Managers are faced with many challenges, but among the hardest, is getting their employees to embrace change. Whether they are trying to win new business, implement new strategies, or convince their team that their solution will work, persuading a team can be an uphill battle. People are creatures of habit so it’s not always easy to get employees to buy into new ideas. So, what can be done to increase your chances of getting employees to comply? Here are a few subtle techniques that can help you persuade and influence your team.
Make it Worth Their Time
People tend to have the “what’s in it for me?” attitude when it comes to change. When you are trying to persuade someone to buy into your ideas, you must talk about what’s in it for them. You need to have concrete examples of how your ideas are going to benefit your team. It doesn’t take much convincing if people think they are getting something beneficial out of it.
Give People Free Will
If there’s one thing employees hate, it’s working for a boss who acts like a dictator. Managers who make demands rarely get their employees motivated about their ideas. If you want to get someone to buy into your ideas, you can’t be obvious about it. Otherwise, people are going to push back because they feel like they have lost their free will to make their own decisions. For example, if you want to get your team to buy into the idea that you should have team lunches once a week, you might say to them, “It’s nice that we have so many restaurants close by for a quick lunch. I mean, it would be nice to gather together once a week and chat with each other, but I guess it’s nice for everyone to unplug for a bit each day.” This way, you aren’t forcing the idea of team lunches, but you are sharing your thoughts out loud. This is a subtle technique that is effective for persuading others.
Make it Sound Like it was Their Idea
Another great way to influence your team is to make them feel like the idea was theirs from the beginning. For example, if you are trying to convince you team to implement a new work strategy, you could say something like, “I know you have always wanted to make this process more efficient and this would be a great way for you to finally get this task done faster.” Instead of telling people what you want them to do, this empowers them and makes them feel like it was their idea.
Focus on Them
It’s not common for people to go the extra mile for someone they don’t like. Therefore, it’s best to get your employees on your side. You can do this by taking a genuine interest in them and making it a point to ask about their family, pets, hobbies, vacations, and dreams. If you simply give people a chance to talk about themselves, they are more likely to develop a personal relationship with you. Then, when it comes time for a change, they are more likely to buy into your ideas because they like you.