Sometimes we sit and listen to a friends ideas, or a new business they have started, or a goal or dream they have. We want to help them, so we usually start by ensuring they understand all the pitfalls that they may face, and the challenges that may stifle them. We want to protect them and help them, right?

Well, actually I would like to ask you to try something a little different...... Try just a 'Wow, thats great news, or a great idea, or a great vision to have!' 'What can I do to help you?'
In fact, they have likely researched their idea and understand the challenges. Perhaps it is just a seedling of an idea and they are airing it for the first time. Be positive, give them the gift of enthusiasm and support.

What if you think their idea is insane, crazy or a huge risk? Well, first imagine you were Bill Gates friend all those years ago....imagine if he told you he was going to be the dominant operating system for pcs...what would you have said? For a man that we are told did not complete his tertiary education, to dominate the PC world from a backyard idea....perhaps we would have thought he was crazy. He did it!

If you are really concerned for them, then after ( and only after) you make some positive responses, try asking some searching questions positively framed. Questions like:
I am really interested, have you researched the market yet, or is this a brand new idea?

How do you think you will go about marketing it?

What will your service consist of? etc,

.....and in their answers you will find more information about why they are excited. With questions framed in a positive way, you can ensure that they are understanding the areas that concern you, but not in a way that has a negative impact on them.
Please don't tell them how to do it unless they ask you for advice, and above all stay positive, it is an invaluable gift to your friend. Remember, it is not your idea, business, dream or goal it is theirs. It is their risk and their effort to reach success. Help them by being open to their ideas, listening and asking searching but positive questions. You will be surprised by the positive energy you receive in return.

If you respond in a negative way, you are stealing energy from them, but you are also losing energy yourself. You may kill another global innovation in the making, or a truly great idea. You will certainly damage your friendship.

So next time a friend says 'I have a dream', be interested and positive, enjoy the experience with them and you will also win happiness.

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Copyright 2009 Terrie Anderson

Author's Bio: 

Terrie Anderson is the author of The Little Red Success Book and other publications on Human Potential, High Performance Team Building and Essence of Leadership. Terrie has had a very successful corporate career and also coaches and mentors a very small group of people throughout the world. In 2009 Terrie Anderson will be available again for speaking engagements for public or corporate events. The Little Red Success Book is about to be released for the first time as an online version. You can contact Terrie Anderson through the website where you will find her blog, opportunity to register to stay updated and a contact link. Terrie enjoys to receive feedback and testimonials about her work and the results you have experienced.