19 Sep Stepping Up And Sharing Ideas in the Workplace
Workplaces develop and grow when leaders and employees alike look at the current structure of business, and analyze and challenge it with new ideas and start stepping up.
So, how can we foster this growth and development?
Today I would like to tell you about a simple communication technique that, if you can master, is guaranteed to get your people sharing ideas, and feeling more valued when they do.
Watch this video to learn the technique and how it can be applied in your workplace.
When I wrote my sixth book, Stepping Up, I surveyed hundreds of people and asked them, “Why don’t you step up and share your ideas at work?” The number one reason was that leaders make decisions without asking for their opinion, and second was that leaders dismissed their ideas too easily.
Stepping Up Communication Technique: 3 Simple Steps
You must remember that your employees may have been apprehensive about coming to you and sharing their ideas. If you immediately shut them down or reject them, they may never come to you again. People thrive when they feel appreciated. By thanking your employees, you show them that you are listening, appreciate their ideas, and value them.
Next, often it is natural to follow a thank you with a very prohibitive word: BUT.
The word “but” always shuts people down. Instead, go to step 2.
Tell me more. How might that work? What would this change? Why do you feel like this idea would bring value?
Explore their feelings, ideas and facts. By asking to hear more, you are showing genuine interest in their ideas.
Now, go to step 3: seek a solution.
The temptation is now to give a verdict or make your ruling on their idea. But what we want to do is involve the person in the solution-seeking process.
Seek a solution: “I love your ideas. My only concern is this – what would you do to solve this?”
What you have done now is invited the person to do problem-solving with you. You have expressed concerns in an open way, and they feel heard. You are now are now on the same page trying to figure it out.
It matters that people feel that we value their ideas, because if people share their ideas with us and we dismiss them too easily, they won’t continue coming to us.
Practice this simple model:
Thank you. Tell me more. Let’s find a solution together.
Keep on leading in work and life.