The mix of people you include in creative brainstorming affects the atmosphere of your office, as well as the results you get from the process. Engagement levels and personality clashes can lead to too conservative or too risky session.
As an innovation leader, you must deal with these problems and try to facilitate a productive mood. Remember, everyone in the room wants to feel valued not in a form of a constant agreement but by constructive feedback on their ideas. When everyone feels like their input is important you’re going to get a lot more ideas in your session now and beyond. How to give effective feedback? Let’s fins out in today’s article.
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First, let us explain why giving constructive feedback is critical to getting the best from your team.
If you really want your team to think creatively, it’s essential that you help them break down any mental barriers to creativity and access the imaginative parts of their brain. At this point know this: the biggest enemy to creativity is our self-consciousness.
And of course, giving negative feedback (or any feedback at all) can be tricky. If you give it in the wrong way, you can make team members feel as if their input isn’t valued or it’s so good that any changes/questions/research in the future may be found offensive. This can lead to them thinking twice before they offer any more ideas. And this is exactly the opposite of what we’re looking for, right?
However, it’s also your responsibility to steer the group’s ideas in the right direction. Make sure your team has a big image of the problem. And remember that not giving feedback at all is the biggest crime of al. Your team will never know how their innovations are received. And as our experience shows, avoiding feedback will not make your team like you more.
We know that this is a really difficult balance, but you can master the skill by adhering to these principles.
1. Ask considered questions
Telling people something is always far less effective than leading them to that conclusion on their own terms. And this applies to everything, not just brainstorming session. That’s why questions rather than statements can be far more powerful in helping to address the weaknesses of the idea.
Always try to remind yourself that your feelings about an idea might not be 100% correct. This self-awarness gives you a great space to be honest about a contribution whilst also exploring the possibility that it might not be workable.
If you feel like contributions are too far away from being practical solutions, your job is to refocus the group with a distinct goal.
2. Give every idea equal weight
Not every contribution is going to change the face of your organisation. However, ideas in a brainstorming session are more than just isolated events – they’re links in a group thought-process that can take you almost anywhere. The idea which won’t work could inspire one that will. That’s exactly why it’s important to consider every idea carefully.
And when you feel that idea is not useful, make a note of it anyway, just as you would with a great idea. If you have reservations about it, make those feelings known to the team whilst also praising the positive aspects of the contribution. This goes for both verbal contributions and written ones.
3. Be objective, be specific – at all times
It’s difficult to get quality creative ideas from your team when they’re more worried about their own personal feelings, agendas or company procedures. Don’t let your personal feelings or bureaucracy influence the way you handle each contribution coming your way. Be objective and specific – no matter who is offering the idea, from your COO right down to your newest intern.
4. Always explain why
As a senior team member, it’s probable that you will be privy to more information than your coworkers and may have a larger strategic view of each issue.
So it is crucial to explain your reasoning behind the way you deal with each contribution. Your team needs transparency on your evaluations. They want to be sure you lead them in the right direction and they can trust you. Remember shutting down an idea for no apparent reason can discourage not only the person who offered it but the whole team.
Keep these four tips in mind, however, and you’ll be well on your way to give effective feedback and consistently productive yet creative sessions that lead to ongoing business innovation. Giving feedback is a skill, it is a fine art but we are sure you will master it over time.
Thanks for reading!
To get more tips on quality ideation in your business, simply leave an email address. Our consultant will contact you to schedule a call at the time that suits you best. We’re excited to help with all your innovation challenges.