It’s a Wednesday morning and you walk into an art museum. The paintings on the walls are quiet and serene--betraying the effort that went into them. But these works of art didn’t appear out of thin air. Sometimes taxing, and often flowing, there was a creative process behind them.
The creative process begins and ends with this nuclear truth: There’s no such thing as perfection. When you expect perfection, you encourage a process that isn’t psychologically safe. Artistic merit isn’t based on flawlessness anyway. When you give yourself permission to be creative (including embracing all parts of the process), you infuse psychological safety into creativity, and the results are gorgeous.
Next time you need a creative solution, try one of these tips and see how psychological safety can change your creativity game:
Your first step in the creative process should be a non-judgmental one. Generate and ideate without editing, critiquing, limiting, or censoring. Let it all flow out. You’ll have time to sort through it later.
Much like a vacation without an itinerary, incremental discovery will bring you to places that you could never have planned for. Let yourself wander and be open to new avenues of thinking.
There may be a point in your creative process when you ask yourself: “How did I get here?” or maybe even “Where is this going?” It will take stamina and resilience to revise and edit when the outcome still seems fuzzy. Keep trying.
The more you squeeze and wring out your creation, the clearer and more beautiful it becomes. Don’t settle for your first iteration, or even your tenth. Ask yourself: what could make this a little better? You’ll know when you get there.
The ability to connect things from different fields can uncover tensions that make art interesting. Enhancing your powers of observation will help you see patterns, connections, and paradoxes, note the ironic, and find the pulse on what’s relevant and timely.
The creative process isn’t linear and clean. It’s messy and iterative. Much like psychological safety is a culture of rewarded vulnerability, art embraces vulnerability. What you create is valuable because it’s true, good, and beautiful, not because it’s perfect.
Lead as if you have no power. We are being asked to lead in increasingly-dynamic environments. Those who chase innovation will lead as if they have no power. Otherwise, your competitive advantage will expire faster than your adaptive capacity can keep pace.
Today, teams are built differently. Remote work has changed the way we interact and connect with our colleagues. While team-building activities and personal moments can easily slip through the cracks of your living room couch, valuable connection isn’t off the table. With intentional effort, your remote team can feel just as connected as an in-office team. Here are some LeaderFactor tried-and-true methods of remote connection:
Imposter syndrome. The all-too-common feeling of inadequacy that makes you doubt your successes and achievements. It occurs outside of the comfort zone and triggers a fear of exclusion that motivates you to work harder than necessary to prove your worth.