Ways to distinguish yourself #107 Detach the idea from the source

Ways to distinguish yourself #107 Detach the idea from the source

By Rajesh Setty on Thu 16 Feb 2006, 8:02 AM – Leave Comment

It is common knowledge that our view of the messenger has a bearing on

the importance we will give to the message he or she is bringing. This

acts as a shortcut to filter the amazing amount of noise that is out

there. I am not suggesting that you make a blanket change to this

approach. That would be scary. Here is my proposal:

Only when someone comes to you with an idea, try to detach the idea

from the source – meaning just for that instant, detach the messenger

and the message. That way, your past experiences and assessments about

the source won’t contaminate your evaluation of the idea.

Now, why is this important? Ideas can come from anywhere – from your

kids to from someone that is totally not related to your field of work.

If our filters are strong, most of the time, we will ignore the ideas

from people that we think have no authority to generate “valid” or

“good” ideas in your field of work. You will generally look for

“credibility” and “experience” of the source before giving their “idea”

due consideration. The chances are that you will miss some “gems” in

the process. Not everyone who will come up with a brilliant idea has

the necessary background, experience and/or credibility to back it up.

Summary: Be open to ideas. From anywhere!

Note 1: It is obvious that you need phenomenal patience, caring and

superior listening skills to be able to detach an idea from its source.

You can start working on those skills to start with.

Note 2: Of course, it is clear that you will use your judgment on how

far you can take this. There are some people out there who have a lot

of ideas but not one will be worth your time. You can give them a

chance or two and then put your filters “back on” for that source.


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