Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you’re struggling to get improvements made in your workplace?
Do you find that senior staff can be dismissive of your new ideas or concerns because they’re too comfortable doing things they way they’ve always been?
You have innovative ideas that you’re excited to share, but they’re only shot down by those above you. I’ve been there, and I know what it’s like to feel like you aren’t being heard…
So, how do you ever make change? It’s easy to feel stuck.
Time to shift perspective!
There are many ways to do this, but here are three suggestions for getting senior staff to fully consider your new ideas.
Be an Effective Influencer
It can be hard to change the actions of other people. Actually, it’s almost impossible… So instead of looking at how to change them, investigate your own actions to see what you can do.
You have control over you and your actions. It’s important that you look at what you can do to solve the problem, not how to make other people change.
Focus your approach on your behavior and how you are presenting information. You’ll be much more successful when you are changing things that you have the ability to control.
There are many ways you can improve your delivery of the concepts to make them more compelling. Can you outline the idea in a more organized way, use visuals to help people understand, provide a story about the impact such a change would cause?
Ask yourself, “how I can be more effective at impacting and influencing others?”
Connect to Your Listeners
One of the most effective ways to get upper management to tune into what you are saying is to make it relevant to them and their needs.
Clarify the context of what you are proposing. Create a tight example that shares why your idea is valuable at this time. Make sure that you highlight how your suggestion relates to what is important to those you’re trying to influence.
Connecting your idea to a key priority increases the likelihood that you’ll be taken seriously.
It also demonstrates how you can add value to the company at a level that commands respect.
Show the context for why your idea is useful to the organization, and also how it helps move relevant priorities forward.
Ask yourself, “What positive impact can my idea make that relates to our organizational goals?”
Communicate with Respect
Make your audience feel respected by asking for permission to share your idea. This way, they won’t feel like you’re trying to undermine them or insult their own intelligence (especially if it’s their process you’re trying to change!).
Introducing your idea in a respectful way helps to create space for a discussion or a plan to share it at another time. Become a more effective influencer by connecting to a key priority and asking for permission to share an idea to help move forward that priority. This technique will call more attention to your idea than if it is just mentioned as a part of the discussion on other topics.
Sometimes asking for permission doesn’t fit the situation or culture of a workplace. If that’s the case in your office, try giving a respectful preview of your idea.
Here’s an example:
I’d like to take a moment to share an idea that relates to the key point that you just mentioned. This information is relevant to our planning discussion.
Once you’ve mastered these strategies, your brilliant ideas will be better heard and respected by your team. And you’ll have learned something along the way!
Get more strategies for success on The Conscious Professional Blog.
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