When most people think of a creative environment, they think of painting classes, think tanks, people on bean bag chairs, coding in groups; or even working in their own art studio. However, when we speak of a creative environment in meditation, we mean creating an open mind, to which anything is possible.
There are two qualities, which encourage creativity: Participation and appreciation. You participate in the activities which expand your awareness and you appreciate having the ability (and the people around you) to experience that.
Think about a project at work that went well and one that went bad. The one that went bad was perhaps too rigid; and/or you weren’t offered an opportunity for ownership in your part (or you didn’t give ownership to others) because the lead was too controlling; and/or there was no praise when something was completed. This resulted in a disjointed team, who felt closed off to their creative process, thus blocking any potential break through successes. Instead, resulting in perhaps the team delivering the project, but not their best work; and yourself rethinking working with this team/the company/in your field again.
Now, think about a project that went well. You and your team had equal distribution of responsibility. Each of you were asked to own your part, as well as collaborate with others. While there was a project plan to follow, no one was micromanaging you to get your work done. Generally, the team was happy, pleasant and eager to work with each other. It allowed you to thrive in your part, producing some of your greatest work; and you were praised for it.
The difference in these two is that one fosters open creativity, which leads to success; and the other forces us to shut down, finish our part, and walk away, perhaps feeling unsuccessful. As a Manager, I’ve learned that it’s incredibly important to provide positive feedback, trust your team, and let them thrive. No one intentionally tries to fail at something, nor do they want to see others fail. However, our own psyche can get in the way, due to self-imposed pressure, resulting in an under-enthusiastic team with sub-par results.
However, in order to even potentially influence another, it has to start with one person – YOU. We forget that we need to give the same things we value, when we receive them. If you want a manager to give you creative freedom, you need to respect and give that to others as well! If you want praise for your work, you need to give that to others as well! The more open-minded we are about encouraging others’ success, the more others will thrive, resulting in highly creative atmospheres that drive new levels of achievement, no one thought possible.