The Master MSP Training Blog
Creativity in the Workplace Series - Part Two
Creativity is not for the faint of heart. It is for the risk taker. The rule breaker. The rebel with a cause. Creativity requires courage because it’s honest and it brings about the idea of change. Most of the time, we are afraid to address these things.
When trying to ignite new ideas within the office, our childhood fear of being included or excluded are brought to the forefront. Often times, we like to feel like our ideas are unique, but also aren’t so outlandish that they are misjudged. While we like to be independent, we also like for our ideas to be supported by our team members. Creativity is silenced by fear. That being the case, how can you encourage creativity in the workplace while at the same time, quieting fears of exclusion?
You make a safe environment for creativity to exist.
To do that, you need to avoid these common scenarios that occasionally occur during group or brainstorming sessions:
- The Laugh Away: When a group member takes the time to make a suggestion or put forth their idea, they are not looking for it to be made of mockery of. An idea could be sourced from way out of left field, but taking the time to dig a little deeper, you could potentially find a solution lurking in plain sight. Ideas are fragile, as are people’s egos, so it is important to shy away from even light teasing, as it can really damage someone.
- The Belittler: Though it might be easy to poke fun at someone or their idea, it has a side-effect of emotional push-back. When you patronize someone for an idea that you don’t like, you can make them feel like a child, which could discourage them from contributing in the future. If you don’t like an idea, work it out in a discussion rather than pretending to like it but subtly indicating to the group that it is flawed.
- The Ignore: When you’re heavily engrossed in a brainstorm, people tend to throw out ideas left and right. During this time, it’s not your responsibility to be an editor, but rather a moderator. Write all ideas down and during the brainstorm and editing will occur naturally amongst the group.
- The Question Aversement: Creative ideas don’t always take the form of solutions, but rather as questions. Asking the right question is as valuable as finding the right answer. Every group has members who ask questions, and those who provide answers. That dynamic is what brings about the system for creativity.
An effective leader makes it safe for all of their staff to feel creative and contribute to large group thought. They take into account that each person goes about thinking creatively in a different manner and they react accordingly. Foster a culture of creativity within your organization.