One of the most important aspects of advancing your career is having your ideas adopted at work. I have often had clients tell me the following:
“My manager doesn’t listen to my ideas.”
“Other people talk over me when I’m sharing.”
“My manager puts my ideas in the ‘parking lot.’”
One thing I have noticed after working with thousands of team members is that we have an unconscious bias that tells us that people at the top of the organization have better ideas that get adopted more easily. However, this is not and should not always be the case.
If you can relate, then keep reading! In this post, I will teach you my two best tips for getting your ideas heard and implemented in the workplace.
Tip #1: Your timing is critical. There are going to be times when ideas are more readily accepted. As a general rule people are more open to change and new ideas at the beginning of a time-frame. So if you present a new idea at the beginning of the year, the beginning of the month, or even at the beginning of the week, you’re going to have a better opportunity to do so at these times than at the end.
That isn’t to say that great ideas don’t get adopted in December or at the end of month — they absolutely do. But your chances of making an impression with your boss or manager is much higher when your ideas are presented at the beginning of a certain time period.
Tip #2: Stand out by thinking it through. If you are not at the highest level in your organization and you’re at one of the lower or mid-levels, then your ideas may not be heard or adopted as frequently. To flip this and actually gain the respect you deserve by your boss, take time to think your ideas through.
Many times people will go to their bosses in a rush and talk about an idea at the end of a meeting without thinking it through. As a result, their bosses aren’t given the full vision of how this idea could impact their industry.
Bonus Tip: Write it out. Once you’ve thought through the benefits of adopting your idea, write it all down from start to finish. Here are some questions your presentation should answer:
Why is it that your company needs to implement this new thing?
How does your idea offer solutions?
What is the impact that this idea will have on the organization?
What are some possible blockers or challenges that you may encounter during implementation?
How does this idea align with the overall goals of the organization?
After you’ve carefully organized your thoughts, then set a time to meet with your manager and help them understand why this idea is important. Not every concept may be adopted, but if you start presenting them like this more often, you’re going to separate yourself from everyone else.
By taking the time, energy, and effort to prepare, your ideas can be visualized and implemented more readily.