Article: Give It 5 Minutes

Timeless post:

What did I do? I pushed back at him about the talk he gave. While he was making his points on stage, I was taking an inventory of the things I didn’t agree with. And when presented with an opportunity to speak with him, I quickly pushed back at some of his ideas. I must have seemed like such an asshole.

His response changed my life. It was a simple thing. He said “Man, give it five minutes.” I asked him what he meant by that? He said, it’s fine to disagree, it’s fine to push back, it’s great to have strong opinions and beliefs, but give my ideas some time to set in before you’re sure you want to argue against them. “Five minutes” represented “think”, not react. He was totally right. I came into the discussion looking to prove something, not learn something.

This was a big moment for me.

I see this behavior regularly. You go to someone with an idea you think is great and their immediate answer is "Meh!" or "I've seen it before, it won't work!", which pretty much closes the discussion. Besides the potential opportunity cost of missing that specific idea, this type of behaviour kills creativity instead of empowering team members to think about and suggest new things.

Next time, give it some time - that idea may end up much better than you initially thought.