Every day you influence your peers, your boss, and your co-workers. The trick is to influence them positively instead of negatively and to get understanding and buy-in to your ideas. Do you have an idea that you want to get buy-in from your boss, but in the past you have been met with resistance? How do you get your boss to understand and appreciate your idea? How do you practice the art of "managing up"? Here are 10 tips that are proven to win over your boss and get buy-in for your ideas.
- List how the idea benefits the company
- Show how the idea can enhance your boss's position
- Describe how the idea relieves a pain that your boss currently experiences
- Illustrate how the idea solves a nagging problem for the company
- Detail how the idea saves money, makes money, or both
- Compare how this idea is easier to accomplish, cheaper to carry out, and more cost-effective than competing ideas
- Use precedent to bring up a situation where your idea has worked in the past under similar circumstances
- Show the evidence to support the claims of your idea
- Describe how you have minimized risk of failure for this idea
- Ask your boss for suggestions on how to improve the idea
As you can see from the 10 tips, you will be taking the focus away from YOU and putting it on the COMPANY and YOUR BOSS. It is critical that you include tip #10 and ask your boss for input on your idea. Once your boss gives input and adds to the idea, it also becomes their idea and they will be more likely to buy-in to it.
To make this easy to implement, take a sheet of paper and write the name of your idea at the top of the page. Below that, draw a 2-column table with 10 rows. In the first column, list the 10 tips from above (e.g. benefits the company, enhances my boss's position). Use the second column to come up with what you want to say about your idea....how it benefits the company, enhances your boss's position, etc.
Use this sheet as talking points when you go and speak to your boss about the idea. When you present your idea with the focus on how it benefits your company and your boss, you are using your powers of persuasion to improve your chances of your boss understanding, buying in, and saying "yes" to your idea. This is what "managing up" is all about. As you are trying this new approach, think about what the difference is between using these 10 keys and the method that you previously used. What is the difference in your boss's reaction? What are the keys that he most positively responds to? Is there any key that he reacts to negatively? Use this information as you continue to build your powers of persuasion and influence at work.
Co-host, Career Success Radio Show
A leading authority on career success; 15-year executive coaching veteran
Contact: Andy@CRGLeaders.com, 239-285-5575