How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
How To Get People To Buy Into Your Ideas
Guest articles > How To Get People To Buy Into Your Ideas
by: Lisa Earle McLeod
Stan was excited about his presentation. His proposal was perfect. He was confident the senior leadership team would quickly buy into the brilliance of his plan. He was envisioning a fat promotion.
Imagine his surprise when 5 minutes in, the CEO said, “I don’t think so, let’s move to the next item.”
Was it Stan’s idea? Or the way he presented it?
Have you ever had a good idea rejected? Or worse, watched someone else present the exact same idea (2 days or 2 minutes later) and have everyone eagerly support it?
Often it’s not the idea, but the words that precede that determine the level of support you get.
Here’s a three-step technique I teach clients to increase buy-in.
Here’s how one of our clients is using this technique to get employee support for a new customer service program.
Providing context and framing before the idea gives people a way to make sense of the information. It’s in alignment with the way our brains work.
When you hear new information your brain immediately scans its arsenal of previous experiences to figure out what the new data means and where it should be slotted. Our minds are always making meaning.
Compare the way our client teed up their program with the way most people present initiatives.
Typically the leader starts by announcing, “We’re introducing a new customer service program.”
The listeners start processing. “How will this affect me? Is this going to be more work? Oh great, another flavor of the month. Why are they doing this? Do they think our service is bad? Why is that man still talking?”
Providing context and framing after presenting the idea is too late because the listeners have already attached their own meaning.
Context and framing up front establishes the meaning in advance. It works in small personal situations, like explaining why you want to make a change in the chore chart.
It also works in high stakes business situations.
Compare and contrast two ways for a CEO to announce a merger.
McLeod Context-Framing-Content Technique
No matter what the topic, people want to know: Why are you doing this and what does it mean to me?
This technique enables you to answer those questions up front. You will get more buy-in for good ideas and it makes scary news a bit easier to swallow.