Innovative Thinking – Naysayers & Negaholics – Blog 126

Naysayers & Negaholics


Nothing will drag an innovative team down faster than naysayers and negaholics.  Just one of these personalities can kill the creativity of an innovative team in only a few minutes.  Management and legal are famous for playing these roles.  Remember, it’s their job to see what can go wrong first, analyze the risks, then decide whether or not the reward is worth the risk.  The big risk is having them destroy your creative environment.

The best way to get naysaying negaholics on board is making them feel a part of the decision-making process. Successful Team Think teams realize the way to get an individual

emotionally invested is to foster an open environment that actively solicits the team member’s ideas and promptly acknowledges them.

Continuously keep the channels of communication open throughout your team by:

Sharing the big picture. Communicate your vision to your team and reiterate it often. If team members are wrapped up in the details of a project, they may lose sight of the ultimate objective. Keep repeating the reasons you’re all in this together. Give the concrete examples of the rewards (motivation); promotions, raises, recognition, etc.

Being generous with information. Let your team members know immediately when plans change, when problems arise, or when any other changes occur that would affect the team.

Defuse the effect of rumors generated by crisis by giving your team members updates often.  Don’t hoard information.

Get them on board as quickly as possible.  Give them praise frequently and criticism sparingly. Make sure you give all team members plenty of positive feedback. Many members complain they only receive feedback from leaders when there’s a problem.

Sometimes a team member does need negative feedback.  Praise in public; criticize in private. These signals are closely watched by other team members.  And, be prepared and encourage negative feedback on yourself and the way you are managing your creative team.

Encourage team member feedback about you. Take time to listen to your member. They probably have expertise in areas you know little about. If they have suggestions for improvements, give them a fair hearing. If you think their ideas are good, give them recognition. Actions speak louder than words.

Be a confidence builder, not a confidence destroyer. “You’re doing a good job, don’t mess it up” is positive feedback destroyed by the tagline. Simply leave it at “You’re doing a good job.”

Choose your words wisely grasshopper.


Lon Safko
Serial Innovator, Keynote Speaker, Trainer, Innovative Thinking


Tags: innovative thinking, creative, creative thinking, Innovation, critical thinking definition, innovation definition, critical thinking skills, creative process

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