So you have a great idea… Awesome! But before you get moving on making things happen, first things first – you have to make sure your boss is on board. You must do everything you can to make a fantastic first impression when pitching your idea to your boss. Here are a few things you should keep in mind when seeking your boss’ support for an idea:
Do Your Research
Before proposing an idea to your boss, do your homework. Make sure you have all of the details in order. In addition to researching the idea itself, think about how your idea will benefit the company as a whole. How will it improve your organization? Consider the resources you will need to make it happen. Your boss will want to know how much time and effort will go into the project, as well as how much it will cost. Have an answer for all of those concerns. A well-thought-out plan will set you on your way to a “yes” from your boss. Also, keep in mind your boss’ goals and metrics. Does your idea support their success? Make sure to highlight this in your plan as well.
Practice on a Colleague
It’s smart to pitch your idea to a coworker before presenting it to your boss. Make sure your idea is a good one by asking a coworker to play the role of your boss and give you feedback. Ask them about your tone and delivery. Are there areas you can improve on? Perhaps they can point out any instances where you may need to include more details. Take all of the feedback you get from your colleague and apply it to your presentation.
Involve Your Team
Do you work with a team? Get a few team members on board with your idea. If you have the endorsement of a few of your coworkers, it will work to your advantage when pitching to your boss. You even may decide to pitch the idea together instead of solo. Showing that other employees are already backing your idea might cause it to leave a bigger impression.
Plan Your Timing
Timing is everything when it comes to a big pitch. Take a moment to gauge what’s going on at your company. Is there another big decision being made right now? If so, you may want to reschedule. Have consideration for other initiatives that are going on at your company. Give your boss the chance to lend their full attention to your proposal. They can’t do so if they are being pulled in other directions. Be mindful of whether or not your boss is having a good week as well. If he or she is going through a rough time or personal issues, that is also a sign you should possibly reschedule.
After you meet with your boss, exercise patience when waiting for their answer. If your boss needs time to think it over, don’t press them for information. It’s okay to follow up but you don’t want to pester them for a decision. Do your best to wait while they process. If they decide to go for your idea, you will be faced with a lot more responsibility and recognition. It can be overwhelming at times, but you’ve got this! And if they decide to pass on your idea this time, don’t dwell on it. More ideas will come to you and don’t be afraid to try again when they do.