Time for a Spring Tune-up for Your Team? Try these 3 Creativity-Boosting Tips

Do you want to see more enthusiasm and energy on your team?

With the arrival of spring, what better time than this for a tune-up in your approach as a leader. Here are three simple and powerful attitude adjustments for you to use.

  1. Yes and….

Often used in improv acting, and in brainstorming, this little phrase is a 180 turnaround from the “No, but…” that is so often the norm in the workplace. By saying “Yes, and…” when someone makes a suggestion, you let them know that their efforts are valuable to the team. If you use this in a team meeting, others are then encouraged to add their ideas. Contrast that with the negative effect of shooting down new ideas, that often happens with the “No, but” approach – which is guaranteed to nip innovative thinking in the bud!

So, if you’re looking to encourage creativity, innovation and enthusiasm try this out the next time someone comes to you with an idea. Or, better yet, start making this a habit.

  1. Focus on the Vision

If you and your team have become bogged down in details, or have been suffering from setbacks, and seem to have lost sight of the big goals that you need to work towards, it may be time to refocus. Get your team thinking about their vision and that of the organization. This means that you, as the leader, look towards the future, shine a light on what’s possible, and express your confidence that the team can make it happen. To make this work, it’s not enough just to talk about the vision – you’ll also need to stay grounded in reality, shifting the focus back and forth from the future to the present and back to the future again.

Sounds complicated? It doesn’t have to be. All you need to do is be clear about where the team needs to be and then compare with where the team is now. Acknowledge the progress made so far and emphasize your confidence that by working together you can all build on what you’ve achieved to bridge the gap between the “here and now” and the vision for the future.

  1. That’s interesting!

If there’s one thing that’s needed for success in the challenging times we live in, it is creativity. 

To build enthusiasm and set the stage for creativity and innovation, try thinking of your workplace as a “success laboratory” – where setbacks are seen as interesting, rather than disastrous. Mistakes then become useful information – something to learn from. Too often, errors lead to emotions such as shame, embarrassment, and fear, all of which cause creativity and enthusiasm to shut down. When looked at constructively, mistakes become part of the creative learning process. This is not so say that mistakes should be overlooked, or swept under the carpet. Rather, they need to looked at as stepping stones to future success. Correct the mistakes, for sure, and look at ways to prevent the same errors from happening in the future. So, next time something goes wrong, try saying “Hmmm – that’s interesting” and see how that helps generate more energy and enthusiasm. 

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