When Your Ideas Are Questioned

Comments ( 0 )

Being questioned and questioning others in meetings can feel uncomfortable…but they don’t need to. 

There’s a saying that’s a little off-color, but it describes the phenomenon perfectly. “Piece of crap in the center of the universe.” We feel both superior and inferior at the same time and that reflects in our communications with colleagues around problem-solving.

When our egos take over, it’s not okay to make mistakes. We have to be seen as perfect and can’t tolerate being criticized or questioned. We take it personally. On the other side of the coin, it’s “dangerous” to offer an opposing position or question others. We are so attached to being right that we either bulldoze or silence ourselves for fear of bulldozing. We’re scared to alienate colleagues yet want desperately to prove how smart we are.

When we take the focus off ourselves, it’s a lot easier to communicate — and to thrive — in a business environment. There needs to be a shift away from a me-oriented attitude towards a best-outcome-for-the-question-at-hand attitude.

Having a baseline of doing the best job possible takes the sting away from either side of the questioning issue. It’s no longer about being right, about shining, or about trying not to offend someone: the conversation is about getting to the best possible solution. Having this attitude allows you to be part of the team. It makes you a vehicle for the success of the project and takes way all that angst around what people think of you and your opinions.

When you adopt this attitude you can communicate freely. None of that aggressive or defensive ego-oriented feeling shows through and you are natural, humble and honest. Your cooperative and accepting attitude will permeate the discussion. You are gentle and kind when questioning others and people will thus be much less likely to take offense. Best of all, you can take other people’s questioning of you in stride.

I love the analogy of an airplane on auto-pilot. Apparently the plane is never actually on course. It constantly veers off course a bit then self-corrects, goes off in the other direction then self-corrects. Overall the plane gets where it is heading but the path is not actually direct.

If you think of getting to the best solution in the same way, small missteps and corrections are just part of the process. It no longer matters if you or your colleagues are right or wrong on a given point. What counts is that through a constant process of self-correction, your team will get to its destination, and you will have all learned a lot from the process.

Until the next time,


If you enjoyed this article, please consider sharing it!
Icon Icon Icon


  • "As someone who presents opinion pieces and data to large crowds, Kayla was instrumental in helping me focus and deliver the optimal speech and flow. I appreciate her time and intensity on helping me better relay my key points both in context and delivery." Sean Finnegan
  • "Kayla has a real knack for getting to the heart of a message and helping express it both rationally and emotionally for maximum effectiveness. She knows how to put a speaker at ease and get them ready to speak in high-stress situations. An hour with Kayla will make you a ‘Great Communicator." Lisa Merriam, President, Merriam Associates
  • "Kayla was an excellent presentation coach. She not only helped me discoverhow to turn a long, dry presentation into a story that is interactive andinteresting, but also helped me understand what it was that triggered mynervousness and gave me great suggestions on how to control it. Kayla isvery unique and invests all of her energy into your success." Christine Zambrana, Associate Director, Oncology Marketing

Newsletter Signup

All we need is your email: