5 Ways to Make Suggestions that Get Heard

Suggestions are another way of saying do it my way. The person making suggestions is telling you how they would do it, if they were doing it.

know how you should do it


The worst suggestions come after you’re done and someone says, “Next time you could ….”

You think, next time you do it. Jerk!

Suggestion-makers look like they feel superior.

Suggestions feel like ingratitude. People with “ideas” should just get out of the way so you can get something done.

The harder you work the more suggestions from bystanders feel like a punch in the gut.

“To accept good advice is but
to increase one’s own ability.” Goethe


  1. Explain.
  2. Lash out.
  3. Make excuses.
  4. Say, “That’s stupid.”
  5. Hand them the broom in disgust and say you do it!

Don’t punish people who have ideas. But, ignore people who just want things done their way.


  1. Say, “Thank you. Maybe we can use your ideas next time.”
  2. Ask if they would like to be involved.
  3. Smile and let it go. It’s not worth being upset.

Make suggestions effectively?

The trouble with suggestions is the pursuit of excellence demands them. Tweaks are another way of enhancing efficiency and achieving better results.

Express curiosity before making suggestions.


  1. What goals are you shooting to achieve?
  2. What are your frustrations?
  3. How can I help?

5 Suggestions on making suggestions:

  1. Avoid thinking everyone has your strength and should do things your way. Do your suggestions align with their strengths?
  2. Begin conversations by asking, “What’s working?” and, “What’s not working?” It’s a waste to ask, “How are things going?”
  3. Make after action reports – suggestions – part of the system.
  4. Ask, “What if we tried ….?”
  5. Get involved.

What makes suggestions palatable?