What advice would you give to talented creatives in their desire to turn their passion and skill into a sustainable career? How do you keep the creativity flowing?


Several years ago I was introduced to the book “Tao de Ching” by a good friend of mine.

It’s an ancient book of Chinese philosophy / wisdom. Tao de Ching roughly translates to “The book of the Way”, or “The book of Wisdom” or “The way things are”.

This small book of 80 verses uses the tool of paradox to open your mind and show you how to see and think about things differently, and look at things from every angle. Nature is always in a state of “flow” or pure creativity. It also teaches how struggle is an illusion and isn’t necessary because nature doesn’t struggle. How to flow with the current instead of against it. To discover that we are in fact “Mother Nature” expressing herself. Like the stream of conciousness way that Jimi Hendrix played guitar or how Michael Jordan makes playing basketball at the highest level look effortless.

The more “natural” you become or the more you bring yourself into balance and respect with God and nature, the more your creativity will flow. Essentially you begin to harness the power of nature for use in your art or music. You become the process of nature flowing and unfolding. You become like water.

How can I make the most of my peer assessment results?

You may have chosen for your ImproveMe journey to include a ‘peer assessment’ from a close friend, family member, teacher, coach or other trusted person who wants to support your personal development. If you did, congratulations! Peer assessment typically leads to an increase in ongoing motivation to continually improve.

It can be common for us to deliver quite a critical perspective of ourselves and our competencies in self assessments, and peer assessments can help balance this view for us. Similarly, many of us have ‘blind spots’ (or unknown opportunities for improvement) that may only become evident through a peer assessment. Therefore you may find that the assessment given by your peer is different to the results of your own self assessment for some assessment questions.

Differing results creates an excellent opportunity for you to sit down and discuss the outcomes with your peer. Depending on the level of variation in your answers, this can be quite a confronting discussion for both you and the peer! However, if it’s approached in a open, honest and positive manner, based around a philosophy of self improvement, it can be an incredibly valuable conversation to have.

Ask why they rated you as they did for the questions highlighted on the comparison email you received, and listen carefully to their answer. You may find they were thinking of different examples than you were when they rated you, in which case you can ask why those examples were the ones that sprung to mind for them.

You might be able to uncover ‘blind spots’ that you have (both positive and negative) and discover important things about your skills and talents that you were not aware of before. You’ll be amazed at what you could learn.

After your discussion with your peer, consider the new perspectives you have been given and how you can use that information as you embark on a path of self improvement. Reflect back on the feedback from time to time, or check in with your peer to see how their opinions may have developed or changed. Personal development is all about continuous revision and improvement, whatever your chosen field!

Congratulations for exhibiting the courage to include the independence of a trusted peer assessor in your journey. Your commitment to personal improvement is well and truly underway.

Don’t forget to collect points in the ImproveMe Development Portal for undertaking peer assessment and discussing any variation in results with your peer.

What is competency based testing and why is it so important?

The ImproveMe Online Personal Improvement Assessment is designed to identify the competencies (skills, talents and abilities) you possess and have practiced (knowingly or unknowingly) to a given level.

Competencies focus on the personal attributes or inputs of an individual. They are the behaviour that lies behind competent performance. In other words, competencies are the skills and technical attributes that individuals must have, or must acquire, to perform effectively at work.1

How is this different to a personality test or behavioural based testing?

A personality test or behavioural questions are trying to find out more about your personality. They aim to find out your personal preferences and what drives you to behave in a certain way. They help to assess whether you would fit the culture of a certain job or organisation, based on your personality and things like your communication and your decision-making style.2

Why is it important to understand your own competencies?

There is an old saying that “you don’t know what you don’t know”. Whether you’re a professional athlete, a school/university student or an everyday person on the street, you possess a range of skills and technical attributes (competencies) that you have developed over the course of your life. However you may not be fully aware of what your competencies are, or how a skill you learned in one area of your life would apply in a working environment. ImproveMe can greatly help with your self-awareness in this area.

Why is competency based testing important in today’s business environment?

With a continuously evolving employment environment driven by rapid advancements in technology, the most significant competitive advantage for the businesses of tomorrow are the skills, talents and contributions of the people who work there.

Competency frameworks are a rapidly emerging step to ensure people are adequately prepared for this changing workforce. Competency based assessments introduce a more scientific approach to pinpointing individual skills and strengths, which can be used to identify those people who are best placed to help an organisation grow and reach its potential.

In turn, this creates individuals who become both accountable and responsible for their personal growth and development, and allows them to be better prepared for an evolving future.

Take the first step to understanding your key competencies today!