In Lead more gently/ Purpose

My terrific idea

The other day I had a terrific idea.   I’ve lived long enough to know that not every idea I come up with is great, but that particular one was.  I liked it and wanted to move full steam ahead to implement it. 

There was one catch however.  It wasn’t entirely my decision to make and I had to present it to another person for consideration.  And yup – that person did not like it.

What to do?

Here are some things I considered doing:

  • Get a posse together of everybody who agrees with me and let the person see how many people are on my side.
  • Bombard the person with statistics, blogs, emails and opinion poles to help them see the light.
  • Sulk.


Fortunately my daily devotional time came before I could implement any of the above considerations.  After reading some scripture, my emotions calmed down and my mind stopped yelling instructions at me.  I prayed through my prayer list and afterward realized how many more important things were going on around me.  I prayed for the person who did not like my idea and, whilst praying, I realized how much they meant to me and how little my idea meant in comparison.

Here is what I did do.

  • I told the person that I valued their opinion and would not be partial and give precedence to my ideas only.
  • I gave sincere thought to their idea and realized it made a lot of sense.
  • I still liked my idea but acknowledged it was just one of many that could be implemented successfully.
  • I took up my cross and followed Jesus.

We did not go with my idea and the project was implemented another way.   My ego took a bit of a bump but I gained in two significant ways:

  • A strengthened relationship with my “adversary”.
  • A successful outcome to our project anyway.

“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”  James 3:17

Question: Fortunately for me, the other person’s idea was strategic and had value.  In the light of the above scripture verse, what do you think I should have done if they had a really bad idea?

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15 Comments

  • Reply
    Mike
    at

    The tough thing about other people’s “bad idea” is that they most often think it is a good idea. So arguing or just shooting it down usually creates offense. Then nobody wins because a relationship gets damaged. I think in this case, to be “peace loving, considerate, submissive” requires trying to see things from the other person’s point of view and then having an open discussion to exam the “what if’s” and the “have you thought about’s” of both sides.

    • Reply
      Michelle Tessendorf
      at

      Wise words Mike. How easily our words can offend someone and cause unnecessary hurt.

  • Reply
    Dustin
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    It’s easy to get absorbed in my ideas and take down anyone who doesn’t SEE it. But often, after a week or so, I find that that maybe it wasn’t worth taking down the people who disagreed. Maybe ideas should be kept in a cooler box for a week and then if they’re still fresh, go about sharing it with a little less fire & brimstone…

    • Reply
      Michelle Tessendorf
      at

      I love the cooler box idea Dustin. I wish I could find a little desk top size cooler box to store all my “hot” ideas in.

  • Reply
    Ron
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    It’s really interesting how so many ideas I consider ‘bad’ turn out to be good in the long run. I try to put myself in the other persons shoes and look at it from their perspective. If I still think it’s bad I’ll tell them so in as kind a manner as I can. However, if there is merit in the idea that I can see from their perspective I try to take an objective, unemotional look at it and consider it seriously.

    • Reply
      Michelle Tessendorf
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      You’re so right Ron. “Bad” is such a subjective term. What I think is a bad idea may very well be a great idea for somebody else. Kindness always comes up trumps!

  • Reply
    Michael
    at

    I THINK…this is a bit convicting. Thanks for the reminder!

  • Reply
    John Wood
    at

    Michelle’s take up my cross and follow Jesus is #1 best suggestion. Interestingly, I was meditating upon this verse as I drove in to the office this morning.

    I have seen over and over the wisdom of Dustin’s suggestion to “keep it in the cooler box for a week.” Maybe a month. The idea may just fade away, or it may grow in vigor.

    One other thought: sometimes there may be bits and pieces of an idea that have value. When an idea comes, try to listen for good ideas embedded within a larger bad idea, then build upon them.

    • Reply
      Michelle Tessendorf
      at

      Thanks for the great remarks John. So much of what everybody has said so far points to the fact that our relationships are far more important than our ideas (good or bad).

  • Reply
    Masego
    at

    WOW..Michelle thank you for this amazing website. I will freely admit that I am a person of GREAT BIG IDEAS which often need to be put in a “cooler box” for a while, because most times they are just far out of my reach. LOL! I think ideas are pieces of puzzles which may or may not fit in a big picture. But they are just exciting! Creative people like myself love thinking about new ideas, creating new things, etc. Ultimately, we need wisdom, knowledge, counsel and objective feedback from others. I like what Proverbs teaches us about wisdom. Prv 8:14 “Counsel and sound judgement are mine; I have understanding and power.”

    What I do now, is jot my ideas down in my prayer journal, pray about them, do my research, and then consider sharing them with others. May God bless you all!

    • Reply
      Michelle Tessendorf
      at

      Ah, the prayer journal. What a wonderful tool! Love the scripture verse you have referenced. It is through prayer that we gain understanding and sound judgment. Thanks for the comment Masego.

  • Reply
    Jerry Houston
    at

    I am more and more convinced as I get older to keep things in perspective and to not react to quickly when someone has the audacity to disgaree with my great ideas! Allowing time to reflect and honoring the other persons perspective has made life a lot calmer and deepends relationships. Thanks for bringing this great idea to the blog!

    Blessings,
    Jerry

    • Reply
      Michelle Tessendorf
      at

      Finding ways to honor other people is the spirit of true servant leadership. Thanks Jerry.

  • Reply
    Tom Adams
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    I use to be on a church board with a guy who always asked questions about things that the rest of the board was pretty much in agreement on. It was irritating; why didn’t he just go along with the rest of us and let us move forward. As time went on I began to really appreciate him because he made us look at all sides of an issue and sometimes, although not always, he showed us something we had not considered. Even when we didn’t change the decision it was a better decision because more things were considered before reaching it.

    • Reply
      Michelle Tessendorf
      at

      I certainly can relate to your story of that guy. He seems to pop up everywhere in life. Our calling to be the servant of ALL includes him (or her). Excellent contribution Tom. Thanks for joining in.

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