About a year ago, I was asked a question on my Facebook Fan Page (if you don’t follow me there, please do). I thought giving you an answer here might be helpful, because I’ve been asked a similar question many times in workshops over the years, including again recently. Here is the basic version of the question.
This is a simple question with many potential answers, but before we get to any answers, we must discuss something first – the connection between belief and creative potential.
One of the commonalities among all highly creative people is that they believe they are creative. The belief itself comes first before we can employ the strategies, techniques, structures, and purpose, to allow our innate creativity to blossom.
The way the question is framed implies that the person asking doesn’t believe that their team members are creative. As a leader, we must first believe in our team’s creative potential. This does not mean that we have to have seen that potential play out yet, it just means that we believe it exists, even if it is hidden.
Think about it this way . . . will your personal belief be strengthened or hampered if your supervisor, leader, or any other important person in your life doesn’t believe in you?
You know the answer.
And while this applies to much more than belief in creative potential, we’ll stay focused on that today.
Does our belief in others guarantee they will believe in themselves (and their creativity)?
No, but it is our best first step.
Then we can apply hundreds of ideas and strategies to help people think more creatively, take more risks, and more.
But it must start with belief.
So if you want your team to be more creative, your first step is to consciously look for reasons to believe in the creative potential of your team members. If you haven’t seen it, operate from a place of faith. Let your faith in people show. Tell them you believe they can come up with creative solutions, and you will have taken the first important step towards helping them, allowing them, and then eventually seeing the results.