Taking in account my personal history, I’ve been doing it wrong when it comes to getting my ideas implemented or my problems resolved. You see, in the past, I would stop perusing an idea or problem once I encountered rejection (credit card companies bank on this… literally). For instance, I’d have an incredible idea at work and I’d share it with a peer or boss, but because of lack of understand or because of the poor way that I communicated it to them, my idea would encounter a negative response and I would get discouraged and give. Today I know better, today I politely take a different path in getting my ideas implemented
Oh sure, I’ve heard the old saying: “Try and Try again”, but for some reason I associated it with actually doing work after the idea(s) have been agreed upon. Now, I realize that sometimes even the ideas need to be “Tried and tried again”, here’s why:
Over the past five years, one particular co-worker at work continues to make personal calls during work time (not lunch) to accomplish things. While I don’t totally agree with the use of company time as much as he used it to accomplish his personal agenda, I have learned a few things be quietly listening to his actions and results that has benefited me greatly. In addition, I’ve seen him use similar approaches with his work related ideas to get them implemented too!
Steps to Take to Get Your Ideas Implemented or Issues Resolved
- Be direct, but polite and confident in expressing your idea or issues.
- If you encounter an “A-hole” as the customer service rep., politely exit and call again. Many times you will get someone who might be more agreeable to your concerns the second, third or sometimes even fourth time.
- If the person taking your call doesn’t have the authority to make a change, ask for someone who does, a supervisor, or customer retention specialist.
- If you have times (as is the case with an idea), if you encounter resistance, try writing or rewriting the idea and presenting the idea to another person next week. Sometimes the problem is the way you are communicating the idea and writing it up in a document that is sent in an email helps present the idea in a more consumable format.
- Write the idea in a “lowest common denominator” like format (aka write your idea as simple as possible). In other words, keep out the fancy words that doesn’t add value to the idea. If you write your idea so that it’s a chore to read, it won’t get read.
- Keep you idea short and to the point, cut out the fluff. You can always expand upon the idea later.
- Don’t be afraid of communicating your idea to more than one individual. Just because cause one manager or person doesn’t understand, doesn’t mean that his/her boss won’t understand your vision.
- If you are sure the idea has legs (in other words it’s a great and doable idea), call a meeting with as many individuals that could support the idea. Make sure it’s a solid idea though!
- Don’t take the rejection of your idea personal.
- Don’t feel like your idea is set in stone. One of my favorite processes is evolving an idea that I might have to make it even better. A side benefit is that the others helping to evolve the idea feels like they are part of the idea too. Since they have time invested evolving your idea, they might champion it more.
- You idea may be improved upon, or you may have to compromise a bit on your vision just to get the idea agreed to be implemented. Once the idea is accepted, you can always gently sway the vision back to your original thoughts if it makes more sense or makes more sense. If it doesn’t though, then let your evolved idea continue instead.
No matter what happens to your idea, be polite and friendly about it. Don’t let defensive or and negative forms of passion show or come out, even if you feel strongly about your idea/issue.
I hope someone finds value in this “Getting Your Ideas Implemented” knowledge, it took me too long to figure it out!