He’s smart, quick on his feet, and he’s got power. All attempts to persuade him have failed. You could just give in. After all you’ve tried and he’s the boss. If he wants it that way, fine. But, deep in your heart you know you’re right. You care. It matters. Others are counting on you. Try again and PERSUADE him to your point of view.
How to PERSUADE Your Boss
Of course, every boss is different. Understand and play to their style. I’ve had lots of bosses over the years, and am constantly being persuaded by those I lead. Here’s 8 time-tested approaches to consider.
P – Private
Whatever you do don’t confront him in front of your peers, his peers, your team. You get the picture. Take it offline.
E – Emotion
Let your passion inspire your argument, but don’t emote. Stay calm. Appeal to his heart and mind, but don’t wear your heart on your sleeve. It might help to tell a story, but think it through first. Overly emotional appeals will weaken your argument.
R – Research
Do your homework. Prepare for questions. Do the math. Do more math. Do the math his way. Poke holes. If he doesn’t like math, collect stories. Do more math, just in case.
S – Share
Share your concern frankly. Speak your truth. Share why you are concerned for the business. Have several supporting points.
U – Understand
Listen CAREFULLY. He’s got broader perspective and more context. Learn as much as you can. Hear him out completely and suspend judgement. Listen some more.
A – Acknowledge
Appreciate his point of view. He’s likely not a jerk. He’s got pressures too. Understand them. Learn all you can. Consider, deeply.
If you’re still convinced, bring on the data. Build graphs. Show correlations. Draw pictures. Find stories. Benchmark with the best.
Engage your supporting team. For me, this usually means the finance gal. She’s fantastic. Yours can be too. In my last gig it was the finance guy. These folks are more reasonable than you think. Convince others to care about your point of view. Get a light murmur of whispers headed to support your cause in their own words.