How to Instantly Motivate your Design Team Out of a Creative Block — part 2


Tried and tested — based on the personal experience of a design entrepreneur.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

This is not a continuation but part 1 of this story has three more interesting tips. The more the merrier, right?

Just for a little recap, to get your designers out of a creative block, let them play and mess around. Let them be for a while and shift their focus to something else for a change. Listen to them and empathize with them.

Try to diagnose their problem and take in their perspective. Have patience and empathy for your team to bring the most out of them. The best way to overcome a creative block is to talk about it and judge whether the direction they are going in is the right one or not.

Three more ways you can help your team are:

  • Inspire your team and nourish their minds. Buck them up.
  • The environment also has a strong effect on creative minds.
  • Encourage your team to help each other out.

For the readers who are going away, I hope the above points helped you out and I will see you in the next story.

For those of you still here, let’s jump into the details, shall we?

1. Inspire your team

When in a creative block, designers need a helping hand. Nourish their minds by giving them a clear direction.

This doesn’t necessarily mean giving them a motivational speech. Just show them the inspiration for what you have in mind.

Look at their designs and point out the positive aspects. Try to find the silver lining. Even if you find nothing good in the design, congratulate them on going in the right direction.

Don’t over-criticize them. In a future post, I am going to explain the right way to criticize a creative mind so stay tuned for that if you like my content.

This will boost their confidence and motivate them to get past the problem and overcome their creative block.

Maybe they’re not looking in the right and relevant direction. Maybe the brief is so unique that there is no inspiration for it. Nobody has made anything like it before.

In this case, you need to be a very good explainer. With nothing to inspire, you need to create a visual image of your brief for them to build their designs on.

2. Give them a safe environment

By safe environment, I mean it should not be noisy or toxic. Make strict rules about harassment, bullying, and other aspects that can have a negative impact on the designer’s mind.

This doesn’t relate directly to creative blocks, but it’s more of a preventive measure. An unhealthy environment limits a designer’s creativity.

I know of offices that don’t even provide the basic work-life necessities. Your team should be at rest when it comes to food, ambient temperature, emotional support, and other daily needs.

Keep your office well-equipped because a mind worrying about the little things, cannot produce magic.

3. Encourage your team to support each other

Two coworkers giving each other a high-five.
Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash

I have made a rule in my design agency.

Don’t give criticism to anyone during the process, unless they ask for feedback. Once they’re done with the design, only then talk about it and let them know your thoughts.

This rule has helped me create a supportive environment. My design team gives space to each other and when someone does ask about their designs, they are criticized but also shown a silver lining at the same time to boost their confidence.

I was planning on posting in detail about this rule in the future. Do let me know if you want that story.

This way paves way for a non-toxic and supportive environment.

As a creative director, you are responsible for your team. You need to help them out as much as you can. It is your duty to help them diagnose their problems and come up with solutions.

Well, folks, this was all. I hope these tips will help you as much as they have helped me.

My name is Muhammad Usman, and I am the founder & creative director of a brand design agency by the name of Alif-Ya Studio located in Pakistan. My aim is to help not only the creatives but also the businesses that want to become design-driven and escalate their sales. If you have any questions, I’ll be happy to help out in the comment section. 🙂

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