Remain open to new ideas, even if you don't like them


Leaders, do you show your initial negative reaction to ideas and actions to your employees? If you are very focused on time, results, and driving forward, you may be making this mistake. Instead, don’t show your initial negative reaction. Be open and listen. You will create an innovative culture that keeps your business relevant to customers AND employees!

Leaders, Benefits of Not Showing Your Initial Negative Reaction

Let’s start with when you are most likely to show your initial negative reaction. In moments of …


  • Confusion. If you are an analytic or driver personality, you are likely to say “stop” when you are confused.
  • Pressure. When deadlines loom, money is at stake, or outside pressures mount, you may want people to do exactly what you want.
  • Sudden change. When you think everyone is on one page and you suddenly see it’s not true, you may react negatively.
  • Diversity. If you have a vision of what people should look like or sound or behave, your initial response to diversity may be negative.
  • Insecurity. When you sense that someone is questioning your authority or trying to get around you, you may snap back negatively.


Nine Benefits of Delaying Your Initial Negative Reaction


  1. Empowering employees to explore, innovate, and make decisions. In other words, helping them to be more valuable to the business.
  2. Preventing group think. Many employees will simply agree with you if they think that you will react negatively do their ideas.
  3. Learning details you hadn’t known. When you react negatively when employees begin to speak, you stop listening. You don’t hear the whole picture. This is risky.
  4. Creating positive employee experience. Employees want to know they are valuable. Give them space to show you what they can do. This leads morale!
  5. Building respect. Employ6ees respect leaders who listen and consider the big picture. They leave leaders who jump on them with an initial negative reaction.
  6. Developing trust. Would you trust a leader who was always reacting negatively to your efforts?

    And more benefits …
  7. Being a model of great listening. Show the employees how to be open and hear other people. This is the first step in building and maintaining great teamwork.
  8. Reducing your mistakes. You hire employees for their skills and knowledge. If you don’t hear their ideas and information, you will make more mistakes.
  9. Building an inclusive culture. A leader’s initial negative reaction to employees who are not like them creates big trouble. Replace your negative reaction with sincere interest in what all employees have to offer. (Diversity includes races, cultures, ethnic background, gender identity, personality types, education, to name a few.)


Leaders, instead of showing an initial negative reaction to what you don’t like, be open and listen. Ask questions and learn what employees are thinking and doing. When you hear what they are and are not thinking, you can then guide and coach them with your experience too.

Employees, now do your part. Be open to the leader’s ideas. Leaders and teams collaborate with their experience and knowledge. Make sure you are willing to develop yours every day!

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