When you are in a professional conversation, leading with a disclaimer about what you are going to say sabotages your effectiveness.

I know this may sound silly but...

Never lead your comments with a disclaimer,  doing so gives those folks with little minds and too much authority the ability to dismiss your ideas out of hand- without even considering them. If I might suggest, perhaps you could develop a “reality test” for presenting your ideas that will assure that they are relevant, reachable, and the  right means to solve the issue at hand.

Relevant- is the idea even applicable to the subject at hand? If not- no matter how witty, brilliant or insightful- it is probably better to keep it to yourself until a more appropriate opportunity to discuss it comes along.

Reachable– is the idea even  remotely reachable with the resources available? Out of the box thinking is one thing, but if your idea can’t possibly be reached because the resources aren’t even possible, that might be considered by some to be evidence that you are out of your mind.

Right Means– Sometimes novel ideas are called for,  but some sense of appropriateness is called for if you are in a professional meeting. Unless they have formally issued “Executive Clemency” for what might be said or are flying the brainstorming – “every idea is a good idea flag”- a good test is whether  or not the means to do what you are suggesting is appropriate. Yes, you can use a handgun as a hammer to punch that loose tack further in to the bulletin board. Is it the right means for your culture? Is it appropriate?

Is your idea Relevant? Reachable? The Right Means?

If so, bring it on, no disclaimers or self deprecation please.

Do you have a story about slamming the door on what turned out to be a great idea because you were defensive or apologetic in your presentation?

Joe Isuzu