Protecting Your Good Ideas
In a lot of ways, our ideas are like bringing a child into the world. Our ideas are important and sacred to us. We are attached to them and proud of them. We want to breathe life into them and have them treated with sensitivity and respect. We also want to be acknowledged for their creation and eventual usefulness. Our ideas are part of who we are.
But, what happens if the boss shoots them down, ignores them or uses them and fails to give you credit? Or gives someone else credit? That doesn’t feel good, does it? It’s a smack in the face.
There are things you can do if any of this happens to you (and it doesn’t involve looking for another job).
- Since ideas are often spontaneous, make sure you document your ideas after you share them. Send an email just confirming the idea and any discussion. If you do status reports, include your ideas there. This helps to reinforce in everyone’s mine where the idea came from.
- If you are asked to provide input to your annual review, list some of your most outstanding ideas, especially those that proved valuable. Again, good reinforcement.
- “Seed” your conversations. You can do something as simple as “When we were talking yesterday and I brought up the idea of X….” More reinforcement.
- If your ideas are ignored or shot down, look at your own delivery or communication style. I know a gal that goes so over board with information that her boss has told her not to talk unless asked. Very oppressive but she lacks insight into her audience and how much detail they want or need.
- Ask for feedback. If you feel your ideas are delivered well but shot down, you need information and insight to improve.
- Check your expectations. Just because you have a good idea, don’t expect that every one of them can be used.
Let’s hope all your ideas are treated with the same love and affection you have for them.
Brought to you by Dorothy Tannahill-Moran – dedicated to unleashing your professional potential. Introvert Whisperer