No matter your vocation, if you are a creative you will face all sorts things because of your unique filter on life. This is true in the workplace where your work producing music, creating graphic layouts, or designing experiences is not what everyone else does in your office–even if you don’t have an office. Here are five people you will face and how to win them over.
- Anesthetized Aesthetic: This person means well, as most do. The rub is that they show the signs of understanding aesthetics, but because of being told they couldn’t draw in the second grade they are rarely moved by things like design. Lack of creative confidence is the issue. Your job is to awaken the inner artist by encouraging and valuing the creativity you notice in them. “Bob, I did not know you liked to cook?. Nice!” Acknowledge their resonance with your creative work and earn an advocate.
- Myopic Manager: You superior might be a person who loves dealing with the problem that is most fresh, not most important. Even though you may as a creative have an eye for a broader picture, that will not help you. She needs you to act on what her panic button is dealing with today. Helping her through the a seemingly unimportant urgency will earn you what you need later. Space. It proves your willingness to do her bidding where trust is earned.
- Addicted Administrator: Every office has a few of these, and they are your best friend. They love lists, spread sheets, and time clocks. The rub is that they cannot see how you perform your creative duties. Your success comes in translation, documentation, and humility. While they will never fully appreciate your process, they surely can respect you showing up on time for meetings and timely filing of reports. To them, this is like bringing flowers. Just clean your desk once in a while!
- Grumpy Gatekeeper: There are bean counters, but then there are those who love power or at least enjoy being the one who holds the keys. They get burned when people don’t follow rules, and creatives hate rules. We live to demolish them and then throw a party. The grumpy gatekeeper is tired of people trying to change things on him. The way to win him over is to be reasonable, not abstract. When you need a requisition or have a plan, the more realistic and practical you can communicate it the better. In fact, if it is tied clearly to your department goals, even better. This cat will smile when you actually make sense.
- Political Player: Yes, every work place has a person or two who clearly wants to play politics. Creatives hate politics, for the most part. In fact, in this you are like your coworkers. The only thing I can say for you here is to be careful once you notice this guy. Everything you say or do can be fodder for his next move. Cordiality should be used, not disdainful looks. The more positive your are, the less of a target you are. If you have done your work with the first four, if he misbehaves and targets you then you have four others who have your back.
I hope these are helpful to you. Any additions or thoughts on this list?