Having your idea rejected may be disappointing but as with most career setbacks, it’s not about what happens but how you react to it. Fortunately, you can overcome the situation, prop up your spirits and move forward with enthusiasm.


These easy-to-use techniques explain how you can rise up – and gather respect – after your idea was shot down at work.


Accept Situations You Can’t Control – Acknowledge what you feel but don’t blame others for the setback. Resist the temptation to react impulsively and pause to calmly understand the situation.


Change Your Approach – Remind yourself the setback is temporary and think about how it’s building your confidence. Ask your supervisor how the idea could be improved and explore alternate solutions. Engage in a productive conversation and take the extra step to request added input.


Think of Alternatives – Use the feedback, revisit your idea and come up with something even better. Demonstrate your resilience and persistence in problem-solving. In your mind, convert what you see as criticism into a request for more information.


Pitch Your Idea at the Right Time – Consider discussing your idea in a one-to-one with your supervisor instead of in the middle of a busy meeting (where’s it’s more likely to get shot down).



Bounce Back From Setbacks Stronger Than Before


A work setback need not imply loss of dignity and respect. Inability to overcome obstacles at work can prevent us from identifying and leveraging hidden opportunities in the situation. Once you’re back on track, look back and examine how you can prevent the problem from recurring.


Maintain written records about ideas that were shot down, review them regularly and make it a useful learning experience for future innovation. Think of setbacks as temporary (but useful) challenges and remember not every rejected idea requires intense pushback from your side.


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