ENGL | Reconnecting Your Team with Their Inner Child
----- 4 mn read --- | Teamwork Corner Collection |
In my keynote conference and my book “The Magic of Crazytivity,” I explain how reconnecting with your inner child is the first and most important step you can take to be creative… again. Recently I saw and shared on LinkedIn this great drawing that sums up very well what is happening today:
As a manager, you have the duty to encourage your team members’ natural qualities so that they can shine, helping them put their best foot forward. It is achieved by pushing team members to reconnect with their inner child. I bet you want them to be able to deliver great ideas and brand-new solutions to old problems, whatever the industry you are in. Having them reconnect with their creativity and inner child is a great way to achieve that!
Here are a few questions to see if you encourage your employees enough:
#1 Do you encourage each member of your teams to be curious?
Curiosity helps your team members to make more connections both in their environment and with the exterior. They can connect the dots and find new ways to solve problems they have to deal with. Learning about various subjects is also a great way to bring brand new ideas to your company!
If you want them to learn about specific subjects of your industry that can quickly become boring, why not make it a game? Play is the key word when it comes to learning and working in a fun atmosphere!
# 2 Do you have a fun atmosphere in your company, or does it feel like work?
This is a tricky one because lots of you might think “Fun? This doesn’t have to be fun. It is work!”. I’m not suggesting we play all day; rather, I’m suggesting alternating serious work in a pleasant atmosphere with moments of breaks to release tension.
This is the best way to have your employees reconnect with their inner child and deliver their best work! Why do you think Google build their campus on the theme “work and play?” Why do you think there are playrooms, parks, napping spaces, etc.? Aren’t those what kids usually use? Pixar is also a great example when it comes to creativity and to inspire their teams! See below their lobby...
#3 Do you encourage each member of your teams to be bold and take the initiative?
How bold were you at five years old? Certainly, more than you are today! When we were kids, we asked ourselves fewer questions, and our parents would lecture us about the risks we took.
And one of the words that resonate the most in my conferences is to “Dare.” Everyone agrees that Daring is important, and yet, I don’t see a lot of managers giving their employees more responsibilities or encouraging them to take more initiative. Doing so will show your team members that they can play an essential part of the company.
#4 Do you encourage each member of your team to use their imagination to their fullest?
Believe it or not, micro-management is still an issue today. Lots of employees feel like they have to do exactly what they are told to and that everything they might imagine, create, or share wouldn’t be up to company standards. So, they don’t share anything. And companies miss out on an extraordinary value. How can anyone be creative if their environment doesn’t facilitate and encourage inventiveness? How can you encourage them to use their imagination and bring 100% of the value they have to offer?
The last thing you want to do is shut down creativity by pushing your teams to stay in their habits. The next thing you know, they will tell you they do the same monotonous routines they always do because they are simply used to doing them a certain way. Zero initiative. Zero creativity.
Most people don’t open their mind and look around like any creative entrepreneur or artist would do because they are not encouraged to. But, if you get each of your employees to be a micro-entrepreneur in their company, whatever the size of it, creativity, new ideas, and productivity will skyrocket!
Bringing some fun at work by setting up a relaxing, sharing, and learning environment is a decisive element. Your teams will enjoy their work more, and they will feel like they can share new thoughts and solutions without facing undue criticism or judgments.
Another model for that me is Mindvalley, considered as one of the world's top company when it comes to take care of their employee... Check that article about them and their values
The tone you use, the way you react to their ideas, and the activities and relaxation option you organize between the serious work hours are key! Here are some ideas to help get you started:
-Have them play and learn together like children so that they develop a fraternity state of mind: team buildings, drinks, getaways, etc.
-Organize brainstorming sessions and meetings in fun or original places. A theatre, the park next door, a circus, or even a funky Volkswagen van can be just the thing to get creative juices flowing!
-Organize fun days where people come dressed up in costumes to work. We all love to dress up, and encouraging silliness and play helps create bonds with coworkers as well as promotes a fun and imaginative workplace culture. Of course, it doesn’t mean they are free to skip work! Rather, this will foster an association between work, enjoyment, inventiveness, and fun.
-Do some departments block other departments ideas? Ego and jealousy might be the main reasons. Offer new canals to everyone to suggest ideas.