Good idea fairy? Don’t be one.
Once again I was attending a conference last week, this time in Kansas. I have been to plenty of these during June, this being my third one, but I noticed something that I had not paid attention to before: the good idea fairy.
Have you heard of this before? Let me tell you, this is the person that when you are in a workgroup or a brainstorming session all they do is critique everyone else ideas or incessantly ask questions. Not productive questions, just questions.
I know what you are thinking. Isn’t this good? Isn’t it great to challenge the group consensus to make us think “outside the box”? I am all for a Red team, or a devil’s advocate on a team but this is not what good idea fairies do, they don’t ask questions to benefit the group, they tend to ask questions to position themselves as smarter than everyone else.
The greatest problem is that they do not offer solutions! What good is posing a question which no one in the group knows the answer too if you are not willing to offer up a solution yourself?
In my view is all about end states. If you are asking a question to the group because you think its a topic that the group should discuss then good for you. if you ask a question to which:
1) You already know the answer and want to seem smarter than everyone else by giving your solution.
2) Have no idea how to solve the problem and cant offer solutions but figure asking it will make you seem smarter
Then you are in “good idea fairy” territory. Don’t be one, please. Trust me those on your team will greatly appreciate it.