How to Move Forward When Your Great Idea was Rejected


It happens to everyone; you think your idea is spectacular but, when you present it, you are caught off guard when it’s shot down. Generally, your first instinct is to try and recover from the incident, possibly by downplaying how great you thought the suggestion was, acting like you have a sudden commitment that needs to be tended to (so you can leave the room), or even sulking.

But, typically, your instincts aren’t doing you any favors. Instead, you need to find a way to bounce back. To help you move forward when your idea gets rejected, here are some tips for recovering.

Ask for Helping Improving Your Idea

Just because someone said they don’t want to pursue your idea doesn’t mean the conversation has to be over. Instead of simply abandoning it, ask the other person or people if there are any improvements that can be made to improve upon your idea.

Now, you don’t want to use this to trigger a heated debate. But, it can lead to a valuable source of input and may help everyone come together on a point that does have merit. Ultimately, you want to spur constructive conversation while also showing you are open to feedback, so make sure to monitor the room and determine whether there really is potential in your idea or if you need to head back to the drawing board.

Give It Another Go

In most cases, you present an idea because there is a problem that needs to be solved. If your original plan is rejected, don’t stop working the problem. Instead, solicit feedback (as outlined above) and then use that information to help keep the wheels turning. While your first idea may have seemed brilliant, it’s possible a better one is just around the corner.

Don’t be afraid to announce your intention to keep working the problem, particularly if your boss dismissed your idea. This shows that you aren’t going to give up and that can go a long way when you need to cement your recovery.

Say “Thank You”

While thanking someone for shooting you down isn’t easy, it can be the smart move when your idea relates to something that isn’t critical, like asking for a cappuccino maker in the breakroom.

Not every idea needs to be defended or even reworked. If you presented something in this category, then thank the person for their time and feedback, then just move on. By saying “thank you,” you show that you are the consummate professional, even in the face of rejection, and that you valued their willingness to consider the matter. When it comes to moving forward after having an idea shot down, this can ensure that the other parties don’t harbor any ill-will, making it easier to keep going after the fact.

In the end, not every idea (even great ones) will be lauded by those you work with. But, by following the tips above, you can move forward with grace and dignity, making it less daunting to present an idea the next time around.

If you are interested in learning more, the professionals at Bayside Solutions can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members today.