Public sentiment is everything.
With it, nothing can fail;
without it, nothing can succeed.

-Abraham Lincoln

Do you feel like you’re quacking without being heard? Unable to get results?

Quacking doesn’t get results! Getting buy-in does.

According to Daniel Goleman: The rules for work are changing. We’re being judged by a new yardstick; not just by how smart we are, or by our training and expertise, but also how well we handle ourselves and each other.

Buy-in is the process of gaining people’s understanding, commitment, and action in support of your goals. Without buy-in you are almost certain to fail. You can’t just dictate results. People will resist and even try to stop you.   After all, without buy-in you have not really convinced anyone that it is in his or her best interest to participate. How do we do this?

Industry trends and globalization are impacting the marketplace in ways we never imagined. In these uncertain times, the role of the leader is evolving. Once it was highly prized to perform with a Napoleonic autocratic command and control style. Today, however, leaders must shift more to a team leader role to achieve buy-in in order to produce results.

In terms of corporate jargon and doublespeak, buy-in really is: more than just agreement with a concept, idea, or proposal. It implies a deep moral commitment to root for the idea passionately in public – and only work to sink it in private.   -Lara Stein and Benjamin Yoskovitz

So, it is apparent that if you truly don’t have buy-in, you have not really convinced anyone that it is in their best interest to assist you in meeting the organizational goals. What’s the easiest path of least resistance? What’s the secret to easy and effortless success?

Principle #1 – It’s about selling.

Principle #2 – Whether you want to believe it or not, you are always selling.

Principle #3 – To get buy-in, you need to sell your idea, concept, or proposal.  It’s about selling.

Whew, now that we got that out of the way, you say:  “I’m not comfortable selling.”  You’re in for a reality shock.  Since you left your mother’s womb, you have always been selling.  Unless, of course you were hatched.  That’s right.  Whenever you wanted or desired anything, you had to sell someone to get it.  You had to convince or persuade someone that it was in his or her best interest to get it for you.  For instance, an infant’s cries are usually subdued when they receive attention to their needs.  So, you sold your parents that it was in their best interest to meet your needs.

Bottom line, to sell someone, you need to understand the proverbial WIIFM channel.  (WIIFM = What’s In It For Me?)  When you tune into the WIIFM channel, you’re stepping into the other person’s shoes.  People don’t buy our services, products, or ideas.  They buy how they imagine using them will make them feel.Spencer Johnson, MD

First, identify the key stakeholders that will impact your results? Who do you need buy-in from? Who are the key individuals that will influence the end results?  Then ask yourself to step into their shoes, how can what you propose meet their needs or solve their immediate concerns.  Why would they want to assist you?  What’s in it for them?  How can this really help them?  How can you communicate this to them effectively?

Then identify the people outside that group that will resist your efforts and thwart your plans.

  1. Who needs to implement this initiative?
  2. Who will be impacted by this initiative?
  3. Who needs to be involved because of their knowledge or level of expertise?
  4. Who may sabotage this initiative?
  5. Who are the key stakeholders in this initiative?

Using a SWOT analysis can help you create a strategic plan as you develop your idea, concept, or proposal.  SWOT is an acronym that stands for: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.  Conducting this review and evaluation of what’s at stake will help you facilitate buy-in.

As you develop the SWOT, it can translate into actionable steps based on the analysis:

S-  Strengths (maintain, build and leverage)

W-  Weaknesses (remedy or exit)

O-  Opportunities (prioritize and optimize)

T-  Threats (counter)

Reaching consensus takes time.  It requires a commitment to the process, active participation from the leader and everyone involved, being open-minded and promoting creative thinking.  Achieving buy-in takes effort.  When team members are actively involved in the decision making process or implementing the initiative, ownership and buy-in increases and it becomes a “we” project rather than an “I” project.  Therefore, the process of consensus anchors and aligns the team on the same page.  Everyone can imagine how implementing this initiative will make him or her feel while serving the greater good.

Would you like more tips on buy-in?

Ready to join me and play with using the SWOT template?

Your Success Coach, Wanda.

Posted by Wanda Ropa, The Success Coach.

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