Ways to kill an idea and ways to help an idea

Ways to Kill an Idea

Suppressing an idea is often much simpler than nurturing it into a viable solution. Exercise caution to avoid dismissing others’ ideas hastily; doing so might discourage them from sharing further, leading them to seek a more receptive audience elsewhere.

It can be challenging to maintain a constructive tone when presented with an idea that appears impractical or ill-conceived. Remember, people generally don’t propose ideas they believe are bad, and in a good brainstorming session putting forward invalid ideas that prompt good ideas are actively encouraged as way to stimulate new, working ideas.

It’s crucial to first comprehend the rationale behind their contribution and build on it to something useful. Often, there’s a valuable element within their idea that can be expanded on. Alternatively, this could be an opportunity for you to guide them in understanding the limitations of their concept. To effectively communicate why an idea may not be feasible, you must first grasp why they believe it could succeed when modified or expanded on.

To dismiss an idea, one might say:

  • “It’s a good idea, but…”
  • “Theoretically sound, but…”
  • “Be realistic, that’s too avant-garde.”
  • “The public might not embrace it.”
  • “The costs are prohibitive.”
  • “Hold off on initiating anything.”
  • “It requires further analysis.”
  • “It’s not allocated in the budget, perhaps next year.”
  • “It lacks sufficient merit.”
  • “It’s too cumbersome.”
  • “Let’s conduct a survey first.”
  • “It contradicts company policy.”
  • “It falls outside your role.”
  • “It’s not our issue to tackle.”
  • “The leadership team won’t approve.”
  • “Long-standing employees won’t adapt to it.”
  • “It’s too complex to organize.”
  • “Our current methods have been effective for years.”
  • “If it’s such a brilliant idea, why hasn’t it been proposed before?”
  • “It’s ahead of its time; people aren’t ready yet.”
  • “Let’s postpone considering it.”
  • “We’ll discuss it later.” (and then failing to do so)
  • “We’ve never done it this way.”
  • “Has it been successfully implemented elsewhere?”
  • “We’ve tried this before without success.”
  • “Simply ignoring the suggestion.”
  • “Is anyone bold enough to attempt this?”
  • “We are already implementing something similar.”
  • “I’ll consult with my manager.”
  • Or, simply by disregarding and ignoring the individual and their idea.

Ways to Help an Idea

To foster an idea, consider responding with:

  • “Yes, and…”
  • “That’s a thoughtful suggestion.”
  • “Excellent, let’s give it a go.”
  • “How can we find time to test its feasibility?”
  • “What resources are required for implementation?”
  • “Let’s prove the skeptics wrong.”
  • “Please elaborate.”
  • “How can we make this successful?”
  • “Let’s conduct a trial.”
  • “What are its benefits?”
  • “How can we mitigate the drawbacks?”
  • “Could you prepare an action plan?”
  • “What support do you need from me?”
  • “I’m intrigued.”
  • “This sounds fascinating, tell me more.”
  • “Let’s not focus on the current method.”
  • “Which aspects of this idea can we apply right away?”
  • “How do we persuade others?”
  • “Let’s evolve this idea into a practical solution.”
  • And you can:
  • Display enthusiasm and interest.
  • Listen attentively and strive to understand the proposal’s intent.
  • Refrain from interrupting until they have finished.
  • Build upon their idea.

Be mindful of the importance of being constructive. There are numerous ways to support an idea subtly, even without outright agreement or commitment to action. Always be vigilant against prematurely dismissing an idea without fully appreciating the positive intentions behind its proposition.

Hopefully you will see that there are many ways in which you can be constructive. There are even ways to encourage an idea without saying you agree or that you will do it. Be on a constant watch out for putting down an idea too early without understanding the positive reasons for it being suggested.

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