How To Get People To Buy In to Your Ideas

by | Jun 28, 2016

exec_coach_blog_2015_10_27It’s not always easy to get people to buy into an idea. Even if it’s a smart idea – and you are totally convinced that it’s the best possible solution — some people will be hard to convince. Leadership training can help provide processes and skills that enable you to build support for your idea.

How do you get naysayers to people to follow you? How do you get skeptical people to buy into your vision? What can you do to share your thoughts and opinions in the most effective way?

Here are a few ideas to help leaders improve their “buy in” ratio:

  1. Be a great listener. By developing keen listening skills you can find out how the information is being received as well as evaluate the situation based on your team’s point of view.
  2. Keep Open-Minded: Try to understand what motivates their opinions, doubts, or misconceptions. Lots of managers and entrepreneurs struggle when hearing negativity around their idea or initiative. Having tolerance to listen and vigorously exploring why a person disagrees are essential skills.
  3. Solicit feedback. Conduct some enrollment conversations to find out what’s important to them and what problems they are foreseeing. Find out what works for them and what doesn’t. Unless you address their doubts and answer their questions, you’ll be hard pressed to get them to join in your mission.
  4. Recognize and Consider All Perspectives: Thank everyone who shares their opinion and perspective. Even if you don’t agree with their opinion, show them that you recognize and appreciate their contribution.
  5. Address the Feedback: Responding to feedback will help your team to better understand your point and your vision. Try to align your idea with other experts in the field. People are more likely to “buy in” when a number of respected authorities are in agreement.

Listen, Consider, then React

As humans, our natural tendency is to listen for agreement. We tend to speak over the other party with reasons why they need to change their minds and why they should agree with us. This is intolerance at its worst. It indicates that we are not really hearing what others are saying.

Instead, use the principle of liking to build influence. Bestselling author, Dr. Robert Cialdini, a world renowned expert in influence, suggests that people are more likely to allow people we like to influence us.

So it’s best to fine tune your listening skills, develop stronger relationships and respect the opinions of others, even if you disagree or don’t like what’s being said. Developing better listening skills is an essential part of leadership training.

Although this approach can often be more challenging and time consuming, remember that listening also educates you, the leader, on how you can improve, as well as creating opportunities to educate others about the validity of a plan.

I encourage you to give it a try!

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