9 Tips for Getting Your Boss to Support Your Ideas

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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

Present your idea in a way that shows how enthusiastic you are about it. When you’re excited about your plan, it will be difficult for your boss to ignore, so they’ll be more likely to hear you out.

2. Practice

Before you pitch to your boss, practice. Round up a few of your coworkers and propose it to them. If they don’t understand your idea, figure out how to explain it better. Have your coworkers ask any and every question possible.

3. Be prepared

Your boss has a lot on their plate, so don’t spend the meeting thinking out loud. Before presenting, look at both the pros and cons of implementing your initiative, and be prepared to defend it. You might also consider looking into whether anything similar has ever been discussed or tried at your company. If it has, find out the results. If it hasn’t, see if other companies have tried it and look into how it’s working for them.

4. Know who the stakeholders are

Make sure you know who will be impacted by your idea, whose support you need, and who can help you shape your plan. 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 the wrong time, your boss won’t support it no matter what. Learn your boss’s schedule to figure out when they have the most time and least amount of stress. Don’t set a meeting for first thing Monday morning, right before lunch, or right after the company faces a major hiccup – your boss will be too preoccupied to listen.

6. Pitch beneficial initiatives

Pitch ideas that have clear benefits to the company, your boss, and your department. Stick to proposals that could reduce expenses, increase revenue, improve efficiency, or help your department reach its goals faster. Read also: 8 Ways to Improve Employee Efficiency

7. Be respectful and honest

When you’re meeting with your boss, answer their questions respectfully and patiently. If you don’t know the answer, admit it and commit to finding out. After the meeting, immediately start looking for a solution so you can report back to your boss quickly.

8. Listen

Even though you’re the one proposing a new initiative, listen to your boss and consider their suggestions. If they start making suggestions, they’ve likely already bought into your plan and want to be involved. If your boss wants to run with it, be willing to let go of control. People will still know it’s your brainchild, especially if you keep coming up with great ideas.

9. Follow up and follow through

Execution can separate a good idea from an excellent plan, so you can’t just make your proposal and be done with it. After you’ve met with your boss, stay on it. If your boss was interested in your plan, make sure to check in periodically to see what the next steps should be and to update your boss on the progress.

Take personal responsibility to make sure your suggestion is implemented correctly. If you show follow-through, your boss will keep supporting you.

Coming up with new initiatives and seeing them through will set you up for an excellent performance review each year. Learn more about how to prepare for your next review.

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