Lately, as I been browsing through event websites, I’ve noticed a trend in “convince your boss” kits. After all, your boss is your boss and you will need their approval majority of the time. Sending employees to events sometimes costs money and also keeps the attendee from their daily functions for the time they are there. We not only have to convince our bosses or anyone of a senior rank to let us attend certain events but we often need their approval or need them to back up our ideas. Asking for permission or approval isn’t usually the most comfortable of situations but sometimes we need to step out of our comfort zone and get someone important to back us.
So how exactly do you go about convincing upper ranks successfully?
1. Strong Presentation of Argument
Decide ahead of time exactly the outcome you want to have. If that outcome is for your boss to let you attend an event for educational purposes, know exactly how you are going to present that argument. Know the pros and cons, if you prove you thought of even the disadvantages, this will make your argument more credible.
2. Concise Communication
Think before you speak. Sounds simple enough, but people often jump into conversation if they are hopped up on the subject matter. Organize your thoughts so the conversation flows more naturally. Make sure you know what your main goal is and present that first, don’t lead with small talk. This will let your partner know the general direction in which the conversation is going.
3. Body Language
You may have a strong presentation of your argument and the exact words and timing right when trying to get your bosses approval, however there is also another factor in your ultimate success in being persuasive – the execution of your presentation. Body language is defined as the process of communication non-verbally though conscious or unconscious gestures and movements. Nonverbal communication helps the impact of your spoken words. If you speak confidently with poise and charm, your presentation will be successful. Keeping your posture open and maintaining eye contact makes you seem more open and trustworthy. Using your hands in conversation helps to strengthen your points, while keeping your facial expression loose will make you seem more sincere.
4. Clarity of Purpose
“There is one quality that one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it.”
– Napoleon Hill
When there is clarity of purpose, you know what steps to take. Your goal must be specific and clear. Know what you want, know what you will gain from your request and be specific in what you want to accomplish. When you can define your goal, exactly what you want to achieve and how, you will be successful in presenting your case, while also maintaining credibility.
5. Context & Timing
There is very little you can control in an interaction with a person. The one thing you have 100% control over in these situations is yourself, so why would you want to give up that one thing? In talking about context, it means how exactly you are showing up when you’re attempting to convince your boss. Get the timing right. You never want to interrupt someone when they are busy or seem irritable, this will bother the person more and they will already have their mind made up, and probably not in your favor. Know whats acceptable and know what you are seeking from others.
Next time you are faced with the challenge of convincing your boss, your prospects or stakeholders to agree with what you are saying think of these five steps. What other tips do you have? Add them below.
Written by: Sara Erdos