9 Tips for Getting Your Boss to Support Your Ideas
You know you have some great ideas for your company, but you just can’t seem to get your boss to support them. How can you fix that? Try these nine tips!
1. Be Passionate
Describe your idea in a way that shows how passionate and enthusiastic you are about it. When you’re excited about an idea, your boss will have a hard time ignoring you. Your boss will be more likely to hear you out.
Before you pitch your idea to your boss, practice. Round up a few of your coworkers and pitch it to them. Make sure that they understand your idea, and if they don’t, figure out how you can explain it better. Have your coworkers ask any and every question they can think of.
3. Be Prepared
Before you schedule a meeting with your boss, make sure you’ve thought about every aspect of your idea. Know the pros and cons and have a plan on how to implement the idea.
Check to see if your company has ever discussed or tried anything similar. If it has, know the results. If it’s never been tried at your company, see if other companies have tried it. Know how it’s working out for those companies.
Your boss has a lot on their plate, so don’t spend the meeting thinking out loud. Have a concrete idea in place and be prepared to answer any potential questions in advance.
4. Know the Stakeholders
Make sure you know who will be impacted by your idea. You should also know whose support you need and who can help you shape the idea. During your meeting with your boss, agree on who should talk to whom.
5. Pick the Right Time
Timing is everything. If you pitch your idea at a bad time, your boss won’t support it no matter what. Don’t pitch first thing Monday morning, right before lunch, or right after the company faces a major hiccup – your boss will be too preoccupied to really listen.
Learn your boss’s schedule and figure out when they have the most time and least amount of stress; pitch your idea then.
6. Pitch Beneficial Ideas
Pitch ideas that have clear benefits to the company, your boss, and your department. Stick to ideas that could reduce expenses, increase revenue, improve efficiency, or help your department reach its goals faster.
7. Be Respectful and Honest
When you’re pitching your idea, answer your boss’s questions respectfully and patiently. If you don’t know the answer, admit it and commit to finding the answer. After the meeting, immediately start looking for the answer so you can report back to your boss quickly.
Even though you’re the one pitching the idea, listen to your boss. If they start making suggestions, they’ve bought into your idea and want to be involved.
Don’t be too uptight about the details. Be willing to consider your boss’s suggestions, especially if they’ll make your idea better.
If your boss wants to run with your idea, be willing to let go of control. People will still know it’s your idea, especially if you keep coming up with great ideas.
9. Follow Up and Follow Through
Execution of an idea can separate a good idea from an excellent plan, so you can’t just pitch your idea and be done with it. After you’ve pitched your idea to your boss, stay on it. If your boss was interested in your idea, make sure to check in periodically to see what the next steps should be.
Take personal responsibility to make sure your idea is implemented correctly. If you show that you can follow through with your ideas, your boss will keep supporting you.