Sarcasm leads to creativity. Creativity is a needed trait in most leadership positions today.
What did the researchers find?
Sarcasm, it turns out, is a pretty good mental workout. “To create or decode sarcasm, both the
expressers and recipients of sarcasm need to overcome the contradiction (i.e., psychological distance) between the literal and actual meanings of the sarcastic expressions. This is a process that activates and is facilitated by abstraction, which in turn promotes creative thinking.
The result was “those in the sarcasm conditions subsequently performed better on creativity tasks than those in the sincere conditions or the control condition.
I have had the opportunity to assess a myriad of leaders over the past two decades and have seen the value of creativity firsthand. Creative leaders are consistently able to react to changing market conditions, develop new solutions and move with an easy freedom not often found in more rigid, analytical leaders. This leadership agility is inspiring to teams and mission critical to guiding teams through modern day markets.
A study from Psychological Science confirmed the importance of creativity in leaders:
In the new study, Huang, Krasikova, and Liu hypothesized that leaders’ confidence in their creativity would be one way to inspire greater creativity within the broader organization. That is, managers confident in their own creative capabilities engage in more behaviors that encourage creativity in the people around them.
…The results confirmed that confident leaders were better at encouraging creativity in their followers, particularly when teams worked closely together. Confident leaders were more likely to encourage other people’s creative ideas by establishing a culture of receptive to creativity, listening to new ideas, trying new things, and offering praise.