How to build your creative confidence | David Kelley | Summary and Q&A

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May 16, 2012
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TED
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How to build your creative confidence | David Kelley

TL;DR

In this content, the speaker discusses the importance of creative confidence and shares personal anecdotes and examples to illustrate the transformative power of embracing creativity.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How did Brian's experience in third grade impact his creativity?

Brian's experience in third grade, where a classmate criticized his clay horse project, had a profound negative impact on his creativity. After this incident, Brian never attempted any creative projects again.

Q: How does the fear of judgment affect people's creative confidence?

The fear of judgment often leads people to opt out of thinking of themselves as creative. It is common for individuals to have experiences of being shut down by teachers or being subjected to cruelty from classmates, which further reinforces their belief that they are not creative. This fear of judgment becomes deeply ingrained and affects people's willingness to engage in creative activities throughout their lives.

Q: What did Albert Bandura's research on phobias reveal?

Albert Bandura developed a methodology called "guided mastery" that was highly successful in curing people with phobias. Through a series of small successes, he helped individuals gradually overcome their fears, leading to a new sense of self-efficacy and confidence. This transformation not only impacted their fear of specific phobias but also resulted in increased resilience, perseverance, and confidence in other aspects of their lives.

Q: How does the journey of gaining creative confidence look like?

The journey towards gaining creative confidence involves going through a series of small successes. By taking people through steps that turn fear into familiarity, individuals surprise themselves with their creative abilities. The process of guided mastery helps individuals overcome the fear of judgment and embrace their creativity, ultimately transforming their self-perception and leading to emotional excitement about being a creative person.

Q: How did Doug Dietz transform the experience of being scanned in an MRI machine?

Doug Dietz, a technical person designing medical imaging equipment, was deeply affected by the fear his MRI machine caused in pediatric patients. After learning about design thinking and empathy at the d.school at Stanford, he reimagined the entire scanning experience for children. By creating an adventure-like environment and incorporating storytelling elements, he reduced the need for sedation from 80 percent to 10 percent, resulting in better qualitative experiences for patients and increased efficiency for hospitals.

Summary

In this talk, the speaker discusses the concept of creative confidence and how people often opt out of thinking of themselves as creative due to negative experiences or fear of judgment. He shares a breakthrough moment he had while meeting psychologist Albert Bandura, who had developed a process called "guided mastery" to help individuals overcome phobias. The speaker explains how this process can be applied to help people gain creative confidence and transform their mindset about their own creativity. He shares a story about a man named Doug Dietz, who used design thinking to transform the experience of being scanned in an MRI machine for children, resulting in a significant reduction in sedation rates. The speaker concludes by emphasizing the importance of helping people regain their creative confidence and inviting the audience to join him on this quest.

Questions & Answers

Q: What story does the speaker share about his friend Brian?

The speaker shares a story about his friend Brian from third grade who was working on a clay horse project. A girl at his table criticized his work, causing Brian to give up and never do a project like that again. This story highlights how negative experiences can discourage people from embracing their creativity.

Q: How does the fear of judgment affect people's perception of their creativity?

The fear of judgment often leads people to opt out of thinking of themselves as creative. When individuals feel that their creative ideas might be judged negatively, they tend to hold back or not even attempt to express their creativity. This fear can be deeply ingrained from childhood experiences and can continue to affect people into adulthood.

Q: Who is Albert Bandura and what breakthrough did the speaker have while meeting him?

Albert Bandura is a renowned psychologist who has worked on phobias. While meeting him, the speaker learned about Bandura's process called "guided mastery" that can cure phobias in a short amount of time. This breakthrough helped the speaker realize that guided mastery could also be applied to help people gain creative confidence and overcome their fear of being judged for their creative ideas.

Q: What happened to the people who went through Bandura's guided mastery process?

People who went through Bandura's guided mastery process experienced a transformation in their confidence and mindset. They gained a sense of self-efficacy, the belief that they can change the world and achieve what they set out to do. They also exhibited less anxiety about other aspects of their lives, tried harder, persevered longer, and became more resilient in the face of failure.

Q: How does the speaker describe the transformation he has witnessed at the d.school?

The speaker describes how people from different disciplines come to the d.school with the perception that they are only analytical and not creative. However, as they go through the design thinking process and gain small successes, they build confidence and start to think of themselves differently. They become emotionally excited about their newfound identity as creative individuals.

Q: Who is Doug Dietz and what did he do to transform the experience of being scanned in an MRI machine for children?

Doug Dietz is a technical person who designs medical imaging equipment. He was deeply affected by the fear and distress that his MRI machine caused in pediatric patients. After learning about design thinking and empathy at the d.school, he completely redesigned the experience of being scanned. He created an adventurous and engaging environment, painted the walls and machine, and trained the operators to make the process exciting for children. These changes led to a significant decrease in the need for sedation during scans.

Q: What were the qualitative results of Dietz's redesigned MRI experience?

The qualitative results of Dietz's redesigned MRI experience were highly positive. Children who previously had to be sedated and were terrified of the scans now saw it as an adventure. One of the memorable moments was when a little girl, after undergoing the scan, ran up to her mother and asked if they could come back the next day. The transformation in the children's perception of the experience was heartwarming for Dietz.

Q: Why did the speaker make a personal commitment to help people regain their creative confidence?

The speaker shares a personal experience of being diagnosed with cancer and facing a 40 percent chance of survival. During this challenging time, he reflected on his purpose and realized that he wanted to help as many people as possible regain their creative confidence. Surviving the ordeal fueled his commitment to supporting others in embracing their creativity and making a positive impact in the world.

Q: What positive outcomes can be observed when people gain creative confidence?

When people gain creative confidence, they become more engaged in pursuing important goals in their lives. They generate more and better ideas, make better decisions, and are willing to take risks. Creative confidence empowers individuals to have a sense of self-efficacy, the belief that they can change the world and achieve what they set out to do.

Q: What does the speaker invite the audience to do?

The speaker invites the audience, as thought leaders, to resist dividing the world into "creatives" and "non-creatives" and to recognize that everyone has natural creativity. He urges them to encourage people to let their ideas fly and achieve self-efficacy and creative confidence. The speaker calls on the audience to support his quest of helping people regain their creative confidence.

Takeaways

The speaker highlights the importance of helping individuals regain their creative confidence, challenging the notion that creativity is only for a select few. By guiding people through a series of small successes, similar to Bandura's guided mastery process, individuals can transform their fear of judgment into familiarity and surprises themselves with their own creativity and innovation. This transformation not only impacts their creative endeavors but also leads to increased perseverance, resilience, and confidence in all aspects of their lives. Encouraging creative confidence can be a powerful way to empower individuals to pursue their passions and make a positive impact on the world.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Many people lose their creative confidence due to negative experiences or fears of judgment, which can stick with them into adulthood.

  • Albert Bandura's concept of guided mastery shows that people can overcome their fears and gain confidence through a series of small successes.

  • Examples like Doug Dietz's redesign of medical imaging equipment demonstrate the transformative power of regaining creative confidence.

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