Sometimes, we have much better ideas than our management especially when we are closer to the ground, closer to the customers. But how do we present our ideas in order to allow our bosses hear us out?
Let me share with you today on steps to get through to your bosses with a great idea of yours:
Facts & Figures
Always prepare your homework before confronting your boss and of course, present it politely to him or her, not in a smug “I am right” way. Even when your figures point everything you said is right, open up your mind to what your supervisor is saying. Take an opportunity for a healthy debate, you may learn much more about your boss’s thought processes and decision-making style, which is useful to you in similar future situations.
Tom, 20, Retail Assistant
“I told my supervisor that we are losing stocks to a shoplifter. He didn’t believe. I began to note down a trend of missing clothing with a particular group of teens who always hang around the store for more than necessary. When I had my trending facts right, I manage to convince my supervisor to take a look at the security camera’s and I was right.”
Gather peer support
It is always good to have your thoughts align with your peers. If everyone thinks towards the same directions, it is much easier to convince the management you are right. Called it peer pressure if you will, it is human nature to follow the herd. You will get a firmer ground together with your facts and figures.
Jacquard, 26, Engineer
“For awhile, I noticed that one of our machines needs some maintenance checking from our vendors and it is expensive to call them over when the maintenance check is not due for another year. I had two other coworkers who are engineers to evaluate the machine and came up with the conclusion that it might be dangerous and potentially cause serious damage if the machine overheat and blown up. Three of us present the facts to our boss and he, in turn, presented in front of our management. The machine was promptly shut down and the vendor was called in immediately.”
Look up to higher ground
Even if your immediate boss turned you away, don’t stop there if you are right. Many of us think that we have done our duty and if our bosses don’t want to do something about it, it’s on his head, not mine. If you felt strong that you are right, plus with the facts and figures and your peers have your back, approach someone higher authority than your boss. Present it in such a way that you remain neutral and not piling “I told my boss but he doesn’t care” speech.
Connie, 30, sales clerk
“I overheard a conversation that one of our sales rep is jumping ship to our direct competitor and planning to take all his clients with him. I managed to gather a trend where a significant number of clients are dropping out from our policies and show it to my boss. She asked me to mind my own business and just concentrate on my job. I had a bad guy feeling about this and causally mentioned it to another manager. Investigations are carried out and turn out to be true and that my boss is jumping over to the same competitor as well. Shocking!”
Always Offer Alternatives
Be kind. Don’t leave your boss dangling to find a solution by himself. It is easier to convince him if you have not one but, at least, two solutions worked out for him to choose from. Why two? It is about making your boss feel that he is still empowered to make that choice and not feeling that he is bending towards your will. Yes, it is an ego thing but if it makes him placable, it’s a win-win situation for you.
Grenda, 28, Operations Supervisor
“I like to provide my boss with 2 or 3 solutions that come with possible consequences and results outcome. This way, he has little reasons to say no and he probably is afraid I will go ‘I told you so’. Hahaha.”
Do you have better ideas? Come and share over here at MiddleMe’s comment.
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