Curiosity may have led the cat to its demise, but being curious and pushing the boundaries of our creativity is central to success in our working lives. Staying curious and creative in law is something that is of particular importance to Obelisk, and indeed is one of the reasons why The Attic exists. We actively encourage consultants to grow and develop their softer skills and experience. We offer regular workshops and talks by thought leaders, and through our articles and social media we are always looking at different issues around legal work and the industry.
So how do we stay curious and creative as legal professionals in our daily lives?
Curiosity is what keeps us moving forward in life and work. It helps us solve problems and pushes us to branch out further and further in our chosen field. We can look to children for inspiration on staying curious – remember, we were all children once! Curiosity is something innate and natural, but there are strategies that can be employed to ensure we keep hold and don’t lose sight of that curiosity within.
Start by always asking why, when, what, how –a conversation with a curious child will often be a series of these questions as they try to understand the world around them, and will often force you to think of everyday concepts in a way you never have before, or haven’t done for a long time. Whether or not you are frequently having these kinds of conversations with children, it is important to have them with yourself and others too. Asking lots of open-ended questions will expose you to more perspectives and ideas that can help you solve an immediate problem or gain a clearer sense of the direction you are heading in your working life.
As a child, you want to learn everything there possibly is to know about a subject that interests you. The same should apply as an adult. If you haven’t indulged your desire to learn more for a while, have a look at what industry events or workshops are coming up and commit to go to at least one. Head to the library, or go through those bookmarked articles you’ve been meaning to read for over a year now. Your work isn’t just about getting through daily tasks, it’s about accumulating as much knowledge and ideas as you can to keep your brain sparking.
Lawyers may not always be associated with creativity, but it is an important quality to have and to nurture if you want to continue to succeed. Lawyers must continually look at cases from new angles and work out ways to cultivate and communicate ideas. Fostering creativity is an on-going process, even if you consider yourself naturally creative. This can be helped by indulging in creative pursuits, including simple things such as colouring or doodling. It’s important to give your brain a break from technical details and logical reasoning, and ensure that you work in a freer, less critical mind set from time to time, so allow your mind to wander and to daydream. It’s not all about freedom, however. Our most creative ideas come from setting targets and deadlines and pushing yourself to do more with the task that is at hand. This can include drafting up several different titles for documents, or seeing how much you can get done ahead of time and rewarding yourself with a day to pursue another interest. Adding more structure to your day also helps you become more in tune with your mind, allowing you to determine when you are your most productive, most thoughtful and ideas driven and when is best for more repetitive tasks.
How do you stay curious and creative in your work? Share your thoughts with us @TheAtticLondon