Notebook: Quickly Guide Conversations to the Heart of Thinking

Every week I share ideas with business stakeholders and team members. The goal of sharing ideas is to see if I’ve synthesized someone’s vision or if I’ve crafted meaning into the experience we are creating. These conversations include whiteboarding, flowcharts, prototypes or even design concepts, but they are not about reviewing the visuals, instead, we are digging on the concepts they represent and the experiences they enable.

I’ve found that if you want people to address the concepts behind your ideas and not the way you’ve represented them you need to show people how you got to the idea. This will take the conversation beyond what’s on the screen or whiteboard to meaning about what you are trying to accomplish.

Next time you are sharing an idea and someone is hung up on what they see, share the questions and assumptions behind what you are sharing. Invite feedback and insight first to the thinking then correct then visuals.

Show the work behind your work to get beyond visuals quickly. Sharpen ideas first then refine how you represent those ideas.