In a recent brainstorming session, the pressure of creating ridiculously fresh ideas can be a bit debilitating. The very last thing most corporations want is new ideas.
During these vastly pointless exercises, the point is to contribute using the mere gravitas of your presence, make other people’s ideas may seem like your ideas, and you appear to be a leader by questioning the efficiency of the entire process.
Here are nine tips to make you look like you are a valuable creative genius on your team.
- When you go to get water and ask if anyone needs anything.
Right before your meeting starts, ask if anyone needs anything. People will think you are thoughtful, and you’ll be able to disappear for 10 minutes without question. Still, come back with bottles of water, soda, and snacks.
Your colleagues will feel compelled to start drinking and snacking, and your foresight will make them think you can predict the future.
- Grab a pad of paper and draw.
As topics are being addressed, grab one of those notepads and start creating meaningless flowcharts. Colleagues are going to look over at you with worried interest, wondering how you are coming up with so many complicated ideas even before you know what this meeting is for.
- Make an analogy that’s so simple it sounds complicated.
When everyone else is attempting to define the issue, make an analogy about baking a pie, or something just as completely unrelated. Your colleagues will then nod their heads in agreement, even if they don’t understand how what you’re saying is related to what they’re speaking about. Talking completely over their heads will make you seem wildly transcendent and intimidatingly creative, even though the truth is you just like cake.
- Ask if we are asking the correct questions.
Nothing makes you seem smarter than when you question the questions by asking if they the right questions. If someone responds to you by asking you what you believe, the right questions are, say you just asked one.
Do you wonder if an idea seems too little? Then your colleagues will see you as a big thinker and a game changer.
Use one of these phrases:
- But how is it disruptive?
- Is this 10x?
- Is this the future?
- Utilize an idiom.
Using an idiom to question ideas is a smarter way of questioning it. Here are some phrases to choose from:
- Isn’t that gilding the lily?
- Isn’t that putting lipstick on a pig?
- Seems like were polishing a turd.
- Create a quirky, creative habit.
Develop a quirky habit that helps you think and gets your creative juices flowing. This may be anything from showing up in your pajamas, meditating on the floor, jogging in place, throwing a ball against the wall, air drumming, or even all of those things at the same time. Even if you’re not coming up with any ideas, your colleagues will be intimidated by your uncontrollable creativity.
Strategically shoot down large ideas.
Use one of the phrases below:
- Is it disruptive?
- How does this fit into the roadmap?
- This looks to be a pivot.
- Isn’t that a non-starter?
- Consider how you suspect the CEO would respond.
Make some of your colleagues believe that you have a close relationship with the CEO by bringing up how you think she may react to an idea. Mention the CEO by their first name. Indicate that you might run this by him during your next meeting. Congratulate everyone for coming up with something that he’d like. By associating yourself so closely with theCEO, people will start to think of you as some CEO-in-training.
- Ask if we are creating the right framework, platform, or model.
You will almost always appear as if you’re thinking larger than everyone else by bringing up a framework that calls for moving forward, or a way of thinking, or how we can turn this into a platform. It’s an excellent way of blowing everyone’s minds and masking the fact that you have no idea what anyone’s talking about.
- When everyone seems to agree with an idea, yell out “ship it.”
There will come a point in time when everyone seems to be excited about an idea. At this point, you should attempt to be the first person to yell out Ship it! Sure, it’s a humorous thing to say that will make people chuckle, but it will also convey some authority on your part to both end the meeting and make a decision, even though you have no real power to do either.