That’s not helpful
We are only human. Because we are only human we don’t always behave in a way which is appropriate. Not only is this true in our social lives, but it is also true in the world of business. ‘Bad’ behaviour becomes very transparent when people need to work together closely in the act of developing fresh thinking and new ideas. This is the time when you really do need to be on ‘best form’, both physically and mentally.
It is not helpful to arrive late, leave early or be mentally absent during. The creative process is all about momentum, flow and energy and it is important that all the participants remain as one throughout. You are either in or you are out, but never in between.
It is not helpful to be in ‘Selector’ mode when everybody else is in ‘Stimulator’ mode. The convergent mindset is the polar opposite to the divergent one. Nothing is more frustrating and obstructive when you are trying to expand and another individual is trying to close down. However, it is equally frustrating when it’s time to make a decision in the creative process, but somebody is still exploring. We defend as a team or attack as a team.
It is not helpful when somebody steps up to the plate, starts explaining or exploring an idea, and you listen intently, nod vigourously and smile encouragingly before responding with a completely different line of conversation, bearing no relevance to what has just been said. The sincerity of your listening, nodding and smiling will be questioned and challenged.
It is not helpful to show not a single flicker of emotion in your face when somebody is explaining a new idea to you. This is a fragile time when the idea generator needs to know that there is hope, that it is worth them carrying on. In contrast, it is even less helpful if the flicker of a frown appears on your face, an early warning sign that disapproval is not far off.
It is not helpful when your physical posture is diametrically opposed to others in the group. If your colleagues are all huddled around a flip chart and you are slumped in a chair throwing out ideas or barking instructions, your contribution will not be given the same value as it would be if you were one of the team. We are all standing or all sitting.
What is interesting about the list of ‘not helpfuls’ above is that they are not restricted to the world of business. The next time you entertain friends at home, why not brief your guests in advance as to how you would like them to behave during the evening and then evaluate how things have gone at the end of the night! Only joking.