Can stress and creativity be allies?

April 05 2019
INCAE Executive Education

It is common to think that the combination of stress and work can be a great negative and destructive explosion; However, this result is not entirely true if there are other elements involved in that formula: limits, motivation, clear objectives and a short period of time. 

For example, experts point out that behind the work of great artists, inventors and scientists who have made enormous contributions to humanity there was a certain amount of stress and that could have been a factor that boosts your creativity

How can pressure promote a creative mind? That depends, to a large extent, on the way in which people assume the stress and interactivity they have with their environment so as not to lose sight of their goal.

"Creative stress enables people to function more dynamically in unusual situations. Organizations like Google and others, especially in the area of ​​information technology, give employees time for creativity, games in meeting rooms, sauna, gyms and a relaxed atmosphere. Positive stress is disclosed in organizations that want to increase their creativity, while retaining talent in the company, ”says Miguel López, managing partner of Cornerstone Costa Rica. 

The limit to detect when stress promotes creativity is difficult, since each person responds differently to a stimulus of this style at work.

However, If that pressure is for a short time and if the person involved really handles it in an adequate way, emotionally and physically, if you can talk about what is a positive factor that encourages imagination, according to Héctor Martínez, master coach and middle professor at the Business School.

Positive cases: 
1. When a collaborator tends to procrastinate, the stress of meeting the job demand for a specific date can generate adrenaline and, at the last minute, they do the pending task with good results.

2. For those who have difficulty making decisions, stress can cause them to seek new paths or solutions to a situation. Here you have to take into account the difficulty of the decisions and the number of factors involved in it.

3. The change of tasks and work from time to time can represent stress for some people and, at the same time, be motivating to take on new knowledge challenges and continue in continuous professional growth. 

The problem appears when stress is a constant, because the body should not be absorbing toxic substances that are produced by excessive pressure. That leads to chronic stress.

Article published in Summa magazine N ° 291.


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