“Why can’t I get more participation in my meetings?” Janet asked.
I nodded. “Some say that it is the fear of disagreeing with the boss, but I find it is a more universal fear. It is the fear of floating an idea that carries the possibility of rejection.”
I let that sink in a moment. “As a Manager, if you want to promote deeper, richer, more truthful conversations in your team, try this. As ideas are contributed, create a follow-up comment that expands the idea, creates an insight to that idea or connects the idea to a higher purpose, goal or solution. Breathe life into every contribution.”
Two weeks later, I overheard one of Janet’s team members talking at the water cooler. “Our meetings have really gotten better. Janet makes all of our ideas sound so smart.”
Ideas really are smart when you can connect them to a purpose, a goal or a solution.