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How to encourage creative people by not being judgmental


I've spent my life around creative people. I consider myself one. They are people who manage to take a lot of abuse, and criticism, and continue to create. If you'd like to help creative people, my suggestion is to stop being judgmental.

When I taught a beginning class of unleashing your creativity at the Art Institute of Phoenix, I was surprised to find that many people were discouraging creative people, even if they were creative themselves. I wanted to have an environment where creative people didn't feel the need to go crawl off in a corner and hide. And I had to stop the judgers. Please let me explain.

People who are judgmental put themselves up on a pedestal, and judge whether something is worthy, or not. Of course, we all know the people who are quick to say, *that sucks!* but many times we don't notice the damage done by someone who says, *that's great!* Still a judgement. And if that's you, let me say this nicely, please shut up. That's where you begin.

No, I'm not saying that you should stop praising. I'm just saying that if you have put yourself in a position where you feel that you need to hold up a card with a score on it, even a 9.9, maybe you should lay off, and be quiet. And really, who put you in the position of a judge? What qualifications do you have?

Getting judgmental people to shut up isn't easy. But I found that with some gentle encouragement to get people to turn off the constant flow of judgment, whether positive or negative, the creative people stopped hiding.

By the way, you can put this into practice right away. Substitute judgmental statements like *that's great* with *I like it!* All the difference in the world. People want your opinion, especially if they respect you. No one wants judgment.


Brad draws custom cartoon illustrations for publications, blogs, presentations, anything you want. You can contact him at his website BradHallArt.com