I’m back from a church council meeting. Much of the meeting involved a first-ever update from the church’s environmental team. They offered forty-seven brainstormed ideas along with a few concrete recommendations

One major discussion point involved where the group had succeeded and struggled to eliminate paper and Styrofoam products at church functions. For situations where the group struggled to win converts to their ideas, our council offered a vague directive. The environmental group was to reach out to resistant groups and tell them the pastor and council supported the idea. 

Thankfully, a staff member called out the approach’s futility. She rightfully pointed to the pastor’s need to step up, make a definitive statement about church intentions, and engage the other church groups directly. I remained quiet, but was elated that she recommended a structured approach for an initial plan that was going to result in more groups being at loggerheads. 

But wait! The group passed over her recommendation and kept talking. And talking.

I finally broke my silence and reiterated what she said, pointing to her and giving her credit for the original idea that I was simply building on. And, when making a follow-on suggestion, I once again credited her for the original idea to employ a process where the pastor was fully engaged.

That is one of the ways to combat hepeating in meetings.

Combating Hepeating

Hepeating is when a woman shares great ideas at a meeting, is ignored by the group, and then a man repeats the idea and receives the kudos for creative thinking.

Idea Magnets must never be hepeaters, and we should never stand for it happening if we’re in any environment where we experience it.

Idea Magnets should be ready always to combat hepeating

Idea Magnets are always listening for great creative thinking, insights, and ideas. As we hear great ideas stated, we need to make sure that the originator receives credit. Additionally, we need to track what happens to ideas within the meeting. If someone later tries to take credit for an idea that another individual previously shared, we need to step out and point attention back to the originator. 

Idea Magnets, as creative leaders, should be the ones to make the difference in combating hepeating wherever it’s happening. Let’s all promise each other that. – Mike Brown

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