Choose to Hug New Ideas Before Killing Them

The following readers won copies of The Vagrant because they left a comment on last Friday’s post:

  1. Leon Crone
  2. Nancy Tuxford
  3. Jenny Lynn-Garner
  4. Janeil Owen
  5. Mark Klimpel

Killing new ideas:

When you don’t have a good idea, it feels powerful to shoot down new ideas.

It’s comforting to shoot down new ideas when you’ve invested so much to create the status quo.

It’s comforting to shoot down new ideas when you’ve invested so much to create the status quo. Image of a car buried in the road.

Choose to hug new ideas:

Learn to go-with before you push against.

People learn to keep their mouths shut when new ideas face a firing squad.

Exploring an idea is different from agreeing with it. “Tell me more,” is better than, “That won’t work,” when new ideas are infants.

Get over feeling smart when you shoot something down. It takes a genius to go-with for a few minutes.

Questions that enable you to hug new ideas:

  1. That’s interesting. What are you striving to accomplish?
  2. I wonder. What would be true if we went in that direction?
  3. I’m just curious. What caused this idea to come up?
  4. What’s important about this to you?

Dangers of agreeableness:

Have a backbone. Too agreeable is dangerous.

  1. Your ideas get lost.
  2. Avoiding conflict is eventually destructive.
  3. Express a viewpoint. You’re worthless if you always agree.

7 ways to disagree in an agreeable manner:

  1. Go-with before you push against as a matter of practice.
  2. Be sure you understand before you demonstrate how smart you are by disagreeing.
  3. Ask open questions with curiosity. Don’t use questions like bullets.
  4. Develop a reputation for pulling-with when good ideas come up.
  5. Soften your tone. The harder you push back the gentler you should become.
  6. Don’t pout when your idea loses. Row like it was your idea in the first place.
  7. Ask two questions before making one statement.


Who will pull with you? The person you consistently shoot down or the person who feels like you are part of their team?

How can leaders hug new ideas before killing them?

4 Questions that Define a Useful Idea – Leadership Freak

7 Ways to Immediately Open Your Mind to Useful Ideas – Leadership Freak

John David Mann and I collaborated on a book about humility. Everything good in leadership begins there. If you’re reading The Vagrant as a team or a group, send an email to and let me know. I’d love to setup a short video call with you to meet you, answer questions, and help you get the most out of your experience.

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