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Bring out the Best in Your Creative People

Dec 19, 2019 | 14m

Gain Actionable Insights Into:

  • Drawing the line between setting clear expectations and micromanaging
  • Why a creative person might be better off with more flexibility
  • Personalities and attitudes that work better with creative people


Into the Mind of a Creative

Everybody is creative. It’s sometimes quite awkward when you’re in meetings and people say, “you’re the creative one”, or they start a sentence with, “I’m not creative, but…”. There’s a perceived divide between creative people and non-creative people.

Everyone is creative, but people who work in the creative space work differently. Their personalities are also generally different from a salesperson or a tech person, but that doesn’t mean all creatives fit neatly into a box, either. The common trait between all creatives is that they need flexibility. Other than that, creative people don’t fit into any kind of box. One thing is for sure – with creative people, the work that needs to be done doesn’t always happen strictly between nine to five.

There’s a misconception that creative people are lazy: they’re more likely to be late for meetings and dislike sitting in the same place in the office for example. With creative work, ideas and inspiration can strike at any time. People who work in creative careers don’t usually stop thinking about work. So a designer could be out hiking, at a concert, or in the shower when they’re hit with a brilliant idea for the project they’re working on. Each one of their pursuits is an opportunity to come up with ideas and to connect the dots from their myriad sources of inspiration to their work. So while a creative person may not always physically be where you expect them to be, they might actually be putting in a lot more time into their work.

Learn by Doing

I love art and studied design. And with that background, there are lots of routes you can take. I started on the client side, doing branding and communication for a hotel group. After that, I moved into an agency without knowing fully what that would entail. I just dove in, headfirst. But my experience helped pave the way for each next step, allowing me to hone my creativity along the way.

You can take on creativity in bits and pieces. This will help you understand your process, and give you a sense of what you enjoy working on.

When it comes to creativity, the best way is to just get started. You’ll be surprised at how much great work started off as a bad idea. People also learn by inadvertently replicating work that’s already out there. Or maybe they learn from other creative people. The point is, it’s a skill that you learn and develop.

Traits to Succeed

Curiosity is one of the most important traits that a creative person should cultivate. The best of the best are those who don’t rest on their laurels. They’re the ones who are constantly seeking new ideas, different ways of doing things, soaking up information, and learning from people they admire. Ultimately, curiosity will give you a bank of ideas and information you’ll be able to draw upon. So the next time you encounter a problem, you can connect the dots and come up with an idea that is creative.

Creative people are pros at connecting the dots. This is because people who work in creative jobs tend to be mental gatherers. They take in all the details, be it the texture of the wall at a restaurant they visited, sights and sounds on their travels, how people behave at a cafe, or a movie they watched. While other people might just be having fun, creative people are taking in ideas. So when they’re given a brief, a creative person is just connecting the dots between all these ideas to find a solution that works.

However, without observation, you wouldn’t be able to connect the dots. Creative people are constantly observing people, interactions, colours, textures, and light. Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, if you’re a creative person, you will have an interest in observing.

It’s important to acknowledge that not every creative person may be working in a creative profession. Some creative people are happy to be creative in another aspect of their life, and that’s completely fine. Other creative people might not be interested in applying their creative talents at work. They might want to crunch numbers or work with clients, and could be excelling at it too.

So don’t look at someone who isn’t working in a creative role and assume that they’re not creative. Sometimes, creativity may not be the pursuit that occupies 100% of their time at work. It could even be the data analyst who finds a way to process his numbers in a unique way. Creative thinking can be applied to any role; it’s not all about making music or art.

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Rafael Guida

Director, Global Clients | Former Head of Facebook Creative Shop




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