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Building A Creative Team Online And In Person – How To Harness Your People's Power

Updated: Aug 31, 2020

The Science Of Coaching reviews a coaching model used to brainstorm new and creative, but realistic ideas. Also how to build a strong, cohesive team which respectfully understands each other’s motivations much better. There are models for in person and online working included.

Understanding and recognising the individual strengths of each of your team members is very important. I lived through an era where I was being forced to carry out tasks and actions within my career which I absolutely hated, when I had many other skills that could be utilised far better.

Do you understand your team player's individual strengths?

Understanding each of your team members individual strengths, what they love doing, how they do it, but also helping them understand how other team members think can accelerate your teams performance and increase cohesiveness.

Walt Disney was one of the masters of creativity. He had the ability to create any type of reality. The possibilities were endless. Or were they? As a cartoon maker and movie maker he had the ultimate ability to create outside of boundaries. However, how did he know what would work and what wouldn’t?

There has been a model built around Disney’s ability to be creative but also to look at the reality of possibility. This model helps increase creativity, helps different types of team members understand each other and listen carefully to the thought process of different types of personalities. It also helps new leaders identify where they may be able to utilize individuals strengths and use them further.

In 1994 Robert Dilts observed Disney’s ability to turn something absolutely creative into a reality and built a model around this which can be used to look at creative ideas. This also observed their potential, different peoples personalities and increased their ability to work as a cohesive and collaborative team.

Disney always said that there were three parts to his personality

  1. The Dreamer

  2. The Realist

  3. The Critic

Using these three parts of Disney’s personality Dilts created a model for creativity.

For this model you need three separate physical spaces if in the same location. If working online/ remotely, create 3 separate periods of time with breaks in between to allow for a change in state and thought process. When you enter each space the whole team adapt to that space and what you are aiming to achieve at that particular moment/ during that time period.

The Dreamer

This area allows the participants to be totally creative. There are no boundaries, there are no limits. You are coming up with ideas as crazy as they may be and really allowing your brain to move into it’s truly amazing and creative part in order to come up with new ideas. Nobody is allowed to feel stupid, nobody is allowed to come down on somebody’s idea in a negative way. There is no criticism allowed. In this area it’s all about anything new as crazy and wacky as it may be. Some of the questions that you may want to ask might be:

  • What do we want?

  • What are potential solutions?

  • How do we imagine the solution?

  • What are the benefits of applying this solution?

  • What else might there be?

The Realist

In this area the group becomes planner and looks at realistic possibilities. Even looking at some of the Dreamers ideas which might not seem possible. Do your best to find a way to make this a reality, even if it seems like this may be super creative. Some of the questions that you might want to ask are:

  • What may be possible?

  • How can you work around this?

  • How can we apply this idea in reality?

  • What needs to happen to apply the idea?

  • What is the timeline to apply this idea?

  • How do we evaluate the idea?

The Critic

The Critic then looks at the areas where you may encounter problems with the ideas that you are realistically looking at. The Critic is the person that looks at risk and works together with the Realist planner and the creative Dreamer to work out what is going to be viable. Some of the questions that you might want to ask are

  • What could be wrong with the idea?

  • What is missing from the idea

  • Why can this not be applied?

  • What are the weaknesses in the idea?

  • How do we overcome these?

  • It is possible to overcome them.

During these three phases you are moving from space to space. In each of the spaces you are only allowed to apply the thought process of Dreamer, Realist or Critic. Remember, with respect for everyone’s opinion.

Moving between the rooms or if working online, each time based state, can also allow you, as a leader, to see where your people excel the most. For example, is someone in a planning role that might be extremely creative and could be utilised in this area? Do you have someone that is good at looking at risk and eloquently letting people know that this might be an area that can be improved, while maintaining great relationships within the team? Can you use them in other areas?

Especially in a time where creativity and the ability to think differently is so important, as well as maintaining your level of potential and possibility, this model is helpful to help brainstorm ideas. It is can be useful when you’re growing a new dynamic team, to understand how each individual works. Also to have all the team members understand how each other thinks and how to utilize each other’s particular skills and ability. Using this model can produce a winning result on many levels.

To talk to me about utilising this model for your teams and other areas of coaching please message me at caroline@successCLcom

Caroline Langston is the Founder of Successful Consultants Ltd, an executive, personal and career development coaching company in Hong Kong, with her partner Patrick Bennett founding the practice in New York. She is also the Founder of Recruiters Give Back, a nonprofit providing free information and coaching to people who are unemployed. Caroline is also the Founder of The Science Of Coaching. Caroline is dedicated to coaching people for success and happiness in their careers and lives. She is a Certified Professional Coach at International Coaching Federation standards. Certified Team Coach and is also degree qualified with further certifications in Neuro Linguistic Programming at Master Practitioner and Coach level.


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