Have you heard the song, “What About Me?” by the Australian rock band, Moving Pictures? The song’s about people who’re feeling disregarded—ignored, as if others are looking right through them.
That song sprung to my mind during a recent conversation I had with Tony (not his real name)…
Tony’s Controversial Proposition
Tony was about to put a controversial proposition on the table with a of bunch senior people from other functional areas.
We discussed how, in order to have them be positively receptive to his proposition, Tony needed to make doubly sure that he, first up, asked them questions so that he understood their wants and needs—and, just as crucially, let them know that he understood their wants and needs.
Skipping this important step is not a good thing!
It would have been false economy indeed if Tony were to stumble blindly into his proposition before each member of his audience felt fully understood. Failure to validate their perspectives would have, almost certainly, prevented them from hearing his rational arguments that would have them potentially accepting his proposition.
He needed to ask them about their thinking, about their wants and needs, about their concerns, and about their fears, with regard to the controversial proposition he was about to put on the table.
He especially needed to ensure that the bulldozer in the group, let’s call her Sally, realised that Tony knew what it was like to stand in her shoes and deal with the “mammoth” issues that she was confronting.
This Is THE Key To Getting Buy-In, Especially From A Bulldozer
Genuinely wanting to hear, and understand, your Sally’s position, will put you in a heighten position to satisfy her needs—whilst meeting your own.
The minute she, consciously or unconsciously, thinks “What about me?” ”What about my wants, needs, fears and concerns”, you’ve created a massive barrier that’s highly likely to stop Sally from being receptive to your proposition.
Your Leadership Call To Action
Whom are you trying to persuade to do what right now?
It’s going to be a good investment when you take the time to fully understand, yes fully understand, their wants/needs/fears/concerns before you espouse your thinking.
Will you check this thinking out when you next want to get buy-in?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Carolyn Stevens has worked with leaders for more than 25-years—hundreds of them.
She’s supported leader after leader (including those who previously struggled to confront the difficult, let alone persuasively deal with the it) flourish—and become confident, courageous and impressively influential.
Carolyn is authentic and results-oriented. She draws on an eclectic array of approaches, tools and techniques to suit the situation.