how to bring your boss a better solution

How to Convince Your Boss You Have a Great Solution

You see a problem and you have a great solution. But, no one asked you for your opinion.

If you’re like many of the employees in our Courageous Cultures research, you might even be a bit nervous about speaking up, particularly if your boss wasn’t so receptive last time.

It’s tempting to assume that everyone else sees the issue. Or that the solution is obvious. But people are busy. And it’s quite possible your great solution hasn’t occurred to them.

How to Make Your Case For Your Great Solution

We often find when employees are frustrated that their great solution is not being heard, it’s because they could use a little help making the case.

Here’s a simple technique we use in our I.D.E.A. Inspiration rallies to help people share their best solutions and great ideas.

C- Consider

What do you want your boss (or another stakeholder) to think, do, or say as a result of your conversation? One of the things I often noticed in my executive roles at Verizon is that employees would often come to me with ideas, but wouldn’t have “an ask.”

“And here’s how you can help” or “Here’s the support I need from you” makes it easy for your boss to respond.

A- Articulate

Before you go into the conversation, write down your top three ideas. Once the conversation gets going it’s so easy to forget your main strategic points. This will prevent the frustration of leaving the room and thinking, “AGGHHH I forgot to share one of my best selling points for this idea!”

S-Support

Make sure you’ve done your homework.  Find supporting evidence as to why your solution is important and doable. Consider the counter-arguments. Look for data and evidence that support your great solution. Find examples of where your solution is working elsewhere.

E-Engage

Engage other people who also think you have a great solution. Why would Joe in Finance support your idea? How about Laura in IT? Ask for their input to help sharpen your argument and build a stronger case. Sometimes hearing an idea from multiple perspectives is exactly what’s needed to get people’s attention.

 

Your turn

What’s your best advice for helping employees position their best ideas and solutions?

Posted in Winning Well and tagged , , , .

Karin Hurt

Karin Hurt, Founder of Let’s Grow Leaders, helps leaders around the world achieve breakthrough results, without losing their soul. A former Verizon Wireless executive, she has over two decades of experience in sales, customer service, and HR. She was named on Inc's list of 100 Great Leadership Speakers and American Management Association's 50 Leaders to Watch. She’s the author of several books: Courageous Cultures: How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers, and Customer Advocates (Harper Collins Summer 2020), Winning Well: A Manager's Guide to Getting Results-Without Losing Your Soul, Overcoming an Imperfect Boss, and Glowstone Peak.

One Comment

  1. Great advice! CASE approach could be applied to any discussion for a productive, value add conversation. This approach not only increases ones creditability in front of supervisors but also in amongst peers as the act of validation of the solution helps build a collaboration, trust.

    – Regards, Madhavi

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