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Your ideas: When to hold ’em, when to fold ’em

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in HR Management,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,Management Training

Issue: Weigh and incorporate feedback on your ideas before "going public" with them.

Benefit: See the flaws in your plan, and spot opposition early on, so it, and your reputation, doesn't go down in flames.

Action: Ask yourself the following questions before proceeding.

In a previous issue, we showed you how to sell your ideas to senior management ... one person at a time. So now, you've gotten feedback from each person about your idea. Now what?

How do you decide by what means, or if, to adjust your idea, based on that input? Ask yourself these critical questions:

  • "Can I incorporate the feedback into my idea without eroding the idea's integrity or its overall goal?" If so, do it! Look for every opportunity to incorporate even small adjustments ... and give credit to those who suggested the changes.
  • "Do I need to develop alternatives because, as is, my idea clearly will not fly?" If so, discuss those alternatives with the appropriate senior managers, prior to presenting your thoughts to them as a group. Often, the process of brainstorming ideas with others leads us to come up with totally different routes to our goals. Don't hesitate to pursue those alternative routes if they make more sense.
If you still feel strongly that your idea has significant value, even though senior managers have pointed out its flaws, ask yourself this:

"What's the worst that can happen if I propose this idea and the group doesn't accept it?" Odds are, even if this idea doesn't fly, you will have earned the managers' respect by seeking their input individually before floating it "in public." And going through the process will give you that much more experience next time.

Sandy Allgeier is an HR consultant and trainer who spent more than 25 years in the field as a human resources professional. Contact her at (502) 266-0159 or

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