[A]sking your creative team a few key questions may just be what they need to inspire greater personal fulfillment and more meaningful work. If you want to build leadership, inspire your team to greatness, and create healthy working relationships, you need to ask great questions.
In my conversations with artists and creatives, if there is one familiar theme I hear, it is this: “I am so focused on my work, I don’t have time to pursue creative projects I really want to pursue.” Ironic, isn’t it? Creative people not having time to be creative. Whether you work for a church, non-profit organization or company, I have 3 key questions you can ask your creative team that will make a practical difference in their personal and professional development. Use these questions for a one-on-one or team-building conversation. Here they are…
1. Who has been a signficant mentor, friend or creative influence in your life?
We are made for relationship and we are made to tell stories. Too often, I am surprised to meet creative teams who really don’t know one another that well. At the most basic relational level, when I tell you about someone who has played a profound and creative influence in my life, I am connecting with you and that person at a core level. Why was that person significant? How did they believe in you or inspire you? How did they challenge you or in the finest manner, kick your butt in gear?
If a creative team member is stuck or demonstrating lackluster, passionless work, ask them this followup question, “For where you are right now, what would this person say to you? What would they say to ignite your creativity?”
2. Why do you do the creative work that you do?
Sounds like a no-brainer. Almost a ‘duh’ question. But busyness, distraction, lack of focus, and too much conflict can easily distract us from our core purpose.
Our ‘whys’ have everything to do with our ‘what’s’.
What we do…what we create…what we want to offer others…what kind of contribution we want to make in this world. When we get disconnected from our core purpose, it no surprise that we find ourselves uninspired, depressed, frustrated, and unhappy with our work.
It’s no wonder, then, that we find ourselves spending Friday nights watching Nickelodeon reruns stuffing our face with chocolate bon-bons.
Tap into your team members core purpose and you just might see a substantial difference in their work and on your team.
3. As a team, how can we inspire one another to pursue meaningful, creative work?
Who doesn’t want to create meaningful work? (Ok, there are a few drones out there, but they are in the rare minority!)
- One of your team members may want a constructive critique of their work.
- Another may need to be encouraged to do nothing, but spend a Saturday watching their favorite old movies.
- A trip to a museum.
- A walk through the city to study architecture.
- Flipping through a stack of design magazines.
- How about great conversation over coffee about what you’ve all been reading?
- Some may need a nap.
- For others, exercise.
- Or prayer.
Whatever it takes to wake up, refresh and renew your team members, find out what makes each other tick. Then, be intentional about what it takes to inspire one another to create artistic work that is fresh, inspired, and excellent.
Talk about these questions with your creative team today or this coming week.
You just may be surprised what they have to say.
Questions: How would you respond to these 3 key questions above? How might they make a difference with the creative team you lead or the one that you’re on?