Is your team hesitant to share their ideas, even when asked? The Public Speaker has 4 tips to create an atmosphere where communicating ideas is encouraged.
Have you ever held a meeting, only to find yourself doing all of the talking? Is your team hesitant to share their ideas, even when asked? Today we’ll talk about how to create an atmosphere where communicating ideas is encouraged.
Unfortunately, this happens more frequently than we’d like to admit. In many organizations employees are afraid to speak up. They fear their ideas will be rejected or their careers will suffer negative consequences as a result of making a suggestion—especially if the idea ultimately doesn’t work out.
How can you create an atmosphere where communication is encouraged? Here are 4 tips to help you get your employees to open up:
Tip #1: Let Your Employees Talk First
If you want your employees to share their ideas, let them talk first. Give them the problem and ask them for their ideas for solving it. Rather than toss out an idea of your own and wait for replies, ask your employees what they think first.
If you say:
”We’re a couple of days behind on our schedule and partner XYZ is concerned. What can we do to guarantee we’ll meet our deadline? I think we need to hire a few more people. Any other ideas?”
Your employees probably have a number of better ideas than just hiring more people. But unless you’ve created a culture where questioning ideas is encouraged, you just shut down the meeting by throwing out your idea first.
Instead, try something like this:
“We’re a couple of days behind on our schedule and we need to catch up. I brought you here because you’re the ones doing the work. I need you to tell me what we can do to get back on schedule.”
An opening like this will encourage realistic suggestions from team members because they feel empowered to solve the problem. By the end of the meeting you will have a plan in place that everyone has given input to and agreed upon.