It is important to get team members to talk. What limits interaction is when we remind people that we don’t have money in the budget or that we tried that once and it didn’t work.

Good meeting participants know how to get participation. They say the right things in the right ways to invite input and keep it coming. It is important to be an ego-builder rather than an ego-buster.

Ego-building comments are saying things like these:
“I’m glad you brought that up.”
“That’s an interesting thought.”
“Okay, let’s build on that.”
“Let’s keep going with this.”
“You’re on the right track. What else?”
“Good idea. Who else has a suggestion?”

Be careful not to say ego-busting comments like:
“Too risky.”
“There’s no money in the budget for that.”
“We tried that once and it didn’t work.”

Here is something I would like you to do over the next week. Write down all of the ego-busting no-no phrases you hear and script a professional response for each. Then when someone uses an ego-busting no-no phrase, again, you will be ready to respond professionally and keep the discussion going positively.

We have all heard that sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. But, words can hurt your team and its performance. Consider your responses and be recognized as a person that builds people up rather than tearing people down. Your team is the perfect place to start.

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