You rack your brain for ideas after the boss discussed increasing office productivity. Then the perfect solution hits you. You run over to his office and proceed to rattle off your bright idea. At the end, you give yourself a pat on the back, but your idea is never used.
“Don’t think that a good idea is all it takes,” advises Rick Maurer, author of Beyond the Wall of Resistance (Bard Press, $24.95). “Only one-third of all changes succeed. Don’t get too excited and not pay attention to the signs.” For example, perhaps your boss is open to more money-making ideas and your idea was a time-saver. Maurer offers these tips on how to present your ideas and get them accepted at work:
- Know your audience. Pay attention to who will be affected by the change. Your boss or employees aren’t likely to accept the idea if they don’t see the immediate positive results.
- Examine your credibility. Are you in good standing with your boss or employees? Your relationship will determine whether they respect your opinion or not.
- Time it right. Are you choosing the right opportunity to launch your proposal? Even great ideas can be rejected by someone who’s preoccupied or experiencing personal problems. Above all, put it in writing.
- Don’t be a pit bull. If you latch onto a concept, you have to know when to let it go. You can be persistent, but continue to reevaluate and revise your approach and strategy.
- Be aware of feedback. During and after your presentation, pay attention to reactions: facial expressions, questions and comments. If you’re not getting the recognition you hoped for, don’t be discouraged. Find someone you trust and ask for candid feedback on how you might be contributing to the problem. Then, try again.