Skilled Pollinators

Your readily available, abundantly willing, most powerful personnel

No “No!” enables good “know”

  1. Instead of saying “no”, start with a compliment for bringing up the idea and how you appreciate their engagement.
  2. Ask what the product/process does. Do not say if it is good or bad. Just be curious.
  3. Ask where it can be incorporated into the existing environment. Can it replace something, add to an existing element or even create a new concept? All answers are positive. Do not tell your pollinator where you see it fit.
  4. Ask for some time to think it over, and make sure to circle back with a few questions after a day or two, even if you know the answers.

The processing path and the decision track

  1. When making a decision, regardless of whether you embrace or decline the new idea, make sure to complement the initiative, acknowledge the effort, and share your reasons for the decision.
  2. At this point, if you have decided to embrace the idea, ask about the financial implications. By separating the acceptance of the idea from the financial burden, you signal that you respect the person and their idea; that way, you can blame the financial hatchet if you choose to reject the proposal. Now, the Pollinator feels appreciated and empowered to provide new input.

Celebrate accomplishments and cherish failures

  1. Keep track of all the ideas, and at least once a year have an Idea Party (aka IP, as a tech joke). I recommend creating whimsical activities to visualize the concepts; for example, a Column chart to describe the number of ideas per person where the columns are indicated by Oreo cookies. A cookie per idea, regardless of good or bad.
  2. Not all ideas are great, or even good. I can admit that even I have thought up some clunkers in my life. But, recognize the person, the effort it took, and simply explain the flaw in the idea. No mocking, nor making funny remarks. Just state your opinion with an explanation.
  3. Record it. Make sure to add the Pollinators’ ideas to their performance reviews, and always paint them in a positive light.

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