innately creative). The problem is that instead of bringing their ‘whole self to work’ people are leaving parts at home. When I first started working in customer service, I was told “Leave your personal life at the door.” I believe that’s advice many people have been given and taken to heart. Unfortunately, though, as human beings, if we leave ‘part of ourselves’ at home, then we can’t fully serve our customers. We’re human beings and our customers are too. To really serve and care for them properly, we need to be ‘bring our whole, human selves’ to work: our kindness, our compassion, our empathy, our understanding and our creativity.

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Karyn Ross Consulting

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