While in the supermarket the other day I noticed how a lot of people were unaware of the space around them. Trolleys were jammed at awkward angles blocking access to the aisle and a number of fellow customers had their head down looking at their phones. People bumped into others or walked into trolleys.
Mobile phones are a wonderful invention of course. It is hard to imagine life without them. They have huge benefits in terms of ease of communication and keeping us connected but the downside is that phones can become addictive. We tend to rely on these devices to help us function on a daily basis. We look down and not up, we walk and talk without giving our full attention to what is happening around us or the space we are in.
So why is spatial awareness important for creativity ? Because it engages the eyes and mind to see shapes, patterns and differences in space. These factors in turn help us to problem solve, design, develop and create beneficial healthy environments.
In terms of leadership spatial awareness can help a team become more observant and aware of their relationship to their place of work but also of the relationships between individuals. A leader who is spatially aware can notice the interaction of people and space, objects within that space as well as coming up with dynamic ways of creating strategy to help an organisation move forward.
There are a few simple ways of creating more spatial awareness. First turn off your phone and other devices for an hour then look closely at what is around you. How close is the chair is to the table , the angle the door opens , the space between you and the people nearby? If walking outside see the gaps in the traffic, the width of a kerb, the height of a building next to its neighbour, the depth of stairs, the pattern of trees against the skyline and the distance from the nearest thing to you to the furthest.
Here is a little fun test for you to see how observant you are
Enjoy flexing your spatial and observing skills and see how these activities can stimulate fresh creative ideas .