I work on a VERY opinionated team. Now, that can be a totally awesome thing or the absolute worst. We like to operate under the “best idea wins” principal. Ideally, this should cut down on some of the arguing and provide really productive meetings. However, this can lead to pretty lengthy and “passionate” speeches about why their ideas are the best. One of the biggest lessons I have learned from these meetings is that you can be totally right, but if you communicate your idea in a poor or hostile way, you will always be completely wrong. Here are a few tips that will (hopefully) allow you to avoid that mistake in a meeting:

Check your pride at the door. This isn’t the time for you to win. This isn’t the time for you to prove that you are top dog. This is the time for your team to make the best choices to minister to the students in your ministry. Check your motives and maybe even pray for your heart before you enter into a meeting. Pride is one of the biggest things that can prevent you from clearly communicating your ideas.

Don’t take it personally. If someone doesn’t agree with your idea, it doesn’t mean they don’t like you or they think you’re dumb. Well, sometimes that might be the case, but only on an unhealthy team (which is a whole other blog post). Sometimes your idea is just a bad idea. That’s fine, everyone will end up pitching a bad idea. Don’t get emotional. Be a team player and push through. In the nicest way possible—don’t be a baby.

Shoot down ideas, not people. It is so dang important to watch your tone. Brainstorming meetings only work when people feel like it is a safe environment. Make sure the way you challenge someone’s idea promotes that. If you make someone feel dumb, there is no way that they are going to want to keep participating in the discussion.

What are some tips you would you give on the topic?