Join LinkedIn Learning Instructors for an in-depth discussion in this video Getting to Yes, part of 2-Minute Tips for Senior Leaders.
- So often "no" is the default in corporate life. Anything new or innovative or different you want to try, no. That's because it's a lot less risky to maintain the status quo. But if you want people to say yes to you, there's actually a simple formula. I'm Dorie Clark. I teach for Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, and I'm the author of "Entrepreneurial You." To get others to say yes to you, you have to reduce their perceived risk first. In fact, ideally you want to convince them it's riskier to say no and leave things as they are than it would be for them to try something new.
Here's how to do it. First, you need to frame the existing situation. Let's say you want to simplify a process in your organization. They may be thinking it's worked fine for the past 10 years. Why change it? But you need to ramp up the urgency, and show them the costs. If you can show that not making the change is actually costing the company real dollars, they're likely to start listening. Next, you need to demonstrate your credibility. Remember, you don't have to persuade just them. You also need to give them ammunition to defend you when they present your idea to other senior leaders.
One potential point of credibility might be the amount of research you've done. Be specific about your process, what you looked into, and how long it took you. Another point of credibility is your own background. If you have a credential like an MBA, or a professional certification, or other special knowledge related to your proposal, that's relevant here. Finally, another possible point of credibility is having actual data. So if the change might feel risky to the powers that be, propose a small pilot, something time limited and reversible. By using these strategies you can make it much safer and easier for others to say yes.