You’re in a meeting on a Tuesday and Tom interjects, “What about this…” It’s a new idea. How do you perceive it?
- Threatening: This idea threatens the viability of the system, idea or product we’ve created.
- Offensive: “How could they think I didn’t think about that already?”
- Opportunity: This idea is an opportunity to improve our company and show this person we care about their ideas.
- Investment: This person is invested enough in our company to offer their ideas to us.
- Annoying: This person seems to try to out-do everyone else and wants to propel their career with an idea.
These are just a few options and you may have a few of these thoughts simultaneously. New can be exciting, threatening and annoying all at the same time. So why does it matter how we perceive new ideas?
Let’s look at a different scenario: You’re in a client meeting and you have an excellent tailor-made idea for their business. You share it with your client and their face scrunches up. They pause for a quarter-second, then say “that wouldn’t work for us” and move on. It hurts doesn’t it? More than that, don’t you think about how they should have at least considered it? You try to explain it further, but you can tell that they aren’t open to that change, even though you’re sure it will help them.
How we perceive new ideas is crucial to how successful we are. It’s also vital to how we show respect others and are open to hearing their voices in our lives. If we perceive new ideas predominantly as threatening and offensive, we will limit our business growth and ensure the idea-giver doesn’t feel valued and respected. We need to recognize that ideas are opportunities to show people that we respect them as well as potential growth opportunities for us both in business and personally.
We can’t grow without be challenged. New ideas are a great way to be challenged.
So how do you perceive new ideas?
Cover image info: Original, royalty-free image from Death To The Stock Photo.