Three Important Traits That All Managers in Creative Industries Need 

If you work as a manager in a creative industry or are planning to become a manager in a creative industry, it’s important that you have the right traits to ensure you’re successful in your role.

While creative people will require you to provide slightly different management techniques than you would provide to professionals in other industries, many of the traits that you need to manage creative teams of people are the same as those you need to manage other teams.

So, let’s explore three of the most important traits that you should have when managing teams of creative people.

What’s the Difference Between a Leader and a Manager?

Before we look at the traits that all managers in creative industries need to possess, it’s worth mentioning that leaders and managers are not the same. A great article from Mo explains how leadership is different from management.

It states that leadership is the act of leading a group of people or an organization, but it has nothing to do with positions and titles within an organization, whereas management refers to having the title of manager and taking responsibility for and controlling a group of people or an organization.

Unlike leadership, management is about structures, practicalities, and day-to-day objectives.

1. Emotional Intelligence

All managers should have the trait of emotional intelligence, but possessing the trait when managing creative people is even more important. That is because, for one thing, creative people, such as illustrators, will want more empathy from their managers and have the ability to try out new ideas without being restricted by hardcore management styles and corporate rules.

Ultimately, emotional intelligence is about having excellent self-awareness. It is the ability to express and control your emotions, as well as the ability to manage your interpersonal relationships well.

If you don’t have the trait of emotional intelligence, you could fail to read the emotions of your creative team correctly. In turn, that could lead to friction and errors. All managers in creative industries should demonstrate that they’re sensitive to their team’s feelings and needs.

2. Communication and Listening

Good managers are always effective communicators and listeners. That applies to managing teams in all kinds of industries, not just teams in creative industries.

You should be able to pass across information with the utmost clarity to ensure your team is given the right direction in the best way and to prevent problems from arising. It’s just as important that you employ active listening skills.

Creative people’s ideas and feedback are important. So, if you want your team to perform well, make sure you listen attentively to what you’re being told and take appropriate action. While you can learn how to be a better communicator and listener, you won’t get far managing creative teams if you don’t already possess good communication and listening traits.

3. Positivity and Motivation

You’ll need to be naturally positive and motivational if you want to succeed as a manager in a creative industry.

Your team members are sure to pick up on your mood, and they could easily transfer your feelings onto other team members. That’s a good thing if you are always positive and motivational. But if you’re highly strung and negative, it will have a negative impact on your team.

You don’t need to be positive every moment of every day. Indeed, there will often be situations at work when the last thing you should do is take things lightly. But in general, you should possess the traits of positivity and motivation if you want to be a great manager and set up your creative team for success.

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