“One of the best ways to persuade others is by listening to them.”
–Dean Rusk, former U.S. Secretary of State
Just Pay Attention To Me sparked a stream of comments. Most focused on how simple it is to talk with other people yet how difficult it continues to seem for many managers. Check out the thoughts and add your own to the mix.
Getting Attention to Gain Support
Managerial attentiveness is certainly high on the list of employee wants/needs.
But how about when it’s time to gain support for your idea or program? Managers at all
levels will give you their attention if you understand how to
legitimately capture it. Here are four ways to diagnose listener
preferences and deliver your message. (It’s often helpful to be able to
sort and classify).
1. The “Trend-Chaser”: Help Them Follow The Fad
folks pay attention to what others are doing. Perhaps they need to feel
like they “belong”; maybe it’s just a matter of not thinking too much.
Who knows? It doesn’t make any difference. You need to provide social
proof–testimonials–of what other people think about your ideas.
Use these phrases:
“The benchmarking companies have implemented . . .”
“The top experts in (name the appropriate field) have just written that. . .”
“Statistical trends now show that. . .”
2. The Analytical: Facts and Stats
though we know for a fact that people decide based on emotion, these
people need to hear supporting evidence. And you’ll be questioned on
it, so be prepared. They won’t go to a fast food outlet without seeing
which one has the “best” value meal: $1.00, $.99, or $1.03. Why? One
reason is that they want to be confident that they can give a “logical”
answer should someone ask them. So, give them the confidence with facts and figures. Quantify everything.
3. I Love A Challenge!: Overcome Obstacles
bores this group. When the sun rises, they’re ready to assault a
mountaintop. When they hear that something can’t be done, it energizes
them to prove otherwise. So, tell them:
- The system doesn’t work
- It’s too late too change (or too early)
- They can’t afford to do what will really make a difference
Watch them leap into action when you present your ideas as barriers to be overpowered.
4. What’s the Payoff? Incentives & Rewards
the group that examines the benefits of your idea, both organizational
and personal. They want to improve their situation every day. Show them
- How to increase profitability
- How to reduce conflicts
- How to be more effective at managing
- How to leapfrog their career
These are the Four Biggies that I
see regularly. If you have experiences that show another category with
descriptions, weigh in with a comment!