Recognize and Amplify Good Ideas From People Whose Views Tend to Get Overlooked in Meetings

This article originally appeared on Microlearning, our bite-sized online solution for leaders and individual contributors.

Why do it?

Have you ever been in a meeting where someone’s great ideas were being ignored or, worse, restated by someone else who gets credit for them? All it takes is one good listener — you! — to disrupt what can become a pattern of people (and their ideas) being habitually excluded. Calling attention to promising points not only improves your group’s discussion and decisions but also saves the people who share them from the awkward task of having to repeat themselves or fight to regain ownership of ideas.

How to do it:

1. When you notice a good idea being ignored, ask the group to slow down and discuss it.

Be sure to use the name of the person who raised the good idea so participants will connect the two:

“Hae-Won brings up a good point. Could we spend a few minutes talking through how it might work before we move on?”

2. If appropriate, connect the good idea to a high-level team or company priority.

Doing so will help elevate the idea in everyone’s minds:

“I think Hae-Won’s idea would really contribute to our company goal X or strategic initiative Y.”

3. If the idea resurfaces in the conversation, look for opportunities to connect it to the person who first raised it.

You could build on the original point, asking the person to elaborate, or redirect the credit. Examples:

“To build on the point Hae-Won made earlier about customer time constraints, if we factored in time, how could that impact our decision? Hae-Won, what do you think?”

“Thanks for circling back to Hae-Won’s original idea, John — it clearly deserves more consideration.”

4. Consider introducing trusted colleagues to these tactics so you can work together.

Famously, female staffers in former U.S. President Obama’s administration would repeat one another’s key points in meetings to ensure their ideas received fair consideration by male colleagues. Teaming up can increase your odds of effecting change.