Tuesday, 31 January 2017

The Boss' Blessings


The other day I was addressing a distinguished HR community in one of the leading HR Forums. The discussions and queries which emerged around gave me the fodder to think and reflect from my tacit experience and share it with you all tips for influencing and selling to your internal stakeholders your solutions as an HR Business Partner. [The same can also be used by external vendors / consultants]

My experience in dealing with the CXOs teaches me that “Whenever you try to get a buy-in, get a buy-in on the concept. If you add vendors and implementation processes early on, you are opening up too many variables in the process. Even before looking at the concept, people start debating - why this vendor and why not that, is there something in it for you? etc..”

The biggest mistake people make while getting the buy-in is to articulate benefits that they themselves will see through the project. Instead, your boss (or other decision makers) wants to know how your idea can help him or her achieve their goals. What will get them promoted? What do they need to do to succeed?” It’s often the same thing but just the articulation needs to be different. Frame the benefit from the Boss's standpoint.

Another wild card one needs to be cautious during the presentation in the pitching process is about the skeptics who would be part of the final meeting and would be keen to demonstrate their ‘value-add’. I call them ‘Too smart to buy’ type people - people who could find flaws in everything they see and never risk buying anything. These people would invariably come up with some fringe case objections and try to impress the boss on how smart their point was.

My argument is beyond a point, don’t defend too much. Hear them, just take care of their egos, give them a chance to feel smart and move on!

These are reflections to get buy-ins for various critical interventions. This approach would perfectly work in the most bureaucratic companies that you could come across.

Your ability as an HR Business Partner to articulate, convince and get buy-ins with practical, street-smart ways is one of the most sought after competencies to develop. You need to know not only what is good for the company but also how to carry the team along during the interventions and executions.

Happy to hear your experience and learnings!