40There is an abundance of ways to kill an idea. You can always mishandle the enthusiasm, assess all of the risks and none of the possibilities, scrutinize every flaw, dismantle self-confidence, level threat of failure, doubt every possible success, slice and grind down every belief and ambition.
But there is an always effective and evergreen shortcut to kill an idea, and this is to infuse fear. Fear of being criticized, renounced, rejected, humiliated, and feeling insignificant. That being the case, it seems imperative that the idea holder will withdraw, surrender, keep her mouth shut, and voice no more ideas to interrupt you with. This way you will weed out the entire process from the very root. Here you go.
I've attended more than enough management meetings where people are highly resistant to share their ideas. You need just to have a look at their constrained posture and gaze pinned in the desk in front of them to feel the lack of trust, openness and vitality. The most stunning fact is their intimidating boss is usually the one most frustrated and accusing his people for not having opinion, suggestions and initiative. What a surprise, huh! He is the killer of all these in the first place.
I am sure I don't need to talk you into the idea of how way more effectively your team will act in case there is respect, open-mindedness, freedom, encouragement and dialogue. But I need to emphasize that a leader needs to signal those values and to build this space of free idea flow in every interaction with his team, by developing the self-discipline of listening carefully, asking the right questions, encourage sharing, and acknowledging every input, again and again.
It takes much more effort to create an idea-friendly culture than to pull the trigger and shoot it down.
As it takes much more effort to give birth than to take life.
Best regards,

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