We Need a Muzzle | Shorts

Dogs bark at what they don’t understand. – Unknown

We tend to go off and “bark” at what don’t understand and in that we are the same as our familiars that follow us around endlessly looking for our affection. The thing about always barking at what you don’t get and becoming overcritical of the strange you will miss the great ideas right in front of your face.

We need to practice better use of a muzzle and not be so quick to judge. Great best practice I try to incorporate is avoiding saying anything for 60 seconds. I let it soak in. The idea is to counter your natural negative bias from having a chance to creep in right away. 60 seconds is the least amount of time to counter that tendency.

If at the end of the minute I still want to poo-poo the idea in front of me, then I can be okay with letting myself add some constructive feedback. It took you a little over 60 seconds to read to this point. Practice right now. Pause after reading this, and then let me have it with some comments below. Let me know how it felt to try that 60 second muzzling. Or, tell me a better way to get my idea across. I’m open.

Another way to do this in a group setting is the technique I’ve learned called the “creative no.” Here’s how it plays out:

Either member of the partnership can veto the other’s ideas. However, when the veto is exercised, the vetoer has to come up with another idea that both people like. Thus the technique is both critical and constructive.

Here’s a final question I want you to reflect on. What types of ideas do you bark at without really thinking?

You do that simple reflection pause point, write it out, and you are well on your way to being more self-aware about your bark. When was the last time you liked to be swooped and pooped on. That answer is simple.

Thanks for reading and enjoy the holiday!


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