Working with Creative Minds (Pt 2)November 30, 2017
“There will come a time when two oppositely minded types will need to collaborate… The road you need to travel together does need a roadmap”
Once you’ve mastered Humility, Boundaries and effective communication with appropriate Adjectives you are halfway through your guidebook to collaboration greatness.
It’s so easy to say “I’m not feeling that, change it”, but lots of effort is put into the flow of a project, like a Jenga tower, each component functions to keep the whole standing, remove one and everything could tumble down. Get in the habit of first asking “why did you make that choice” and then expressing what about that component is not contributing to the overall goal you want to achieve. Often you are just pointing out a symptom and the underlying problem can be more difficult to articulate. Try to say how you want the piece to make you feel – remember your adjectives. To add or remove specific elements can be tedious, and if you don’t know why you want to change that element, you won’t achieve much.
It’s cliché but true, creatives can sometimes be very sensitive about their work. If you meant no insult but must insist on a change they don’t agree with, they will pout. Just give them a second. Keep in mind that this is a business transaction and don’t allow it to become personal, especially when it looks like your Creative is going down that road. Don’t get swept up by their emotional whirlwind. Don’t (openly) condemn their reaction and don’t over defend your decision. Stand your ground, but consider the creatives’ tender sensitivities.
Pick Your Battles
Not to be contradictory, but complementary, there are times when your creative will have to stand their ground, and you must back down. You need to work on a bit of a different frequency, tune in to how they work, and be more aware of your own process, this way, you’ll know if each of you are just falling into habit or a real conflict is developing. If you know you are nitpicking and your creative says “that’s enough” consider it. If every revision has been met with compliance but a certain few have gotten a big reaction perhaps the passion is ignited for a reason. Trust that your creatives know what they are doing, and accept that you can’t always be right.
Don’t take it too seriously. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Don’t take your creative partner too seriously. You are MAKING something. Where there once was nothing, you are now creating a thing! It’s nothing short of magical. If it’s pure of heart and intent people will love it… at least half of all people will have some degree of love for it. So remember to love making it. Enjoy the process. Revel in your ability to create. It’s a gift.
One of the many wonders of this world is that we are all different. Creatively-minded, technically-minded, scholar, teacher, doer, thinker we all have different processes, different methods. At any given time we will choose to follow one roadmap over a certain other. On our journeys, we pick the advice most relevant to us and leave behind what doesn’t work; let this be your guide. A first step down a long path of understanding each other and building ways to work together, better.
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