It’s a problem, but you can handle it, and do. If you’re a secure, savvy woman, you tackle most challenges with gusto and dispatch. A few problems, however, require you getting help. How do you get your manager to hear you, and more importantly, to act on what you see?
Help them see what you see
If you want your manager to act, you need to present the issue in crystal clear terms, so they feel what you do and draw the conclusions you have. Emotional, “this is how I felt” or anecdotal “hear is what I’ve heard” information doesn’t cut it. Managers sympathize and empathize when you present emotional information but rarely act.
How do you get managers or others to act? You make the problem or situation inescapable with hardcore facts. For example, if a bully peer makes your work environment toxic, you could say how you feel, or you could report that three teammates have resigned in the last year, and two of your co-workers have begun looking for jobs. Ouch. No manager wants to lose five employees.
Make them “feel”
Think of a purchase you’ve made in the past six months that cost more than you’d planned. What were your reasons for almost not buying this item or service? Was it the cost or doubts about whether you needed it?
Next, what led you to purchase it? Was it that you knew you’d love it or how you felt the purchase would make you feel? Or that you deserved the product or service?
If you’re like most, the reasons you almost didn’t purchase or “buy in,” were logical and the reasons you ultimately bought were emotional. If you want someone to “buy in” to what you’re asking, realize that emotions rule – their emotions.
Make the problem the problem, not yourself and not manager whose agreement you seek
When you lay a problem in a manager’s lap, they often see you as the problem, leading to “shoot the messenger” fallout. Never make the situation about you. Further, don’t accuse your manager for not acting to solve the problem in the past. You want to partner with them, and not make them the bad guy.
Know how and why your manager decides
Prior to meeting with any manager, learn as much as you can about the manager and his or her perspective. LinkedIn and other social media make this relatively easy. What matters more to your manager – high productivity or low employee turnover? How does your manager benefit by tackling the issue you present? Assess and then hone in what will lead them to act.
Assess and meet objections
Next anticipate the objections your manager may have to taking action based on what you present. You can then include your counter argument when you meet, such as “You may be wondering about the uproar if you reorganize the department along these lines. Here’s what my peers have said.” If you determine and handle your manager’s objective, you can move them to act.
How do you get your manager to hear you, and more importantly, to act on what you see? Help them see what you see; get them to feel the problem, know how and why they make decisions and handle their potential objections. The result? — Action.