That's great, but...

Updated: Nov 1, 2019

How many times have you heard, or perhaps said, this? If you've said it, it's usually for one of two reasons. Either you are trying to add value by giving your two cents worth in regards to how it could be even better, if... Or You don't like the answer/idea and think yours is much better - 'I'm right, you are wrong'

In both instances the response it draws, should you even notice it, is likely a very deflated look, sigh or plain resignation that they wasted their efforts because it wasn't good enough. Not exactly what the way to inspire people to be creative, to share ideas, or to build morale.

Will what you have to say really add that much value? Is the risk so high that you couldn't simply give some recognition for the contribution? If the answer is no then leave it at 'that's great'

So what if the answer is Yes? How can you build on the idea in a way that continues to encourage creativity and initiative and takes the idea to even greater heights? The words and phrasing will vary, the recipe remains the same - Acknowledge or Give recognition for the contribution; Ask some questions (they may very well have more to offer than what has been shared so far); Ask if they would like any ideas or help