PolyU student question: How do you stand for your own idea when others disagree?

One of the questions asked by PolyU students is:

How do you stand for your own idea when others disagree?

Let me tell you a short story first: I’ve had this obvious idea that would simplify a software product we were building. The idea was to replace the so called application server platform with simpler, and less expensive one. These were more of less my arguments, and I didn’t think much about disadvantages. So, I prepared a session with another guy who agreed with me. The only thing left was to convince other 25 team members of my idea. I was very eager and driven to “sell” my idea to others and they would buy it.

Well, they didn’t. I was confused by not knowing why not. At the same time, I was throwing more and more arguments in favour of my idea. The interactive presentation was transformed into a not so pleasant discussion where everyone was a bit irritated.

In the coming days, I thought really hard what to do, discussed my dilemma with few guys separately. Eventually, I came to conclusion I should back out a bit and just listen what others are actually telling me and see what happens. I found out that nobody was really against my idea, but they didn’t like that I was selling my idea. It felt like to them there was no choice and they were simply told by me what is going to happen. After I’ve slowed down and started listening, there was suddenly space for input. This input was very useful, because my idea to switch had some consequences and cost aspects to it.

So, an answer to you question would be: I try to distantiate myself from my idea in order to create space for proper discussion. Besides, it is just an idea. If someone else has a better idea, than that should be welcomed.

By the way, the main reason why others disagree is that something went wrong earlier in the process. Either I did not listen enough to others, I didn’t expressed idea in objective manner, or didn’t give or have valid arguments.

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