Turn Down Stupid Ideas Nicely

We want our teams to feel safe and share their ideas with us. What would you do when their ideas … suck? How would you turn them down?

“I would patiently explain to him why the idea is not the best.”
Or…
“I will support him. I could be wrong!”
Or…
“With Love.”

A #bossbetter spin:

START WITH
Start with recognizing critical behaviours first, before looking at the merits of the ideas. These behaviours could include:

– The act (and guts) of coming to us
– Open-mindedness to accept our rejections
– Their thought process

WHICH BEHAVIOUR TO START WITH?
Reward the behaviour of ideating.

In your own words, express:
1. “You know we are serious about everyone putting in the work to come up with ideas. You are doing it right now. I need you to know that I see that.”
2. “Before we dive into the idea, I am curious what made you think of this idea? How did you come up with it?”
3. “Apart from the idea itself, what has been fun for you in this process?”

WHY THIS WORKS?
Even when you aren’t criticising while turning down their ideas, they might still feel judged and rejected. We are human after all… Therefore by prioritising recognition, you have a better chance of nipping self-preservation in the bud.

Don’t judge. I am sharing an idea. Recognise that.

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