Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Tuesday Tip No.9 - How To Have A Good Relationship With Your Partner

Following on from last week's tip about finding the right partner, this week's tip looks at how to work well with them once you've found them.

But first, I reprint verbatim a discussion between two creatives, overheard through the wall.

CW: It's shit.
AD: What do you mean it's shit?
CW: I mean that it's shit.
AD: But why is it shit?
CW: It's shit because it's shit, that's all

Yes, this is what it's like for everyone. Don't worry about it.

General tips - as ever, the key analogy is with a marriage, and the same rules apply. Don't go to bed on an argument. Always listen to your partner's point of view. Remember their birthday. And don't look at other art directors in the street.

Other than that, here's the 10.

1. You've got to be a united team, so never disagree with anything your partner says in a meeting, even if by rights it should get them sectioned under the Mental Health Act. Sort it out behind closed doors.

2. If they write a nice headline, or come up with a good visual, tell them. Sounds basic I know, but we're all praise-whores in this business, aren't we? Your partner is no exception.

3. Agree between you exactly what the brief is about before you start writing ads. There's nothing more frustrating than your partner spending two hours drawing pictures of snakes having slightly misheard that vital briefing on snails.

4. Be aware of each other's strengths and weaknesses. If your partner hates presenting work, don't make him. If you're no good at speling, get him to check your headlines.

5. Have regular chats about 'what we want to achieve this year' and 'where do we see our careers heading'. The boat will go better when you're both rowing in the same direction.

6. Never say 'no' to one of his ideas. People hate being told no. Instead just say 'yes' in an unconvinced sort of tone. This one really works! Avoid hours and hours worth of arguments!

7. There will be times when you carry him, and times when he carries you. Don't worry about this. It is normal. Only if you have been carrying him for a period longer than about six months do you need to have 'a chat'.

8. Don't worry if other teams seem to do things differently to you, like work longer hours or shorter hours than you do, have more or fewer arguments, socialise with each other outside work or don't, drink or don't drink at lunchtime. All that matters is if your relationship works for you.

9. In general, you should only present ideas that both of you like. But if he really really wants to present an idea that you absolutely hate, let him. We call it 'playing a joker'. What's the worst that can happen?

10. Avoid long arguments. Time is your only resource. By all means tell your partner that an idea has already been done, is illegal, or is off brief, but don't spend 20 minutes trying to kill it while he tries to defend it. Just move on, and use those 20 minutes to have a better idea instead.

Next week: Breaking Up.

Tip No.8 - Finding The Right Partner
Tip No.7 - How To Approach Agencies
Tip No.6 - Never-Seen-Before Footage
Tip No.5 - Dicketts' Finger
Tip No.4 - Two Blokes In The Pub
Tip No.3 - Play Family Fortunes
Tip No.2 - Should You Take A Bad Job?
Tip No.1 - Don't Overpolish


Anonymous said...

Gold. Again.

(But what if your partner reads this and sees through all your tricksy tricks? Every time you say 'ye-ee-es' he'll know now you really mean 'NO EFFING CHANCE!'.

Scamp said...

He already knows, believe me, he knows!

The other day, he asked me to define what I meant by "Possibly." When I confessed it meant "No" he put up a post-it note that said "Possibly = No"...

Anonymous said...

I'm constantly told off by my partner for not saying anything at all. And silence - combined with the funny face he says I make - is the worst 'no' you can get. Even worse than 'NO EFFING CHANCE!'.

Anonymous said...

oihaqkclWell played again.
This one works for planners trying to get on with teams too. Thanks for all these, brilliant.