Reframe the problem with a more positive thought-provoking statement: “How might we…?” This encourages us to think creatively about solution generation.
There is a lot of power in the word ‘might’.
When we hear words like ‘can’ and ‘should’, there is some level of judging, and defenses go up. Thoughts like ‘can we really do it?’, ‘should we really do it?’ bubble up and hinder the thinking and possibilities.
By substituting the word ‘might’, we defer judgment and this can help people to create options more freely, and opens up more possibilities. It states to all that we believe that some ideas might work and others won’t and it’s all OK. It creates the emotional safety to think and try things out. –
The “How might we” question is a powerful mindset: ‘How’ assumes there are solutions out there — it provides creative confidence. ‘Might’ says we can put ideas out there that might work or might not — either way, it’s OK.
‘We’ says we’re going to do it together and build on each other’s ideas. It is us against the problem together.