Throw Something Out There

Sometimes all that’s needed is an idea, even if it’s a bad one.

Have you ever been I a group where a decision needs to be made, but no ideas or suggestions are coming?  I have!  (In fact, I was in one such meeting less than 2 hours prior to writing this blog.)  These gatherings can be frustrating because the focus of the group seems be on the problem versus finding a solution.

Sometimes I find that what’s needed most in this scenario is an idea, any idea, just to cause people to start thinking and narrowing down the discussion toward a decision.  Throwing out an idea, be it good, bad, or ugly, gets the conversation off of the problem, and focuses it on a solution.

Say you throw out a bad idea to solve the problem at hand and no one in the group likes it.  Great!  The group’s negative reaction to the idea is the spark that begins the conversation toward a better idea, and ultimately a solution and course of action.

Don’t worry about looking dumb or foolish.  Instead, focus on starting the conversation and navigating discussion toward a solution.  Specifically, ask others what they think of the idea or what they don’t like about it or how they would change it.  Use their ideas to build on the initial bad idea.  Instead of trying to be the one that comes up with all the great ideas, focus on being the one that can take input from the group  and orchestrate solutions by leveraging the knowledge and wisdom of its members.

Look for opportunities this week to throw out initial ideas and then help others to shape and build them into a viable solution to the problem at hand. You’ll become a valuable contributor to your team and a person of action; a person who causes something to happen.

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