It’s Wednesday afternoon, and you’re headed to your team’s weekly brainstorming session. You’re equipped with a plethora of ideas, and these ideas aren’t cheap. You spent at least two weeks dwelling on them, trimming the fat, making sure they’re perfect. You enter the conference room early, but you’re not the only one brimming with ideas and chutzpah.
The Anchor gets the ball rolling, discussing the current state of The Project. But you’re not interested in the current state. You’ve got some game-changing ideas that are winners, the kind of ideas where God and everyone in the room will bow down and worship your ingenuity.
The brainstorming sessions are orderly, going around the room starting on The Anchor’s right. That’s why you chose to sit on her left. You want to be last because you have the best idea, but guess what… You’re probably wrong.
“You’re probably wrong,” is the number one tool I walk into any meeting with. It’s not about self-abasement, it’s about humility. Walking into a meeting with the cocksure attitude of, “my ideas are the best,” is a surefire way to ignore what everyone else has to offer because you’ve thought through their idea, apparently, and know it’s flawed. The truth is the odds are against you. Very few ideas reach The Best Idea status and people rarely recognize them when they are The Best Idea—remember when Twitter first came out? Few people understood its importance.
So, walk into your next meeting equipped with, “I’m probably wrong.” It will allow you to table your idea and focus on what everyone else has to offer. Who knows, you may learn something new.
Of course, I’m probably wrong.