Every Tuesday morning, we huddle as a team to reflect on the highs and lows of our 24x7 lives as social media people. Sometimes life throws a curveball and being in the internet business means that it is every second of every minute when a random co0l_sAm_95 insists on spamming our social handles with “nic picz wanna partner?” So anyway, the first few moments of our meeting are always an awkward silence until one of us summons courage and inner fairies to say the magical words, “Ok I’ll go.”
This week, we all learnt a little something about managing creative teams. It was our graphic design intern’s turn to share, and he drew a blank at lows. It seems he had a pretty good week. So instead, he chose to follow-up on the lows shared by others and offered to help. It is rare to see such emotional intelligence and when we do, we want to stick them to a chair with superglue and never let them go.
His thoughtful response made us think about two things. One - why do we insist on defining experiences as good and bad, hills and valleys, highs and lows? And two - how can we conduct meetings that are meaningful to creatives? We turned to the internet for answers and here’s the best of our findings.
Leave the air conditioned confines of your office: Take a walk to a coffee shop nearby. Get some fresh air. Don’t set an agenda. Make small talk - about the weather, your dog, their cat, anything but work. This is how you create a strong bond with your team. And it rarely happens over powerpoint presentations and excel sheets.
Make it mandatory to brag about achievements: Often times, we forget to give ourselves a pat on the back for all the wonderful things we accomplish. According to a 2011 study that examined project teams from seven different companies, celebrating small wins can have a great impact on team motivation. The key word here is “small.” MICRO does a great job with its “Formal Fridays” where bragging is mandatory. What’s more, the team even wears silly hats as a fun way to keep the teams based in two different cities connected.
Break free from routine: Resist the urge to structure your meetings, days and life. Especially if you’re working with a team of creatives. Having a set routine can create a comfort zone and lethargy that can be counter productive. Set expectations so everyone knows that staring at the partner’s shoes for inspiration is all good as long as they take responsibility for getting things done.
Now that we’ve found some answers, we’re excited to implement them next Tuesday and see how that goes for our team. Hopefully we don’t return too sweaty and heated from the walk or abort mission midway. Meanwhile, we’d love to hear ideas from your meetings and what works for you - even if it’s just donuts and coffees. Let us know in the comments below!