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Got a Bright Idea for the Shop? Don’t Tell Anyone Just Yet

Instead, use this method to present your plan.

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Have a bold new idea to improve performance in your business? Don’t rush to tell staff about “your plan.” Instead, look for a way to present the new idea as coming from far away. A study by management scholar Jennifer Mueller found that when an idea is presented as originating from a distance, people picture it in the abstract: They grasp the gist, focus on the end goal and appreciate the ingenuity. But when it’s described as coming from nearby (i.e. internally generated), they zoom in on detailed practicalities and imagine all the potential problems. It’s why employees (and friends) will listen sympathetically to an outside consultant’s ideas or something they found in a book, but if it comes from you … they only see reasons it won’t work.

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