This is the 5th installment in a series of posts focused on how to improve your team skills. Previous topics have been about speaking too much or too little and how to deliver effective feedback.
This post is focused on how to accept others ideas more. Truly listening to team mates can go a long way to help build team trust, not to mention improving team decision by making sure alternate perspectives are truly evaluated.
You may think you do a good job of accepting others ideas, which in fact you might do but your helpful advice on how their idea could be improved could be misconstrued as you didn’t think their idea was a good one.
Building on each other’s ideas is a critical skill for highly effective teams, however you need to ensure the others on your team understand that you do hear their initial ideas and give them credit. If your personality type is always looking for the ultimate solution, you likely push your team mates to deliver above average results, but watch that you don’t come off as too critical of all ideas. Here are a few simple things to consider, improving your ability to accept others ideas and helping them know you respect their ideas:
Restate the idea and acknowledge the ownership.
Resist the urge to fine tune, if you disagree or feel it is fundamentally flawed then absolutely speak up, but the fine tuning may deliver marginally better results and significantly erode your teammate’s confidence in bringing forward ideas.
If you do disagree, try to focus on the common ground to start the discussion and then provide your perspective on the elements you disagree with.
Reflecting on your opportunities for improvement is important for all of us to do on a regular basis. Pushing yourself to truly accept others ideas sometimes, even when you have a brilliant one of your own, shows your team you are open to others suggestions and a solid team player.