Getting Your Ideas Heard, Part 2

This week’s tip on communicating your ideas effectively is to talk to your stakeholders and supporters when you want to promote an idea. When web sites first started to be used as a marketing tool, I was a VP of Business Development for a creative firm. My common sense and feeling was that we needed to jump in early to get our name out there as the need for web sites grew.

I remember having a lot of conversations about the strategy and direction of the company. Would people really use web sites and the Internet as much as the media was suggesting?  The owners had recently decided to invest a good portion of design time to a multi-media project for a popular art museum so our resources were stretched at the time.

However, I was certain we needed to move into web development and add to the services our company offered. To gain support, I talked to everyone. I talked

Gain agreement for your idea

to the company owners and my peers on the management team. In addition, I visited the creative people and heard their opinions. We talked about this in meetings and I discussed the strategy and approach in individual conversations.

People had varying opinions, however I wouldn’t give up. In general, the people I worked with were very open to new ideas. The web design idea was so new though, we risked putting resources into an area that we didn’t know would work or not.

Fortunately, the company was enough of a risk-taker that we put together a presentation and we talked to anyone who would listen. We were the first design company in town to carve out a position and promote our web design services so quickly our name was in the ring for consideration when companies wanted a web site. Not long after that we were invited to propose our services to one of the largest financial services companies in the country. We won the business!

Taking time to communicate your ideas with your stakeholders and with your supporters will benefit your career and very possibly contribute to the bottom line.

Here are some steps you can take to make this happen:

  1. Identify your key supporters and those you trust.
  2. Identify key stakeholders – those involved in the decision area of your idea.
  3. Have casual, unscheduled conversations.
  4. Schedule meetings one-on-one to discuss your idea.
  5. When you feel you are gaining support and interest for your idea, schedule a meeting with the decision-makers to present your idea.
  6. Be enthusiastic. This helps people tune in to your message.

Kathy Garland specializes in translating business challenges into opportunities that result in business and personal growth. She speaks frequently on business growth and leadership topics. Join her conversations on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

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