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Chris LoCurto

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May 19, 2014

4 Ways To Foster Creativity

Leadership requires creativity, and not just from the leader, but more importantly, from your team. If you’re going to grow your business, it’s vital to understand that when you are the only one being creative, you’re wasting what your team has to offer. Foster Creativity, ChrisLoCurto.com Quite often I work with leaders and entrepreneurs to answer this question:

“Why won’t my team be more creative?”

Unfortunately, more than not, the answer is simple. It’s not the team’s fault. Time and time again I see leaders stifle their team’s creativity. Why would they do that?

Most of them don’t have the slightest clue that they are.

It happens when you expect people to just be creative. I know it sounds silly, but think about it – most leaders assume anyone they hire has the ability to be creative.

It’s that very expectation that’s the problem. You can’t just will someone to use their creativity. Instead, you have to guide them according to their personality style. If you haven’t had your team discover their personality profiles, get it done TODAY! Click here for personality profiles.

While you need creativity in most aspects of your business, I’m going to use examples that focus mainly on task or project ideas.

Here are a few quick ways to foster creativity on your team by personality style:

High D personalities – High Ds process with lightning speed. Therefore, they feel like the first idea they have is the best one. They won’t spend a lot of time being creative because they would rather shoot from the hip. To get them to be creative, ask for three in-depth ways to handle a task or project at hand. Let them know it’s important for them to not just come up with a short answer, but one that if they explained it to five other people, those people would understand it completely.

High I Personalities –  High Is usually have no problem being creative. Their issue usually lies in focusing their creativity. They can come up with a dozen ideas, and half of them might not be about what you asked. Like the high D, let them know you would like to know how they would handle a specific task or project. Be sure to give them parameters and a set time limit, and ask them to “white board” their ideas first before presenting their top three ideas to you.

High S personalities –  High Ss focus their processing heavily on decisions will impact others. Also, they would rather you, the leader, be creative and they support you in the matter. To motivate them, start by asking them to come up with as many ideas as they can within a timeline. Let them know there is NO bad idea, and you just want them to come up with as many ideas as possible.

High C personalities –  High Cs need two things to be creative; time and a lot of details. Make sure you explain exactly what you want them to do and when you need it done. Then ask a series of questions like these. Does this make sense? Do you have any questions? What do you need to complete this? Once you’ve done this, give them time to go and process.

Again, these are just a few quick tips you can implement today, but to be successful with them, you must know your team’s personality styles. Most importantly, this will take practice, so start today!

The sooner you begin to implement this, the sooner your team will be more productive, creative, and they’ll understand you care about them being a part of decision-making.

Question: What tips do you have for fostering creativity?

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  • http://www.KidsOutAndAbout.com/ Debra Ross

    One of the best strategies I have found to encourage team members to be creative is to find ways to make their ideas visible to the other team members rather than just to the leaders. We do fun things like Paper Plate Awards when we get together in person, but because we are a virtual company (everyone works from home), our Facebook Team Page has been the most efficient delivery method for this. When a team member has implemented a creative idea, either the leaders or they themselves post about it, so that others can benefit from the insights and/or the success. This makes everyone feel visible, and celebrated, for trying something interesting and new that may benefit the company. It also shows everyone how we cheer each other on and provide constructive feedback, and how when they put forth an idea or a question they will be supported–this is especially important for new team members.

  • http://www.comprehensivemedia.com/ Joel W. Smith

    Chris, I love the perspective DISC has brought to our team. It’s enabled us to speak to one another vs talking past one another. I’m the high C creative, which really helps my team understand why I want to know the Why & How.

    Thanks for the insight!

  • http://zechariahnewman.com/ Zechariah Newman

    Great post Chris. I’m a high D followed by C. The result ends up with a quick response and then tearing it apart.

  • http://www.fivefoldfatherhood.com/ Ricardo Butler

    Dude! I am totally borrowing this!

  • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

    Two of my favorite topics combined! Creativity and DISC! This is very helpful, Chris. I would say once you understand your team’s personality styles, you are able to foster a safe environment where all members can step out and find better ways to work, solve problems and use resources.