When seeking to solve an issue or a problem, or charged with evaluating or implementing a new initiative, you’ve probably approached your employees and co-workers to elicit ideas and engage in discussion. But often, it is difficult to get people involved in the dialogue. Usually, it’s not because people don’t have anything useful to offer; more likely it’s because they have other priorities and the assumption is that “someone else will respond”. But the ultimate outcome still is that you don’t get the participation levels that you’d like.
Consider a contrary approach
So consider a contrary approach. It comes from an unusual source – Cunningham’s Law. Rather than asking an open-ended question, seed your question with misinformation or an opposing viewpoint.
So instead of: How many staff members should we bring on shift for the Grand Opening?
Ask: What do you think about having two people on shift at the Grand Opening?
Because two people on shift for a Grand Opening is clearly not enough, your team members will be quick to speak up and contribute their input to the discussion. Continue reading