Handling Impractical Suggestions

In most cases managers are usually very grateful when a member of their team makes a suggestion on how things could be improved. Being an effective manager of people is, after all, about encouraging open communication and innovation. However, what should you do when someone brings you an idea that is simply unrealistic?Discussing an idea

Here are nine people management tips that will help you deal with impractical suggestions from your team in a professional manner.

1. Listen attentively while the other person is speaking to you. Do not dismiss their idea straight away as being completely impossible; it could contain some important information that could be useful.

2. Ask clear and concise questions that will encourage the other person to explain their idea fully and think through their suggestion.

3. Be diplomatic with your comments. When presented with a bad idea or suggestion do not simply react by telling the other person: "That is impossible!” This reaction will discourage them from speaking up in future.

4. Show the other person that you are grateful for the idea and that you admire their diligence and concern.

5. Clarify your feelings on the situation. Do not lecture the other person or make them feel stupid by saying "We have tried that and it didn't work!"

6. Outline the pros and cons of their suggestion and show them why you believe the disadvantages are greater than the benefits.

7. Give the other person the opportunity to reply with counter-arguments. It will show them that you are a fair minded person, which in turn will earn you greater respect.

8. Look for a compromise. Some ideas, when modified, are quite possible to achieve. Even if the end result has little to do with the original suggestion, the suggestion maker will know that he or she was instrumental in the decision process and this helps to build engagement.

9. Finally, remember being effective at people management means never agreeing to a suggestion or idea simply because you like the person who suggested it or don’t want to upset them. A bad idea is still a bad idea, no matter whose idea it was!