Buy their Buy-In!

19 12 2014

“Frequently the more trifling the subject, the more animated and protracted the discussion.” ~Franklin Pierce

“Did you just hear what he said?!?!”

“Can you believe what she’s wearing?!?!

“This is such a stupid way of doing this – what a waste of time!”

Trifling conversations like this happen all the time in the workplace.  Employees who are generally unhappy, or who feel that they don’t have a say in how important things go will latch onto anything small, and blow it up into a source of drama.  This happens because people need to feel like they’re in control of something.  We want to matter.  We want to “rate”.  That’s the root of the term “Irate” – we get angry when we don’t feel like we matter.

The best way to keep little things from blowing up into big things is to get your team involved in something important.  Let them contribute to what the culture should look like.  Paint a picture of the long-term vision, and ask their opinions about how to get there BEFORE you publish policies about it.  Ask them to poke holes in your ideas.  What that buys you is buy-in.  They’ve now contributed to building something, and they’re going to be a LOT more likely to be a positive advocate for it, helping you move an initiative along, instead of being anchors dragging back the progress of the same thing.

Speaking of Animated…


Rubes cartoons used with permission.




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