5 simple ways we grow and kill the potentials of ideas

When they emerge in conversations, ideas have no fixed destinies. None are intrinsically more or less capable of growing from raw ideas into thriving and flourishing new ideas that work for everyone. The potential of ideas is shaped by the quality of the conversations. Conversations tend to offer more nutrients that grow potential or toxins that limit and kill it. 

Ideas grow in conversations that represent nurturing environments. These feature the 5 idea nutrients of like, so, and, when and else.

Like: What do we like about this idea? So: So can you tell us more about this idea? And: And what could we add to make this idea stronger? When: When could this idea happen, given what needs to come before? Else: How else could we realize the advantages and minimize the disadvantages of this idea? (From "Growing Ideas" 2015 DesigningLife Books)

We kill the potentials of ideas with five different responses: No, but, anyway, right and which.

No is flat denial and refusal to explore more. But is focusing only on the inevitable downsides of any consideration. Anyway is deflection to something else. Right shuts down enriching an idea with other features or functions. Which is moving from the synthesis of both-and to the divisive either-or.  Each is a toxin that kills the potential of growing new ideas that work for everyone.

The good news is that each of us is fully capable of responding to ideas with nutrients or toxins.