During this week’s SXSW Conference, I dropped in on a discussion about creating customer experiences (this particular session focused on the Virgin Hyperloop passenger experience).
A word that kept popping up was “welcoming”—and for good reason. Customers and clients who feel welcomed and appreciated are much more likely to have positives and rewarding experiences with our products, services and events. The same is true when we are receiving ideas. Creativity is a team sport, so people need to be comfortable when sharing ideas with us.
Here are three ways to put out the welcome mat for new ideas from team members, family and friends:
Welcome ideas with cheers. Be a cheerleader for the creativity of others. Instill confidence by reminding them of their past creative achievements. Build enthusiasm by helping people realize how infant ideas can grow into reality. People readily share ideas when cheered on during development.
Welcome ideas with attention. If people feel they have to take a number to see you, budding ideas will wither away. To keep ideas growing and flowing, be physically available to welcome ideas. And also be mentally available—focusing on the present moment and giving the idea your total attention.
Welcome ideas with respect. When someone shares an idea , respect the idea. Avoid temptations to immediately criticize or to make alterations and additions. Meet idea presenters where they are, not where you are. There will be plenty of time later to refine and revise. For the moment, let the idea glow, and let its creator bask in glory.