Having Trouble Getting Buy-In?

Written by Katie Carr Miller

When you think about your role as a leader and manager, do you focus on your responsibility for motivating your employees/team/company? And when you consider that responsibility, do you seek to understand the motivating factors of those with whom you are leading and managing? Or do you focus solely on what motivates you and then attempt to gather others around your ideal?

Now, don’t get me wrong, persuasion by definition is about getting others to see your point of view to the extent that they believe and follow. But, how important is it to seek to understand others in the process? I believe that it is critical. And seeking to understand others through asking questions with the genuine intent of connecting and building relationships coupled with deep listening is exactly how to build the kind of relationships you need to grow a strong, aligned, and focused team.

I recently listened to a podcast where the individual being interviewed said, “Having curiosity to see other’s perspective allows for finding new solutions…If we just fight and resist against something, it reinforces it.”

I found this quote to be quite relevant to relationship building in business. How often do you find yourself pushing your agenda, arguing your point, and/or walking away from work meetings frustrated with little resolved?

Next time, rather than spending your emotional and mental energy pushing and arguing, seek to understand the other person by saying:

  • “Help me understand your position.”
  • “Tell me more about that.”

And then actively listen.

Restate what you heard by saying, “What I am hearing you say is…I want to make sure I understand your position (or where you are coming from).”

And, if you need more information, say either of those statements again.

Keep digging with genuine interest.

The more you invest in understanding their position, the easier it will be to find solutions and create buy-in.