How to Back Your Team Even When They’re Off-Course

How to Back Your Team Even When They're Off-Course,
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Imagine this: You’re in a team meeting, and things take an unexpected turn. Your teammate, let’s call him Mike, jumps in with an idea that’s not just off the mark but potentially a bit wonky. You can practically see the eyebrows raising around the room. What do you do? Here’s the thing: sometimes, you have to defend your team, even when they’re sailing in choppy waters.

Scene Unfolded:

Mike: “Alright, guys, picture this: we replace our customer service hotline with carrier pigeons. Revolutionary, right?”

Silence. Awkward glances were exchanged.

In your head: “Did Mike seriously just suggest carrier pigeons in the age of lightning-fast internet?”

But hold up—this is your team, and you’re the skipper on this ship. Here’s how you can navigate the storm:

1. Find the silver lining:
– Out loud: “Hey, that’s a unique idea, Mike! It shows he’s thinking outside the box and looking for creative solutions.”

2. Acknowledge Effort:
– In a huddle with your team later: “Mike’s got the spirit, right? I mean, sure, carrier pigeons might be a stretch, but he’s not afraid to throw ideas out there. We need that kind of bold thinking.”

3. Redirect the conversation:
– During the meeting: “Interesting idea, Mike! Let’s explore some other options too. What if we combine the concept of faster response times with, you know, the 21st century?”

4. Deflect with Humor:
– Lightly: “Carrier pigeons, Mike? I love the retro vibe, but I’m not sure our customers would appreciate the avian touch. What do you think?”

5. Take It Offline:
Privately: “Mike, I appreciate your enthusiasm in the meeting, but let’s chat later about some more practical ideas. We want to make sure we’re on the same page.”

Remember, it’s not about throwing Mike under the proverbial bus. It’s about being the team’s shield while gently nudging them back on course. Publicly defending your team, even when they’re a bit off-key, fosters a culture of trust and support.

So, the next time your teammate suggests something that makes you raise an eyebrow, remember—you’re not just defending an idea; you’re reinforcing the idea that your team stands united, creative quirks and all. After all, who knows when a wild idea might just turn into the next big thing?

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