So what do you do when an employee comes to you with a bad idea? Employee ideas can come in many shapes and sizes and not all are good of course.
As a leader you are trying to build trust, foster creativity and strengthen relationships with those you lead, but what do you do when employee ideas are really bad? Do you just outright say, “That is Crazy!” Or do you stall by saying, “Hmm… maybe, let’s bring it to the team,” and then have the team tell them it is crazy?
Both approaches can unfortunately have negative consequences. The former will destroy trust in you as a leader and make it more unlikely that employee will come to you with an idea in the future. The latter could potentially embarrass the employee and result in a lack of trust with the team and passive participation in brainstorming sessions.
Your goal is to generate lots of employee ideas, not squash them. So how do you foster great employee ideas?
1.Be Respectful. If the idea is not good, be careful in how you respond. The last thing you want to be is condescending, or completely dismissive.
2. Appreciate. Suggesting an idea can be risky for some. Let the employee know that you appreciate their ideas and taking the time to share them with you.
3. Give a Reason. Help the employee to understand why it isn’t a good idea.
4. Encourage. This is probably the most important tip of the four. One bad employee idea doesn’t mean that employee can’t come up with other ideas. It is important that they are encouraged to keep bringing ideas to you and the team.
The video below is a humorous skit based on a real bad business idea. Watch how this loan officer handles this crazy idea. It is very funny, and as always let me know what you think in the comments below : ) Let’s discuss.
I have a feeling you will watch this video more than once as I have 🙂