Engage People in Your Activities

by | Leading | 4 comments

Creativity is what makes humanity move. We were created to participate.”  —Keith Jarrett

Welcome to the first post to Creative in Everything.

 This blog will show you how to engage people in your workplace, home, and volunteer activities without bludgeoning them or standing on your head. 

Every Thursday, I will post quotes, tips, and examples – personal stories from my experience – to show you how to add pizazz in performing your responsibilities with others. The key is to tap into the creativity God instilled in you before you were born.

Using your creativity to grab the attention of participants in your activities takes a little extra work than doing the get-by preparation that saves time but leaves your activity barely effective. Here’s an example.

How easy for the lazy novelist to write: Frightened, she hurriedly walked away from the dangerous-looking man.

But letting his creativity flow for a few extra minutes, the novelist could write: Her heart pounding like a jackhammer, she risked a glance back at the man silhouetted in the moonlight, whose looming night-shadow filled the narrow lane. The persistent staccato of his heels against the cobblestones emitted an evil tune. In her mad scurry from his pursuit, her feet caught on uneven stones, and she stumbled, slowing her down, closing the gap between them.

The first passage gives the reader information; the second gives the reader an experience. We want our planned activities to give people an experience so the point we’re trying to get across will be imbedded in their minds.

But I’m not creative, you say.

Of course you are. But your creativity might be hibernating. In a Leadership Development session on creativity, I drooped to hear our creativity peaks around age five. In my thirties then, I failed to appreciate that creativity often increases after retirement. Now retired, that info rocks!

  • After we enter school, our creative yield declines.
  • In learning to live, study, and work with others, we’re exposed to rules, limits, and values.
  • We’ve found doing the expected, not the unique, earns us the “good job.”

Instead of taking early retirement from everything you do, try these tips to jump-start your creative potential:

  • Reading, observing, and daydreaming escalates our creativity.
  • We feed our creativity when we sidestep old habits and do different things. (Once I opted to go to a drag strip on movie night.)
  • Like muscles, the more we exercise our creativities the more buff our imaginations become.
  • Or join me on Thursdays and allow my tips and examples to spark your own ideas.

 I’ve tapped my creativity working with the old and young, in offices and classrooms, in a prison ministry and my home, behind a podium and in my fiction. I invite you to follow Creative in Everything. Let’s trade ideas each week.

In what settings have you struggled to engage people in your planned activities? What’s the best idea you’ve had that worked well in your activities? (Even if it involved toilet paper rolls.)

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  1. Marcia A. Lahti

    I am looking forward to having my creativity stimulated.

    A creative success for me is the story-basket concept.

    I placed items in a covered basket in preparation for telling a Bible story to preschoolers. The covered basket drew their attention and provoked curiosity. The items enhanced the story and I could use the contents later for questions and review.

    For a get-acquainted icebreaker, I had the members each fill a shoebox with items to tell about themselves. This idea could be used in giving your testimony to a group also. It helps me to remember what I want to say and makes me more comfortable to have something for people to look at besides me.

    Some people find visual objects helpful in worship. I place items in a shoebox so I can talk about Jesus—a fake votive candle, Jesus is the light of the world, a small lamb, a piece of bread, a cross a Bible. This could be used in a nursing home visit or with homeschoolers. I believe older children might enjoy making a list of things to go in a box to go for their Bible verses or daily scripture.

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      Basket of goodies is an excellent use of visuals. Even adults are usually curious as to what you’ll bring out of the basket. I like the idea of having items that jog your memory and make people feel more comfortable to share.

  2. Jane Foard Thompson

    Great idea! I’m filing that one to pull out as I need it.
    This blog promises to be inspiring!

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      Thanks, Jane. I look forward to some good sharing.

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