Why do some people almost always get their ideas shot down? [art of buy-in 1/3]
Photo credit: another point in time
Too often, the best ideas get shot down.
Tell me if this has ever happened to you: a group that you’re a part of has a thorny problem and no one seems to have come up with a workable solution.
You rack your brains and realize that there’s an answer that will fix the problem in an effective and responsible manner. You make a proposal, explain your idea and expect everyone to get on board. But for whatever reason, the group rejects your idea and either does nothing, or implements a worse solution.
I’ve definitely been there – and it sucks!
For smart, good-intentioned people, seeing one of their ideas get killed – often for no good reason – can be one of the most frustrating things in the world. But what can we do?
Well, here are some options:
- blame the group for being dumb
- dismiss the decision as a political game / popularity contest
- avoid proposing ideas in the future
- withdraw from the group because you are frustrated
But do you really want to do those things? If you care about growing as an individual and genuinely care about the group you are a part of and your ability to make a positive impact on these people’s lives – you must recognize that none of these options are ideal.
What you really want is the ability to get people to understand and implement your good ideas – helping everyone win.
I’m sure you’ve run into at least one person in your life, maybe a mentor, a coworker or fellow student or just a friend, who people seem to listen to and who actually is able to get the group to go along with their good ideas. How do they do it? Hint: it’s not because they’re smarter, better looking or more popular than you.
It’s because they’ve mastered the art of buy-in.
There happen to be a number of strategies that are highly effective in getting a group on board with new idea. The fact is, people are not robots – there are social and psychological dynamics to getting a group to agree to do something.
For instance – often times a person might personally agree with an idea but is worried that others disagree and don’t want to make waves. If everyone thinks this way, your idea never gets off the ground, even if everyone in the group agrees with it. How frustrating!
The good news is – you can learn these strategies.
I once dealt with a thorny issue where I got buy-in for an idea that had been previously proposed (and shot down) by a leader in the group by using what I’ve learned about getting buy-in. I’ll be writing up this story very soon.
Email subscribers will get this post in their inbox as soon as I hit “publish” – if you want to join them, click here to join hundreds of smart readers who want to make things happen. I’ll also send you a free copy of Guide to YC (the indispensable 92-pg book for founders applying to Y Combinator) and some other great goodies.