“What would you do differently, to get a different outcome?” I repeated.
“I don’t know,” Susan replied. “They are just not a very creative team. I don’t know why I even try to get ideas from them.”
“Susan, what if I told you that your team is as creative as any team I have ever seen work together, and that you, as their manager, have to find a different way to get them to contribute?”
“I would say you were wrong.”
I nodded. “Yes, and if your team really was a creative team, what could you do differently?”
Susan realized I was not going to let this go, but she was still stumped in silence.
I continued. “When you gave the team a list of your ideas up front, before asking for their ideas, what were you communicating? Not with words, but with the list?”
“You mean I should not have given them my list?” Susan asked.
“What was your purpose in calling the meeting?”
“I wanted to get the team’s ideas,” she replied.
“To get ideas from the team, what could you have done differently?”