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When you get people together to explain options or come up with new ideas, don’t play principal. Leave your title and authority out of the room. Just ask people to “think” and “show.” Make sure every idea is kept on the table. Remember, if you want people to think and create, criticism can’t exist. It can come later, but not now. You must put “yes, but…” on hold. It stops creativity, especially big, bold, different, and new ideas.

In addition, don’t ever let someone think about responding with “so what?” This is an important question, but you won’t get the idea you’re looking for once “so what?” is said in a creative meeting.

Instead, ask people to chew on every idea, mull over every suggestion, and pay attention to everything said because one thought can lead to unbelievable results if it’s left on the table to explore.

Always keep in mind that it is easier for people to discard than it is to create. Therefore, any action that halts creative thinking and installs evaluation is a mistake in problem-solving and idea-creating sessions.

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Fortunately, when we assume the positive intentions of others, we can sidestep much unnecessary pain while building a path of trust.

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