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Creative leadership can help department heads and direct supervisors build communication, engagement and trust within their teams, but only when creativity is applied in practical, concrete ways.

These three strategies can help leaders improve their ability to model creative leadership and provide the guidance their teams need.

Focus on Personal Development

Professional development is essential in the ever-changing world of law, but personal development is essential as well. Through personal development, your team members – and yourself as a leader – shore up weaknesses, further hone strengths, and develop more effective and authentic ways of working together.

To focus on personal development, consider engaging teams in tasks or coursework designed to support both personal and professional excellence. Many of these tools can give teams a better understanding of themselves and one another, which they can use to improve their approach to tasks and teamwork.

Stimulate New Ways of Thinking

While sticking with “what works” can help work flow more smoothly, it’s important to regularly evaluate whether “what works” still works, or whether changing circumstances have led to a need for new ways of thinking about old problems.

One way to encourage new ways of thinking among your team members is to ask, “What else could we do to address this?” Then, maintain space for any idea that gets voiced, without immediately praising or negating it. Often, teams will begin combining and refining their own ideas to come up with methods that offer significant advantages over tradition.

Challenge Employees in Innovative Ways

The model of rewards and punishments as a way to build “challenge” into the workplace is becoming passé in the face of research into its damaging effects on intrinsic motivation, engagement and work quality. Instead, seek to challenge employees by getting at the heart of tasks and projects that push each of them to grow.

For instance, offering unusual projects, “switching up” team members on certain tasks, or simply giving employees a chance to pursue an idea they’ve had can challenge them in ways that are both innovative and relevant to their day-to-day excellence.

At Kent Legal, our recruiters focus on connecting law firms and legal departments in the greater Toronto area with outstanding local legal support talent. To learn more about our legal support recruiting services, contact us today.

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