Good managers are always on the lookout for great ideas. They know how to spot a great idea, how to tweak it to suit the company’s needs, and ultimately, how to implement it.
But the reality is that most managers are swamped with so many suggestions that some genuinely good ideas don’t ever see the light of day. Instead of giving your manager a hard time for rejecting your ideas, why not find ways to get him or her to back them instead?
In other words, what you need to do is figure out how to get your boss to listen to you and back your ideas. And the good news is that it’s not nearly as difficult as you probably think.
Back Your Idea with an Inspiring Vision
It’s imperative that you describe your idea in a way that makes your boss just as passionate and enthusiastic about it as you are. If you’re not fired up about your idea, how can you expect your manager to back you on it?
This is where vision comes it. Your idea has to lead to something. It could be increased sales, productivity, customer retention — anything that benefits the team and company.
Do Your Research
Take the time to understand your idea from the inside and out, including its strengths and weaknesses, and whether it has been implemented in another setting. You want to present your idea after you’ve thought it over. Your boss may not have the time to think out loud with you, after all.
Test the Idea
You’ve done your homework, now it’s time to test your idea before bringing it to your boss.
Start with a few trusted co-workers. See if your idea makes sense to them and get feedback on what they think is missing or what they think could make your idea better. Check your ego at the door because someone else’s perspective could make your ordinary idea into an extraordinary one. If 3 out of 5 people tell you that your idea sucks, then it probably does.
Nail Down the Benefits
At the end of the day your boss wants to know what benefits your idea has to offer. Make sure your idea offers concrete ways to improve:
- Cost efficiency
- Customer loyalty
- Performance efficiency
Your idea has to benefit the team and company. If it only benefits yourself, or worse, makes your work easier at the expense of others, don’t be surprised if it gets rejected right away.
Be Ready to Tweak Your Idea
Don’t feel bad if your manager makes suggestions on how to improve your idea. This can only mean that your idea is actually worth implementing. Be ready to be flexible — your manager’s input could make the idea better or easier to implement, which can only be good for you, its creator.
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