📄 Why You Shouldn't Have Good Ideas

From the outside, it’s easy to see what would be good for other people.

This one would benefit from more exercise.

That one would feel better if they'd see a therapist.

Your spouse would be happier if they stopped hanging out with that toxic friend.

Your kid would feel proud, if only they’d do their homework.

Your buyer... well obviously they’d see results, if they would proceed to checkout and buy your thing.

And, yes, everybody would feel much less of that low-level anxiety (or not so low, as the case may be) that’s so common these days, if folk would take in less news and spend less time on social media.

Good ideas, all of them.

If only people would adopt your good ideas, they’d benefit.

But if someone didn't ask for your good ideas, it might be better to not share them.

Because no matter how good the advice is, sharing it without the other person inviting you to do so, will almost always have the opposite effect of what you want for that person.

Unsollicited advice causes resistance and gets defenses up, because it tells the other person: “You’re doing it wrong”.

That might not be what you mean, but what someone hears is far more important than what you mean.

After all, the message heard is the real message - not the message sent.

Result? Reactance: the other person will be triggered to oppose, not adopt, your good ideas.

So if you really want the best for others, have no good ideas for them.

Instead, have questions for them.

Keep asking questions, so that they may find clarity, and discover their own good ideas.

Which, if you ask the right questions, is likely to have them discover good ideas that are pretty close to the good idea you have for them. Funny how that works.

But if they don’t, just keep asking questions, right up until the point that they ask you what you think.

At that moment, when you're invited to, share your idea, suggestion, or recommendation.

They’ll be open to what you have to say, receptive to your viewpoint, and they’ll be far more likely to take on board what you think - and if they do, they’ll own it too.

Want people to pick up your good ideas?

Then try not have any - not until they ask for them.

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