Can you say no to the idea people?

There are some people that have a knack for having ideas. For getting excited about what could be done. And that rarely ask if things should be done. Or they get people so excited about an idea that everyone forgets to think about if it is a good idea.

I’ve been that person, I still am at times. I know lots of these people.

No project ends without a long list of ideas that went undone. That’s fine. That’s normal. That’s to be expected.

We need to keep this in mind when doing future projects. We need to look for the things we can cut. Instead of feeling bad when we have that long list of things we didn’t address.

But there’s a common problem I’ve found that keeps all of us from pruning our todo lists. We have an unhealthy emotional relationship with the person that came up with the ideas.

The idea person is somehow in a position of authority. At least that’s what we perceive.

Can you think of the idea people that you work with? Who typically comes up with all the ideas?

How do you feel saying no to them, when they first come to you with an idea? How do you feel saying no to them a week later? A month later? At the end of a project when it falls off the radar?

Chances are you feel less threatened saying no long after they have the idea or just letting the idea die. Why not work on feeling ok with saying no in the moment they come to you with an idea?

How much time did the other person waste because you didn’t help them realize that their idea is a bad idea or just shouldn’t be done?

What other feelings do you have toward idea people that impede your ability to say no? What can you do to feel good about saying no?

If you work on this, you’ll find you can stop the bad ideas and spend more time on the good ones. You’ll waste less time tracking bad ideas and feeling bad about not getting to them.