Evaluation Apprehension – Pill 007

Evaluation apprehension is one of the two main problems and pitfalls in idea generation within groups, along with Production blocking.

Let take the example of a team doing a brainstorming about developing a new car focusing on different domains: chassis, engine, design, and steering.

Person D shares an idea from his or her own domain, the steering of the car. Now, Person C was thinking about the design and wanted to share a radical but risky idea, Person C now thinks maybe, “my idea is not as good as the idea about the steering.”

Maybe we should just focus on steering and not on design, he or she then only shares ideas that fit what is already there. In other words, this person is afraid to share his or her ideas because he or she fears to be negatively evaluated: This is really harmful for creativity. 

The ideas that are not mentioned are often the most unique.

We do not want to be negatively evaluated and that we might be if we come up with a weird idea. The consequences of evaluation apprehension are very bad, because, if unique ideas are not shared, we only get similar ideas in a group. This is problematic because we want a lot of different ideas. So, we can combine the best ones.

There are a lot of useful tools that can be used to prevent Evaluation Apprehension. I’ll discuss them in others Pills.

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