Quote of the Day: “A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.” – Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO, Amazon.com
Obtaining Buy-In for Your Plan
If your company owner or boss came to you and said, “I am so excited to introduce you to this new program we are launching today…it is innovative…the first ever in our industry…easy to apply and will help you and the company succeed. How would you respond?
If the announcement is delivered with lack of congruence between the presenter’s enthusiasm, words, body language and tone of voice, then they will probably hear signs of mistrust: rustling movements of people squirming in their seats as well as whispers and side conversations that may sound like, “Yeah Right! Here comes the sales pitch for swamp-land in Florida” or “Oh no! Who will be loosing their job because of this?” or some other variation on this theme.
How do you acknowledge concerns and obtain buy-in for your plan?
1. Be honest and direct. In the first minute of your comments, announce that changes are coming that you support without going into a lot of detail upfront. Do not use a cheerleading style, hoping your excitement will get folks to buy-in. They will think you are trying to manipulate them.
2. Acknowledge your audience’s opposing viewpoints. Validate their concerns by showing how their reasoning is logical. Name what you guess they may be thinking. Add some humor, if it is your style. For instance, “I remember a former boss who once opened a meeting this way — the next day s/he was fired.” Watch for signs of agreement, like nodding heads, laughter and smiles. People relax when you meet them where they are.
3. Outline your program identifying all the risks as well as benefits backing everything up with facts.
4. Point out specific facts and issues you and your audience agree on. “Change is uncertain.” “Only working together, can we make it work.”
5. Call them to action by outlining the implementation process, what they will expect to see in terms of communications, how their input will be received and acted upon, and start and completion times.
6. Assume everyone is on board. Expect everyone to support the program. Keep people informed as to progress. Schedule regular meetings to check in on progress and trouble-shoot challenges.
When you are congruent each step of the way, the team will buy-in and be forgiving of any bumps that arise in the implementation stages. Your results are your feedback as to how well you built trust.
Thank you for your interest in my blog. I look forward to seeing your comments.