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6 Ways to Frustrate Creative People

When creative employees feel constrained, their imaginations tend to become less colorful. As a manager, you are kind of caught in the middle. You want to set up an environment where creative minds can flourish.

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Creative people work and think differently. Unfortunately, by failing to understand that fact, business leaders often frustrate creative people and fail to tap into their true genius. Here's a list of ways to absolutely frustrate creative people, and in the process, kill off their creativity and passion—guaranteed! Sadly, these things are seen all too often, so there are some tips on how to overcome them.

1. Tell them how to do something!

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Creative people hate being told how to do something. They do however love to know what needs to be done and what the parameters are. As soon as you tell a creative person how to do something they'll switch off - so just give them the 'what'. Direct them, steer them, guide them and lead them BUT whatever you do, stop micromanaging and don't tell them how to do their job!

2. Don't respect them!

Creative people love to be respected for their talents and abilities. And yes they need to be told. In a recent survey we conducted, lack of respect, came up as one of the major frustrations creatives have, working for organizations. I'm not saying swoon all over them or dribble on their work, but I am saying let them know you appreciate them. But don't do it because you've read this, do it because you really do, genuinely respect them.

3. Give them loads of red tape!

Creative people hate red tape! They tend to not be very good a detail. Now that doesn't surprise me at all because it restricts your creative flow. If organizations bog them down in admin and bureaucracy then how are they meant to do the creative stuff?

4. Don't tolerate their mistakes!

Having a workplace culture that tolerates creative risk and failure is paramount for creative people to thrive. Again one of the biggest frustrations of creative people is working for organizations that don't tolerate mistakes or failure. Tata Group fosters a culture of sharing and learning from mistakes and failures. That's where greatness lies. So creative people need to feel safe to throw an idea on the table without fear of ridicule.

5. Lock them into a finite process.

One of the great ironies is that creativity needs structure to thrive but that structure also needs to allow creative freedom. It's a kind of loose/tight quality. Unfortunately business likes certainty and method and so in it's quest to make creativity work it often implements cookie cutter processes that only inhibit creative flow. You need to have a framework that knows when to turn on and off the creative controls and direct creativity to your desired outcomes.

6. Lock them into 9 to 5!

Creativity doesn't work 9 to 5. The creative process needs time to do it's thing and so leaders need to harness it's potential by providing environments that let our people be flexible with time. Am I saying come and go as you please? No. However, remember creative people like boundaries but within those boundaries they also require freedom. So a workplace environment that allows freedom to utilize time to get results is where you need to aim.