1. Give them vague design specs What you think you are giving them: Creative Freedom. What they hear: You are going to run them through multiple frustrating iterations after the first version is delivered.
2. Give them extremely specific design specs What you think you are giving them: Clear, detailed specifications and guidance. What they hear: You don’t trust their creative insights, and trust your own a little too much. You are probably going to micro manage the life out of the project, resulting in sub-par design folly.
3. Tell them to come in by 9am To a creative pro, 9am is the crack of dawn. While you were up at 6am doing pilates or feeding your kids, creative pro were in the middle of a deep, restorative, REM sleep. If you insist on them coming in at 9am, expect crankiness, sullenness, and phoned-in creative work.
4. Tell them to wear business casual Creative Pros see business wear as a tool of oppression, quashing individuality and creative expression. Khakis and pale-blue plaid button-downs are what Satan wears in creative hell.
5. Make them sit in long meetings There are oodles of studies showing that long meetings hurt productivity, and cause deep resentment. Nothing erodes morale and productivity like listening to middle management play buzzword bingo for hours on end. If you force your creative pro to sit through such meetings, expect them to lead a covert war of verbal discontent.
6. Use fancy creative terminology Do you want your creative pros to laugh behind your back? Then go ahead and use words like “anchor point”, “negative space”, and “saturation”. You aren’t as expert in such things as you think you are.
7. Change your mind a lot It might look simple to you, but the design comp, mockup, or preview you are looking at took a lot of work, and a lifetime of focus on creative disciplines. Every time you throw their creative work in the fire on a whim, know that you are also burning your creative pro’s motivation.
8. Disregard their creative expertise Face it… you are not a design, editing, or writing expert. You might think you have good taste and a clear sense of style. But you just aren't as good as your creative pros. You hired a creative pro. Let them do their job.
9. Spy on them So you walk through the office and see your creative pros online watching videos, scrolling through Facebook and Pinterest, or perusing FastDesign.co. Let them be. True creativity is an intense, organic process that doesn’t happen evenly over time. It happens in spurts. Let your creative pros nurture their creative juices by browsing the web for inspiration, or by taking a break from the intensity of creative work.
10. Expect accurate timesheets in arcane tools A reality of being a creative pro is that you have to track your time. Most creative teams still use arcane, inaccurate methods for tracking time. Shockingly, many still use paper timesheets. Why waste your creative pros' valuable time on boring admin taste like writing timesheets when it can be done automatically?