Some of the most creative and innovative people I have crossed paths with in my lifetime have been some of the most unreliable communicators. The gears in these creative’s heads are always turning, innovative juices always flowing, they are always cranking out works of art, yet these same people seem to be those most unreachable. You can call and email and text and Facebook, but they never seem to respond.
As someone whose job revolves around finding the most gifted creatives out there, I have to tirelessly fight this epidemic that seems to plague these artists. Over time, I have started to become exasperated with some of these individuals careless antics so I put myself in their shoes and came up with the following three ways to get these artsy people to be bit more reliable.
Ways to Motivate Creative People
- Be clear but not cramping: One of my biggest pet peeves is when people do not meet deadlines that they were given far in advance. Often creatives will get started and show you a proof and get you all excited and then you loose all contact. Creative people often need clear deadlines set out saying, “This is the absolute latest I can receive the project.” Once you have established your drop-dead date, you are far more likely to get a response. Now, if you have someone doing work for you, you are going to want some accountablitily to make sure that they are doing what they say that they are doing and so you establish checkpoints. Cramping a creative’s style is an surefire way to get bad results and no communication. Creatives take pride in their work and they do not want people looking over their shoulder. So while their creative juices are flowing, let them be. Establish those dates for milestones and be okay with waiting.
- Be selfish but not greedy: When you share deadlines with creatives, do not give them the actual deadline. Based on the scope of a given project, give them a deadline several days before the project is actually due. This will leave a little bit of wiggle room because creatives are rarely on time. It’s totally okay to be selfish and make them turn in project sooner, but don’t be greedy. When you have an awesome designer, musician, videographer, photographer, etc., it is easy to want to put a drastic mark-up on their services so that you can make a hefty profit. Don’t be greedy and try to hoard all of the profit. Creatives can be extremely defensive about this and they will not try nearly as hard to do a good job if you are not rewarding them well. So, if you are looking for true talent be willing to spend a sizable amount of money.
- Be encouraging but firm: Creatives love to hear, “Great job!” But who doesn’t? It is really important to always be encouraging to creatives. They typically wrap their emotions up in their projects and take all feedback personally. Cheer them on when praise is due and offer positive, constructive criticism when needed. Though you are to be encouraging, do not be afraid to be firm and tell them that they missed the mark. I’ve seen so many cases where creative’s minds wander off mid-project and then end-result is far different than what you were expecting. So in the most positive manner possible, be sure to offer honest feedback.
Creatives are brilliant people with minds that many are envious of, but at the same time, they can be hard to communicate with and get a hold of. Don’t give up on them. It is part of how they are wired! I would love to hear your experiences with unreliable communicators and creatives!