Have you ever had a new idea? And have you ever tried to convince your boss to give that new idea a go? Was it met with open arms – or crushed by a raised eyebrow, stalled by a request for a business case or met with a negative “that’s not how we do things here”?
For most of us – regardless of whether our idea is good or bad – it’s likely that we’ll be met with nonchalance, indifference or negativity. The truth is: most people are apprehensive about change. We like routines and systems, and are uncomfortable with the uncertainty that new ideas might bring.
So it shouldn’t come as a surprise when your employer isn’t overjoyed at the prospect of your revolutionary thinking – however big or small. They may see you as the spreader of uncertainty. Even if your idea has the potential to make their life easier, quicker or more impactful, it’s likely that in their opinion “everything is working just fine as it is”.
Having ideas is the easy bit. Making them happen can be the truly difficult task. Here’s some tips to help you:
- Manage your own expectations
Don’t expect anyone else to like your idea. If it really is a new or drastically different way of approaching things, it’s more likely to scare the living daylights out of your employer.
- It’s about them – not you
Spend a bit of time thinking about the person you are trying to convince. What’s in it for them if they? For example, how might supporting your idea help them impress their boss, shareholders or even their partner?
- Pick your moment
When approaching the person you need to convince, choose your time carefully. If they work from a diary, then make an appointment. Don’t just bound up to their desk brimming with enthusiasm. If they are busy with something else, then you are unlikely to get a positive response. If they are a coffee-loving morning person, then meet them first thing and armed with caffeinated drinks. Read more