"If you want to gather honey, don't kick over the beehive."
At some point in our life we find ourselves dealing with people that we just can't win with. It makes it worse when the person we want to persuade is our boss. It is frustrating when we know we have good ideas but no one cares to listen. Here are a few recommendations on approaching people who are not as open-minded as we would want them to be:
Begin in a friendly way. Start a conversation with your boss and than see if it might be a good time to talk to him/her about your ideas. Begin the conversation with "small talk." Try to focus on topics your boss would be interested in. This way your boss does not only think of you as an employee but as someone with whom he/she might have a short and fun conversation with on occasions.
Know your boss. If you have previously tried putting your ideas before him/her than you should have an idea about what they're going to say next. Work on that and reflect. Anticipate responses and have an idea of what you're going to say. Remember to stay professional and don't let your emotions get in the way.
Don't criticize. If the assignment that you were given was your boss' idea, he or she might take it the wrong way when you try to change it. Make sure when you come up with a better alternative to the task you still give credit to your boss. For example, "your assignment had inspired me to take on a greater task".
Put yourself in his/her shoes. Why would you as a boss even consider this idea? Is this something that would be beneficial to you, the boss? Even if the idea is not directly connected to your boss there is always something he/she would benefit from. Don't forget to specify that.
Stay professional. If you going to build a relationship with your boss keep it steady otherwise it will become very obvious that you only converse with them when you need something.
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