3 Tips for Building Confidence When Sharing Ideas in the Workplace

What's the worst that could happen when sharing an idea? 

Sharing knowledge and ideas pushes the limits of teams and organizations, but not everyone feels comfortable sharing them. What is the worst that could happen by sharing an idea?

In fact, many employees don’t speak up because of fear of retribution. But how can an organization continue innovating and improving without new ideas?

Don’t let the judgments of others stop you from sharing ideas and innovating at your organization. Building confidence in idea sharing will push you forward in your career and help advance your company.

Here are a few tips to start sharing ideas more and gain confidence in innovating.

1.  Talk to a trusted coworker or friend about an idea first. If you think you have an innovative idea but are nervous to share it in a group setting or with a superior, try discussing the idea and hearing feedback from a friend.  Test the waters with someone you can trust will give you a chance to get some feedback, iterate on the idea, and give you the confidence to share with others.

2. Start by sharing in an environment you’re comfortable with. An all-hands meeting or presentation with your boss’s boss might seem like a scary place to share an idea. If you don’t feel comfortable jumping into the deep end, try sharing ideas in a small brainstorm with your team, a Slack channel, or capture it in a knowledge-sharing tool like AnswerHub, where others can collaborate on the idea with you.

Continue pushing yourself to speak up and push your own boundaries when it comes to idea sharing. With time, you’ll be the first to suggest your ideas and solutions when a VP asks for suggestions – after all, that’s why they hired you. Walt Disney was actually fired because his manager thought he had no ideas and lacked imagination.

3. Build off of others’ ideas. How often is the first idea for a solution the one you actually pursue? Brainstorming and iterating on ideas with colleagues will help you think about perspectives and solutions that you could have never reached on your own.

If you’re feeling nervous about sharing an idea, iterate on someone else’s idea. Your perspective can make a good idea a game-changer for your organization.