Client Question: “I keep sharing new ideas with my boss. He listens to me, but always tells me why they won’t work. What should I do differently?”
Everyone wants to be heard and acknowledged for their ideas. It is important as a leader to truly have an interactive conversation with your team members when they share their ideas. They are putting themselves out there to share something and as a leader you need to acknowledge and have a discussion. Being dismissed by a leader is very demotivating and if it happens continually, it could cause a person to leave the company. Remember people leave bosses, not companies.
If you have tried to share an idea and it isn’t being heard, you may need to try a different approach. It is common to present information in the way that you best hear it. There are actually four different communication styles to consider. They may have a completely different communication style than yours and the approach you are using isn’t working. At a high level they will care about one of the following more than the others: impact to people, facts and figures, planning and organization, vision and innovation. Understanding the type of communication that they hear the best is important when you are presenting to them. If you can’t figure out their type, then include information that would be relevant to each of the four types in your presentation.
The other thing to remember is that just because you are told no now, doesn’t mean that it is a no forever. There are many reasons why it may be a no at this time. They may need to hear your idea a few times before they can get to a yes. Some people need to think about things and analyze them more. They may ask you for more detail or need you to do more research. It may not be the right time to implement this type of change, but it could come later. They may ask you to consider a few more options. The bottom line is that you may need to ask more questions to understand their concerns. This may help you get to a better idea in the long run and build a more trusted relationship with your manager.