Part 2: We are all human

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Published:  June 28, 2012
Linda Jukic
Part 2: We are all human

Here’s part 2 of my talk, from the agIdeas International Design Forum that I spoke at in Melbourne in May this year (2012).

Being human means that sometimes we have days where the glass is half empty, others where it’s half full and other days where we simply make a mess. Within a team and service environment (which is where we play) we need to understand and respond to these aspects of our everyday in ourselves and in those around us. We should always remember to celebrate the good, support the not so good and, when you’re a leader, learn how to manage the wave (the team doesn’t need to ride your rollercoaster).

The biggest thing of all is when mistakes are made or things don’t go smoothly to take responsibility for them, learn from them, and then pick yourself up and get on with it. As they say, there’s no use crying over spilt milk.

The second point, I wish to make about reminding ourselves that we’re all human is that what we do, is as much about people and relationships as it is about ideas and craft. There is true value in being real, grounded, approachable, open, fair, imperfect and just yourself within the practice of what we do.

It’s quite easy within our industry to feel like you need to play a role. The role of being the ‘cool, quirky designer’ or the ‘confident, important creative director’. But the truth is, real, resonates with people. By being yourself and being consistent in your values, principles and belief system (regardless of whether it’s a weekday or a weekend) you can connect genuinely to others from peers to clients.

Developing authentic person-to-person relationships not only allows you to grow connections and respect, it has the ability to create influence and inspire action, and in our industry this is the currency that counts. Over the last few years some of my most satisfying and rewarding moments have been the connections I’ve made with my peers and clients and what we’ve been able to achieve as a result of the relationship we have built together.

The final point about being human is seeing things from the perspective of the client, or more importantly the audience or consumer the work is being created for. As creatives we can sometimes get caught up in creating for creatives and forget that not everyone out there is a ‘designer, copywriter or an art director’.

The most effective work is founded on human insights and truths. It is about understanding the human character, values and behaviour associated with the space we’re exploring and playing in and responding to these truths. I’ve learnt good work comes from thinking and behaving as a person. Immersing yourself in the problem as a human, getting on the ground, experiencing it first hand as the audience would experience it, or even interacting with the audience themselves.

By capturing a nugget from their perspective and wrapping and translating it using your creative know-how, you can achieve something quite powerful and meaningful. And that is special.

This article was first published on Moon’s blog on 15 June 2012.

Image and video copyright Linda Jukic.

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