Why not play telephone with your ideas?

Have you ever played the “telephone” game before?

The premise of the game is that one person comes up with a word or a sentence and whispers it into the ear of another person. Then the person who received the whisper turns around and whispers whatever they heard into the next persons ear, and so on until the end of the line.

Eventually the last person says, out loud, what they heard. More often than not what the last person says and what the first person originally said are oddly different things.

If you want to evaluate your ideas and their value, try playing the telephone game with them.

Good ideas will be the only roughly the same at both the beginning of the line and the end. The process of “whispering” your ideas through a line of people can help cut out the unnecessary bits and potentially add more creativity to the idea.

This is the same process we play with ideas we pursue anyway, isn’t it?

Eventually we turn our idea into a reality or sell it or share it with a friend and if it’s a good idea the core of it will stay the same in any iteration. If the idea needs tweaking (which most often they do) then the necessary changes will be made by those who share the idea, by those who hear one thing of the idea and only pick out the pieces they think are worth sharing.

What you hear as “good idea” somebody else may hear as “decent idea” and the quickest way to find out whether that’s true or not is to pass the idea around until it comes back to you.

Try playing the telephone idea with one of your ideas and see what the last person in line has to say about it. You might be surprised at the outcome.

Illustration source.