In my last post of 2020, I talked about “How do you know they are resistant?”. The “they” are senior and executive management. Now that we know how to tell that they are resistant to change, do you want to know how to talk to them to change their minds?
In my experience, you’ll need the following five things to help you make your case:
- Develop a reputation for responsibility.
- People with great responsibility notice people who are responsible.
- When you are responsible, you become dependable.
- They will have respect for you when you are dependable, and they will let you make your case.
- Understand their goals, interests and/or challenges
- Understand their goals and interests and appeal to those.
- Understand their challenges and explain how you can help solve their issues.
- Start with what they want, not what you want.
- This is also what it means to talk at the same level of the people you’re talking to.
- Be humble and not belligerent.
- Don’t demand your way. Ask politely to try a different way.
- Be humble or you’ll stumble.
- Don’t be deceptive or manipulative.
- Don’t be dishonest.
- Do not just sell the benefits of the change, but also what it takes to bring the changes about, including what they need to do as well.
- Choose the right place, time and words.
- What is the right place? Always in private. Never confront executives or senior management in public.
- What is the right time? When the person is not stressed, frustrated, tired, pressed for time or hungry.
- What are the right words? Be polite and pleasant.
Try this and let me know the results. Or, if you have other methods to talk to executives that get them to change their minds, I’d love to hear about it. Drop me a note below.