How to direct your teams' ideas without limiting them

If you have been facilitating the creative process or in charge of a creative team before, you know how tough is to direct them without sounding like a dictator or killing their motivation.


Every team needs direction, and there are ways of doing it avoiding the problems listed before. We advise doing this by using questions.

The power of questions
The most exciting and provoking method you could use is asking the right questions at the right time. Here is important to make a distinction between good and bad questions.

Good questions
These type of sentences are the ones that will make your team think. They will open new opportunities and expand their frontiers. They will force them to think in new perspectives.

A good facilitator/creative director knows how to stimulate the team with this new angles. It's not about directing them to a solution but suggesting them to explore a new path.

For example: To use questions as suggestions, use sentences like "what about if we could use AR?" or "is there any way we could solve this problem with a tv campaign?". If you are getting the sense that your team is going for very complex ideas, you could ask them "how would you simplify the idea?" or "imagine we had to implement this immediately, what would be a minimal version of it?".

Wrong questions
You shouldn't confuse asking questions with questioning. Your inputs shouldn't make your team doubt themselves or their skills. At the same time, some phrases could lead to more confusion instead of throwing clarity.

For example: Don't use sentences like "is this the best you can do?" or "would you assume the consequences if this idea doesn't work?".  Also, avoid complicated questions like "what about using data with crowdsourced photos and the sharing economy trend?". Make them simple and straight forward better.