Why You Should Encourage Others to Own Your Good Ideas

Disclaimer: This article is about everyday ideas you present; not professional, educational, or legal ownership of protected content.

An obvious tactic of getting people to do what you want, is to make them want to do it.

Though the framework of that effort is simple, its execution is often difficult to perfect. How exactly do we make people want something? How would you make a friend want to go to your favorite fast food joint, for instance? Would you approach that task reasonably or emotionally? Would you reminisce on the previous times you’ve been there or make a case for it being closer in proximity?

Some would take a more subtle approach, rewarding every tiptoe their friend takes toward the preferred choice, and ignoring any deviation from the desired answer. They would in turn, positively reinforce the presentation of an answer they want to hear from their friends.

It seems that the subtlety of the technique a person uses to get you to do something, correlates with their chances of succeeding. If you don’t know that your opinion is being swayed, you’re less likely to combat the outside forces which sway it. You’d be likelier to adopt the idea in question as your own, to defend it as your own, and to be biased toward it as if it were your own.

This article is about the benefits of allowing others to own your good ideas.

Regarding the ways of enticing people to own your good ideas, remember, the more subtle you are in your efforts, the higher the chance of success will be. After explaining a few benefits to allowing others to own your ideas, this article will broadly go over the role that removing certain barriers to the transference of ownership of ideas plays in the success of their adoption.


The Peaceful Owner Owns Only for a While

There’s something to be said for the peacefulness that the act of letting go introduces. Much like the warm connection between yourself and those whom you give gifts to, being liberal with your good ideas serves to alleviate a certain type of stress.

Your ideas traveling beyond your ownership will encourage you to let go of a desire to grasp and not relinquish. You’ll be chasing down copycats less often, and you won’t be preoccupied with figuring out who is, or isn’t, citing you as the owner of the good ideas they present as their own.

To own the everyday, good, ideas is to work in maintaining your status as their owner. In essence, you need to fight to maintain your status; as once you ease off on protecting the ownership label you deserve, you’ll come to find your ideas to have new owners.

You’ll thereby find yourself working hard in exchange for publicity which seldom provides tangible benefit.

The person who always reminds us that they introduced us to a certain singer tends to make us want to listen less. Your consistent desire to be labeled as the owner of good ideas will place your ownership ahead of the quality of those ideas.

People will feel forced to think of you when they eat at the place you recommended and watch the movies you spoke so highly of. Sooner or later, they’ll get enough of you; and thereby will feel discouraged from adopting the good ideas you present.


A Land Owner Has to Defend His Land From Intruders

Striving to always be correctly referenced for your good ideas will ensure that all attacks on those ideas would be your responsibility to defend. Akin to a land owner renting out his land for others to use, your ideas would be merely rented by those who reference you as their owner. Should something go wrong on the land owner’s property, they’re the first ones who get called for help. When you expect to be referenced for the good ideas you put out in the world, expect to consistently be expected to defend them.

Analyze which ideas are worth owning and renting out, and which ones are worth simply giving away for others to own. There are many instances in life in which being referenced for good ideas does not matter, and may even hurt your goals more than propel them toward completion. An attempt at genuine behavior change is often one of those instances. Motivating people to want to do something that you want them to do, entails allowing them to own the ideas that you’ve come up with. Since the matter at hand is often a personal one, their perception of you being the owner of their behavioral decisions can result in vicious conflict.

For example, you may have personally experienced, or had friends experience, parents forcing a career choice onto their children. A sense of unhappiness and lack of autonomy often comes over the kids who have been forced to venture down a certain career path in life. They don’t feel a sense of control, ownership, or motivation to pursue what their parents pushed so vehemently on them. They blame their parents, as they perceive them to be the owners of those ideas, for the depression they may go through.

They sometimes regret renting their parents’ ideas without completely owning them, and allow resentment to build. The parents in these scenario often get blamed unfairly. Yes, they pushed their ideas onto their kids, but to their perception, ownership was transferred when in fact it wasn’t. These parents were merely ignorant to the need to transfer complete ownership of the idea to pursue a certain career. They operated obviously, without being subtle in their approach to encourage an idea to seem good in the mind of their child.

The desire to transfer ownership of your ideas will encourage you to explore ways of doing so effectively. As mentioned prior, subtlety in your efforts is key. Refraining from any inkling of assigning your name, face, or opinions to ideas you want others to own and implement is difficult, but it is a good start. It entails being passive, and positively reinforcing behavior you want to see, whilst ignoring things which don’t align with the ideas whose ownership you seek to transfer.


Three Barriers of Ownership Transfer

The transference of the ownership of any specific idea, has barriers on the way to successful completion. Below, are three common barriers which people fail to navigate around successfully. If you’ve decided that an idea is better transferred to another to own, rather than be rented out by you, these barriers will need to be finessed around.


1. Your Name

A rather obvious barrier is the stamping of your name on the ideas or work that you put out into the world. For instance, attempting to implement a standardized form at work, may be better executed if you don’t sign the electronic document with your name.  Those who use the form will be freer to customize it, share it with their teams, and assume ownership of the idea to implement it. They’ll be likelier to see it as a good idea if they don’t feel a need to cite you as the owner of such a good idea. Their bias toward the effectiveness of that form would be freed from their possible envy in relation to adopting someone else’s good product into their workflows.

Copyright classifications are another instance in which the barrier of having to cite the people behind a certain photo, for instance, inhibit that photo’s adoption. The photos with lenient copyright laws are easier to use online than photos for which you need to either pay, or cite, their owners to use. If for example, you were a photographer with a goal of influencing people’s political beliefs, you’d have a greater chance at success by classifying your photos as free to use and share. Your quality photographs which attempt to sway public opinion would be easier accessed by the masses. With each instance of them being shared without citation, you’ll be less likely to need to defend them, especially if you post them anonymously.


2. Your Preferred Method of Implementation

As mentioned in the children’s career choice example above, having a preference of how your ideas should be implemented, ties you as the owner of those ideas.

For instance, if you say, “I’ll only go play basketball if we go to rec center A rather than rec center B,” you’ll be seen as the owner of that specific idea to play basketball. Even though you didn’t own the initial idea to play basketball, your preference as to how that idea should be implemented automatically ties you to a status of ownership. If people don’t enjoy that day’s outing, they’d be likely to credit you with the bad idea to go to rec center A rather than B. In the future, they’d be less likely to allow you to dictate their destination.


3. Your Support

A complete transference of the ownership of an idea can’t be complete unless you cut any ties of expected support. If you’re implicitly expected to support someone who implements an idea you suggested, then you’d still be tied to an ownership status in relation to that idea. The distinction between expected support and voluntary support should be made clear whilst discussing potential ideas with someone.

For example, if you attempt to encourage a cousin from another country to immigrate to your own, your promise of offering support could get you in trouble. They may have a difficult time assimilating, and may ask for help more than you anticipated they would. If you don’t meet their unrealistic requests for help, their experience in a new country would have your face printed on its cover. Their negativity would be directed toward you, as they’d view you as not fulfilling the promises that you made and making their experience in a new country difficult. A clear expression of your lack of commitment to support them prior to their trip over would cut the ties between yourself and the idea for them to come. Though it may seem a little rude in the moment, you’d do well to transfer complete ownership of that idea to them.

Explore kind ways of ridding yourself of the expectation to support others in the implementation of ideas that you propose. You can always express something in a kinder manner, and ridding yourself of an expectation to be there when things go wrong is no exception.

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Disclaimer of Opinion: This article is presented only as opinion. It does not make any scientific, factual, or legal claims. Please critically analyze all claims made and independently decide on its validity.