What To Do When Your Ideas Are Shot Down At Work

What to say to save the day when your ideas are rejected in a meeting?

What To Do When Your Ideas Are Shot Down At Work

It can be embarrassing when you think your suggestion borders on genius, so you prepare towards it with great gusto. And then it is shot down brutally in the meeting by a senior. At such times, there is a great risk of damaging your work image.

It is normal to come up with up with a bad idea. It might actually not be a bad idea, just irrelevant or inapt for the current situation. Whatever, may be the case, the most important thing to do when this happens is to save your credibility. And a presence of mind to say the right thing is extremely crucial.

Toby is disliked by Michael Scott, so even his valid suggestion during a sensitivity training is shot down
Toby is disliked by Michael Scott, so even his valid suggestion during a sensitivity training is shot down

Image Credit: theoffice

Instead of panicking or dropping it like a bad joke, and trying to exit the meeting in embarrassment, there are few other things that you can say to show you are a real team player, and meant for a greater career opportunity.

You could instead use one of these career-boosting phrases to bounce back from that rejection even better than before.

Ask how your idea can be improved

You do not need to just accept the rejection at face value.In fact, bosses might actually appreciate when their direct reports are willing to ask the tough questions and get clarification on which aspects of their ideas are worth exploring.

Not only does this encourage a productive conversation, but it also proves that you are willing to utilize that feedback to make improvements moving forward.Taking the extra step to get that added input means you will be able to pitch a more solid recommendation next time around.

Come up with alternatives

This might require more rigorous preparation, but provide alternative when your primary idea is shot down. Or at least, promise to come up with better solutions next time. Responding to your manager on a positive note like this one proves that you are not just going to roll over in the face of defeat.

So, after you have asked your boss for some additional feedback about why your idea didn’t work as is, explicitly tell your supervisor that you are going to take that information back to a brainstorming session and come up with something even better.

Know when to submit to your mistake

You also need to be aware that sometimes it is better to submit than to keep on fighting a losing battle. Not every suggestion deserves the same amount of perseverance. As it is possible that your idea may be faulty to such an extent, that spending more time on it would be a hindrance to you and the team. At such time, it is wiser to drop it.

Even if you won’t be pursuing that plan any further, letting your manager know that you appreciate their even thinking it over is an effective way to move on from that failed suggestion with your reputation and relationship intact.

Not having your ideas met with resounding praise and applause can be a bit of a brutal slap in the face. But, as with so many things at work, it is not always about what happens, it’s about how you react to it.

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