I can remember times when others around me, probably without meaning to, have quickly squished what I thought was a good idea. It’s usually those closest to you – family, friends, co-workers.
I might say, “Maybe, we could try this…” and they respond, “how in the world could we ever do that?”
There’s a real good chance I have been on the other end of things too – squashing the ideas of those around me.
I recently read Engaging the Hearts and Minds of All Your Employees by Lee Colan. He shared a list of statements that will kill momentum of passionate ideas and leaders on your team.
Here are some of those:
- That’s a good idea, but…
- That may be against company policy.
- All right in theory, but…
- Well, let’s be practical.
- That costs too much.
- Don’t start anything yet.
- That’s really not part of your job.
- If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
- We’ve never done it that way.
- Who else has tried it?
- That’s not our problem.
- Is that what we did last year?
- Let’s wait and see about that.
Instead, executive leaders need to be builders of curiosity, opportunity and risk. Pass on to your team that you welcome ideas and solutions. You welcome feedback, pushback, and crazy ideas. Here are some of the phrases you might hear from these encouraging, confident leaders:
- Tell me more…
- Why do you think that?
- How would that look to you?
- What do you see in the future?
- Where would that take us?
- How could this be accomplished?
- What are your thoughts?
- Thank you for your crazy idea that helped move us in this direction!
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