Creating an effective creative team

What you need to know:

Creating: With every company trying to increase their foot print on social media, having a creative team is vital now than ever

Now, more than ever, every company needs to boost its online presence if they are to attract clients from far and wide. That is where creative teams come in, to understand the business and its needs, conceptualise how to achieve the needs and then make them a reality. These teams, led by a creative lead make things happen. Ultimately, the team’s performance is dependent on both the team and the leader.  Leadership (creative lead) is the glue of the team and they can make or break the team. Here are seven ways to help a creative lead get the best out of their team:

Effective communication

Communication is effective when people do not feel frustrated after sharing information or feel they cannot trust someone with a piece of information. These and more mean wasting several hours in deliberations. Hellen Asio, a creative lead at Concept MacFaj says when communicating, certain aspects must be looked into:

Intuition: The team leader must say what they mean without expecting the team members to read their mind. “Most communication is non-verbal, therefore, the words said must accurately convey the message. It is also crucial to ensure that your feelings do not cloud your communication,” she says.

Framing: While speaking your mind is important for the team not to try figuring out what you really mean, Asio says it is better to start your sentences in a manner such as, “I feel…”, rather than “You…” “That way, you sound less confrotational which makes them less defensive,” she says.

Empathy

Inasmuch as you have goals that must be met, putting yourself in other people’s shoes makes leadership much easier. “When your team feels that you go the extra mile to see and feel things from their perspective, they feel less threatened by your position. That way, they work to ensure that the team’s goals are achieved,” Rita Nakirya, a creative at Moonic shares.

Growth mindset

Oftentimes, at workplaces, what we do is fear driven because maybe we are scared of losing our job or that our supervisor will pass us up for a promotion or bonus. However, Nakirya says such a mindset promotes a culture averse to change which is detrimental in innovative companies. “It is crucial that calculated risk-taking is accepted when developing as well as launching new products in the market. In that vein, failure is only meant to show you where more polishing is needed thus part of the progress process. Additionally, even in a gloomy situation, it is necessary to shine a light on the positive outcomes so as to spur the team on,” she says.

Creating strategy

Once a gap in the industry has been found, some creatives will try to fill without creating a strategy for execution.  Nakirya says creating a strategy helps the team pick out complex issues from a bird’s eye view into the web of issues that would be dismissed as linked to the project.

She adds that with analytical thinking, the team is able to, without attaching emotions, assess studies, researches and tests that will enable the project attain its pre-determined results. “The team assesses the causes, effects of the problem at hand as well as the benefits and costs of the project in an objective manner. While some creative leads want these inputs to come from one person, it is important that various people share their findings if the project is to succeed,” Nakirya says.

Emotional intelligence

At times, people may not consider emotional intelligence (EQ)  as important as book knowledge, Asio says EQ is crucial for building self-management, self-awareness, relationship management and social awareness. “Ultimately, you will better interact with your team members, influence them to achieve the team goals better because you will manage stress and conflict better,” she says. On a whole, when the creative lead has a high level of EQ, they hold the team together through storms which leads to better results.

Conflict resolution

If there is inner conflict, then it goes without saying that with a team, conflict is part of the equation. However, conflict frequency increases when roles are not clearly demarcated, communication is unclear, and processes and workflows are poorly designed. That is because they will give room to frustration, outrage and several negative emotions. “Usually, some people will pretend that nothing is wrong or will become passive aggressive in order to guard their territory. However, as the creative lead, it is detrimental to the team to allow conflict to grow for it affects the morale of the team hence low productivity,” Asio says. The right way to handle such scenarios is through mediation, paying attention listening, as well as facilitation which should be coupled with giving people the benefit of the doubt without losing your grip on the matter.

Leadership

It is one thing to be a leader and another to exude the qualities of a good leader. These qualities include transparency, respect, trust and respect. “However, if these qualities are not used to help solve human problems, as well as those of the organisation, they are of no use,” Nakirya shares. A good leader also appreciates that building a culture requires that it is sustained thus the need to hold everyone, even themselves accountable.


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