Making sure that your voice is heard and your ideas are approved is a necessary part of becoming a successful professional, but that doesn’t mean that aspiring young workers always know how to catch the ear of their boss. As a matter of fact, cutting through the noise and getting attention for your stellar idea is oftentimes downright impossible for some, with meeker individuals giving up entirely on the prospect of one day having others pay attention to their insights.
You don’t have to take no for an answer – by relying on a combination of insider tips and common sense, you can supercharge your persuasive abilities and get your ideas noticed and approved in no time.
Understanding the art of persuasion
Getting your ideas approved necessitates that you know how to masterfully sell them to a hostile audience unlikely to be receptive to your message. This may sound harsh, but the truth of the matter is that the modern business world is a cut-throat environment where countess professionals fail because they didn’t take the necessary steps to stand a cut above the rest in order to get their amazing idea heard by those at the top. To really get your ideas approved, you need to understand the art of persuasion and take steps to master your speaking and presentation skills.
You don’t have to be a master of delivering speeches to get your ideas approved, but you must understand how to effectively convey your message to your target audience in a clear, concise manner. If you examine advice for disagreeing with your boss while still coming out on top, you’ll notice that there’s a common refrain; you need to leave emotions out of things and convey a rational, fact-backed argument that’s hard to fend off. You’ll need to be passionate about what you’re presenting, but strive to make your proposal as concrete as possible by including data points and hard facts that bolster your case.
Other expert advice also reminds us that persuasion is made easier when you present your audience with a wide array of enticing options, some of which you’ve primed ahead of time and will be specifically pushing on your targets. As the Harvard Business Review makes clear, it’s imperative to give options when you’re trying to persuade your boss or senior management officials to take a different course of action. Putting someone’s back against the wall and insisting that they pick one of two options is a surefire way to fail, but providing them with an honorable way to retreat from their incorrect position towards a more defensible and viable alternative that you support is a guaranteed way for everyone to succeed.
You’ll need to grapple with rejection
Anyone trying to get their ideas approved should understand that grappling with rejection and the occasional “no” is an unavoidable part of the job. Not every persuasion campaign, even if it’s for something as mundane as wholesale chicken, will succeed, and you’ll inevitably be told that your idea is too expensive, radical, or time-consuming for your business or team to embark upon. Nonetheless, you need to learn that brushing yourself off and getting back up after you stumble is the only way you’ll ever achieve success in the long-run, as even the world’s most persuasive professionals have suffered from the occasional failure or two.
One way to prepare for rejection is to chart out possible courses towards failure ahead of time. Consider the biggest obstacles that are preventing you from turning your dream into a reality and ask yourself how you may mitigate them ahead of time or navigate them in the future when you’re better-equipped to do so. You should always be willing to reinvent your proposal, too, as putting a fresh layer of paint on your idea might be the only thing needed to convince your superiors that it’s the right option for the business to pick.
One of the secret tips to persuading others is that comparison is immensely effective. By juxtaposing your strong, clever idea against a weaker, duller alternative you’ll be selling it to your superiors as the clearly superior option. Give plenty of points for comparison and explicitly drive home again and again the ways that your idea or proposal is superior to leading alternatives. If this route will cut down on the costs of doing business, lead more customers to your doors, or help your brand stand out, then champion those facts and make sure your superiors never forget them.
Finally, always remember that perseverance is key. Overcoming objections is made much easier when you have the will and knowhow to roll with the punches and come back a second time with a bigger, stronger plan that’s more likely to win. Stick to your guns and rely on the power of facts and you’ll soon be getting your ideas approved at a record-pace.