Why You Shouldn’t Put Pressure on Your Team
Want to get the very most out of your team? Then you might be tempted to try and put lots of pressure on them. Perhaps that means giving them unreasonable deadlines. Maybe it means telling them that they need to complete X amount of work in order to get some kind of reward. Whether you choose carrot or stick, the assumption might be that they need some kind of external motivator.
The only problem? This is actually wrong… When you take this approach, you’ll actually be limiting what your team can accomplish, stifling their creativity and ultimately shooting your own business in the foot. Oops!
How We Work Best
If your objective is sheer numbers and quantity, then this approach can work. However, most of us would agree that what we actually value more is creativity and intuition. This is what makes the difference between a good business that manages to survive and a great business that manages to change the world.
And the problem is that tight deadlines ruin creativity. One reason for this is that tight deadlines cause us to have a stress response. This triggers the release of excitatory neurotransmitters and hormones that include the likes of adrenaline, norepinephrine and dopamine. While these get us psyched up and help us focus, that same focus makes us harder to be creative.
Because creativity occurs when our mind is free to wander (and wonder). That way, we can explore disparate ideas in our brains and it is this process that helps us to find new connections and therefore to recombine them in unique ways. It is generally agreed that that is what a good idea is – the recombination of two old ideas.
This is why we are thought to be at our most creative when we’re engaging in mundane tasks like washing up, showering or walking.
Procrastination Isn’t All Bad
Taking our time also simply gives us enough time to think about alternative ways to do things. This has led to many studies demonstrating a simple correlation between procrastination and creative problem solving. People who procrastinate tend to also be more effective at coming up with unique ideas!
o if you want to be more creative and have a more creative team, cut them some slack! You could even take a leaf out of Google’s book and provide your team with downtime to allow them to come up with their own projects and ideas.