How to Have People Benefit from New Ideas
Writtten by: Simon Hasto | Honest Conversation Copywriting; Säter, Sweden
New ideas jolt people. In fact, they scare people. Remember that the next time you – as a more creative business person or employee – go to express your new “thing” (whatever it may be).
A look in the mirror
Don’t be let down, discouraged or upset when people react in a less than ecstatic way. Instead, recall your own reaction when you – perhaps on a less-than-stellar day – were exposed to this new hot shot person… Maybe they were younger than you, had that zest for life you clearly lacked that day, and bristled with energy. And, to make matters worse: maybe you felt the idea was incredible, revolutionary.
A ninja in the office, stealing everything
In this situation, maybe you felt small, old, or just vaguely threatened. Like someone was stealthily, silently taking your place. They showed no explicit signs of it, and they didn’t seem to threaten anyone else, which only made you feel more threatened. At that moment, what did you do…? Perhaps your defense-mechanisms were triggered and you lashed out – explicitly or implicitly, outward or inward, loudly or silently – which left the real issue buried and forgotten about.
We have a hard time with change. We all do. Not to say all change is indefinitely positive, but that’s for another time (we can all agree change must happen; for good things to happen, and change will happen; regardless of whether we like it).
Step one – start the balancing act
So, the next time you bring this amazing new idea to your employees/whomever, what might you do…? Begin by expecting nothing. In fact, however brilliant, Midas touch-ish or energetic you feel at that moment, consciously bring yourself to the level of those around you. Only then can you get their attention. Why…? Because you showed empathy. At that point, will your thing have an impact? They let down their guard because no one is coming at them – on a sluggish, tired, slow day – like a rushing train, but instead, expresses at their energy level.
Step two – keep balancing
When you try this, just observe what happens. That’s the second step. You’ve gone in, “normal energy” – normal being that of those around you; like a DJ calibrating to her audience – and now you just keep calibrating (like a DJ – the crowd always changes).
Step three – make it about them
Of course, you begin interacting about your new idea. What does this do…? Brings people – makes them feel part of something. Know what…? They are. Nothing contrived about this – leadership at its finest.
So, to recap, the three steps are:
- Go in and express your idea with their level of energy
- Continually “calibrate” to how they feel
- Ask them what they think; naturally starting an interaction about this thing you introduced.
Try it, see what happens.
- Observe your own reaction to new ideas expressed by others.
- Should you be negative toward the new, try a new program of being positive.
- Monitor reactions to your new positive attitude.
- See if additional opportunities presented as you become more positive.
- Test expressing a new idea to a peer to see how it is received.
- Brace yourself for negative feedback regarding your new ideas.
- Use the negative comments as motivating factors to move forward.
- Document results from ignoring the negative.
- Incorporate valid feedback into your new programs.
- Celebrate Success!
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