“How might we…”Posted: 14 January 2014
Here’s a little change that can have a big impact. Try it. It works.
You will literally never hear him say, “I can’t.” He uses more constructive versions of that sentiment that emphasize the possible, such as “I could if I…”
…IDEO’s favorite antidote to negative speech patterns is the phrase “How might we…?” It was introduced to us by Charles Warren, now salesforce.com’s senior vice president of product design, as an optimistic way of seeking out new possibilities in the world….In three disarmingly simple words, it captures much of our perspective on creative groups. The “how” suggests that improvement is always possible. The only question remaining is how we will find success. The word “might” temporarily lowers the bar a little. It allows us to consider wild or improbable ideas instead of self-editing from the very beginning, giving us more chance of a breakthrough. And the “we” establishes ownership of the challenge, making it clear that not only will it be a group effort, but it will be our group.