Step 3: Getting buy-in from your managerFind out what makes your manager tick and then tailor your message to match their points of interest. So, for example, if your manager is obsessed with efficiency, then you’ll want to highlight how your initiative will help with saving resources. Or, if your manager puts people first, then be sure to talk about how your initiative will have a positive impact on team morale. If you don’t know what your manager is concerned with, do some digging and find out before your approach them.
Remember that managers are rewarded when things are running well, and as such may be adverse the change you present them. You have to address this resistance in order to receive your manager’s endorsement.
The key is to position your idea as a ‘safe’ one. Discuss how your organization can roll out the initiative slowly to give everyone time to adapt—which will allow the opportunity for adjustments at each step if required. Keep your discussion in a positive light by avoiding words and phrases like “if,” “might” and “could be” because these words portray uncertainty and will cause co-workers to question your confidence. Instead, use language that leaves no room to doubt like “with this change,” “we will be able to” and “when this is fully rolled out” to help your manager see your vision through concrete examples.
Above all, listen to your manager’s feedback and incorporate it into the initiative. This will refine your initiative and help you gain the trust you need from your manager to push it forward.
On to the final step: getting buy-in from executives.