I read a little something about sharing your struggles to break through creative blocks this morning. The idea is that people need other people to create most effectively.

On the one hand this sounds pretty similar to accepted modern practices that emphasize collaboration and teamwork. I don’t think many people argue with that idea these days, and a lot of companies emphasize facilities and activities that allow for this interaction. That’s all well and good, and it sounds logical to assume that more people together results in better ideas or greater productivity.

Susan Cain’s excellent book Quiet makes a counterpoint that many people find working on ideas alone better suited to their personality and working style. The ability to think and work things through on their own limits distraction and allows a more thorough approach, or so the theory goes.

For many of us, the real best way may lie somewhere in between these ideas. Susan Cain’s idea of working in silence and solitude makes sense when there’s something that really requires buckling down and cranking. But too much of that, or the exclusion of everyone else probably isn’t helpful. Every so often, it’s beneficial to take some time to share and connect with others. Fellow humans can help boost us over the walls we built in our own heads.

Advertisements