How to get people on board with your new idea

So, you have an idea for your school – something that will improve its bottom line, for example, or a way to create a better work environment. How do you get people to listen to you?

In an ideal world, you’d come up with a brilliant new idea, tell your co-workers about it, and they’d immediately grasp its genius. The team would love it, your Principal would love it – and also love you – and give you the resources you need to execute your idea. But we know that’s not reality.

How do you get people on board with your new idea?

Here are 7 ways:

1. Understand what’s motivating you. Ask yourself two questions: Why am I doing this? And what do I hope to accomplish? If the initiative is all about you – will only make you more successful, give you more exposure or help you get a better job – people will be doubtful. Your idea needs to benefit more than just you, it needs to benefit the school.

2. Think small. Pick precisely where you want to focus on.

3. Get feedback. Propose your idea in an informal way. Say something like: “I’ve been thinking about this,” or “What would you think of this?” and see how people react. Make sure to converse in a way that guarantees a response and your team’s feedback.

4. Shape your story. Plan how you will sell your initiative to different groups within the school and the Board. Remember everyone has different learning styles so it is important to combine visual appeal with what you’ve written and what you’re talking about.

5. Sell, sell, sell. You want to trigger people’s emotions as well as their rational selves. When you talk about your plans, you want people to become more interested each time.

6. Propose a pilot. Pilots give people a chance to test out the idea. If you don’t have the power to allocate budget to a pilot, you need to sell harder to those who do.

7. Don’t get discouraged. Even when it seems you’re constantly running into roadblocks and your initiative may never get off the ground, don’t be deterred. Be persistent, but make sure you’re incorporating people’s feedback.

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