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Empathy for Creativity – Simon Buutveld

A fifteen-year industry veteran, Colony Creative Director Simon Buutveld shared his observations around a common characteristic found in strong creatives.

The consistent factor – regardless of country, business model or size – is empathy. If you have empathy, you will have more interesting insights which leads to better ideas. As a creative, it’s your job to see the world differently, to take a sideways look at things and reveal new perspectives that haven’t been considered before.

To do this, you need to be as empathetic as possible. Generous amounts of empathy can also explain some of the curious or sometimes eccentric behaviour exhibited by creatives. They tend to be emotionally driven people, who on the surface come across as extroverts but can also be a little delicate. This interesting mix is actually critical to doing their job well.

On the other side of the coin, Account Managers are generally energisers and organisers. The best ones can effectively manage creative types by understanding their personalities and how to get the best out of them.

Essentially, creative businesses are a melting pot, structured with a yin and yang balance to perform effectively. Both personality types play very important roles in the larger team, but which role exactly, is usually dependent on personality type. Creatives tend to be a bit odd and that’s okay!