Podcast: Can a Little Embarrassment Make Your Team More Creative?
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Leadership Organizations Nov 6, 2019

Podcast: Can a Little Embarrassment Make Your Team More Creative?

On this episode of The Insightful Leader: new research suggests an unusual icebreaker to try at your next brainstorming session.

insightful leader presenting ourselves in a positive light
Based on the research of

Leigh Thompson

Listening: Can a Little Embarrassment Make Your Team More Creative?
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It’s important to celebrate your accomplishments. But as Leigh Thompson watched executives engaging in a “brag session” at a corporate retreat, she began to wonder if feeling proud could also inhibit creativity. “Because if you are engaging in a brag session or being prideful, you are unwittingly encouraging people to self-censor their own ideas,” says Thompson, a professor of management and organizations at Kellogg.

So she began to wonder: could the opposite of pride make one more innovative? On this episode of The Insightful Leader, Thompson describes a series of experiments examining how feeling embarrassed can affect creativity. The results point to an unusual icebreaker to try at your next brainstorming meeting.

Note: The Insightful Leader is produced for the ear, and not meant to be read as a transcript. We encourage you to listen to the audio version above. However, a transcript of this episode is available here.

Featured Faculty

J. Jay Gerber Professor of Dispute Resolution & Organizations; Professor of Management & Organizations; Director of Kellogg Team and Group Research Center; Professor of Psychology, Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences (Courtesy)

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