How to Convince Your Boss to Buy Your Ideas
By Fiorenzo Conte, CEO Moko Home+Living
Hack: Start your case by laying out its flaws.
Let’s start by defining the flaw with the example from my last post: you want to make a case for spending more time chatting with each customer. Starting with the flaws means mapping the top three things that could wrong:
- We will have a long queue of customers who want to get in touch with us. They might not be happy about this wait.
- Each agent won’t be able to meet the daily sales target in the beginning since they’ll be busy making non-sales related calls.
- This strategy might not work at all. If it does, we won’t see the impact of the longer chats until 2 months from the start.
By laying out these flaws when presenting your idea, you’re showing that you care about the idea to think it through. You know that your idea comes with risks and might not work out unless you can mitigate them.
Why does that increase your odds?
There are two reasons. The first is that you’re disarming your boss. Their job is to think through the idea and look for flaws to actually vet the idea but you already did that for them. If you start with strengths they will enter the look-for-flaws mindset but if you start with flaws they will enter the look-for-solutions mindset. This builds on the second reason.
One of the ways our minds judge the strength of an idea is by looking at the ease with which we can come up with flaws. Your boss will think: how fast and easy was it for me to come up with the risks that this idea carries? If you start with the flaws you make it harder for the boss to come up with those reasons. If there is less friction, they will think that the idea is actually stronger because after all, they can’t come up with more risks.
So here’s the formula:
Ask your boss to be disagreeable and make your case stronger by starting with its flaws. It will make your disagreeable boss your problem-resolution partner!