If you were the other person or group, what would engage you about your idea?
Start With Real Information From Real People
Why guess at what people might think? Go out to those who will be affected and involved in your idea, explain the topic in general terms, and ask:" What's important to you about ______?"
This approach is in line with Roesler Rule of Organizational Life #1: Prognosis Without Diagnosis is Malpractice.
You'll find out very quickly and easily what the immediate areas of agreement and disagreement will be. And if you ask, "What would you do differently about ____", you'll find new variations on a theme. By the time you introduce your idea you will already have--well, introduced it. The concept won't be a surprise, you will already have established some level of relationship with those involved, and you can acknowledge what you learned from each.
Six Questions You Should Ask
As you are doing your informal diagnostic while sharing a big picture view of your idea, here are six questions that will help you get good information:
1. How can this be useful to you?
2. What do you need from this?
3. What is most important to you?
4. What would you like to change when it comes to____?
5. What do like about the current situation that you'd keep intact?
6. How would you proceed with this to make it work?
Notice that all of these are open-ended and focused on the other person.