Ever have a boss who says they want new ideas and then isn’t open to them? This can be frustrating, and in some cases, defeating. What to do when your boss rejects your ideas can actually be a chance to improve your communications style and preparation.
Try these suggestions for preparing and presenting business ideas that others will want to support.
Suggestions for Recovering from Rejection:
- Be objective. Don’t take the rejection personally. Look at the situation for opportunities.
- Learn from experience. Making mistakes is how we all learn. Learn from those mistakes and think about how you would do it differently next time. Be sure and get feedback from your boss about what they wanted.
- Manage your emotions. It is normal to not be happy about being rejected. Talk things over with a friend or colleague to help see things you might be missing.
- Stay positive. Try not to vent at work. Instead, show that you’re capable of looking at the big picture and making a valuable contribution to the team.
Suggestions for Preparing and Presenting Your Ideas:
- Do your research. Make sure you have done your homework for the pros and cons of your idea and how it will benefit your boss, your department, your company. This also helps you be prepared to answer possible questions your boss might ask.
- Build alliances. Get colleagues, other department heads on board with your idea. They might even have suggestions that will make your idea even better. This will show your boss you did your homework and are prepared.
- Start small. Minor victories can put you on the road to major breakthroughs. Make your first proposal modest and low risk, especially if you sense that your boss is hesitant to take chances.
- Prepare alternatives. You may find that your boss and colleagues agree that changes would be beneficial, even if they decide not to adopt your initial approach. Have a few different options ready for discussion. In fact, just having a slate to choose from can make others feel more confident about taking action.
- Show leadership. However brilliant your ideas are, your boss will be thinking about how much time and work is required to implement them. Volunteer to take a primary role in bringing your concept to life so your boss will know that it won’t be an excessive demand on them.
- Provide reassurance. While it’s natural to be enthusiastic about your own ideas, keep in mind that your boss has valid reasons to be careful about how to allocate limited resources. Let them know you respect their judgment because having a solid relationship is more important than any individual proposal.
Innovation is how companies continue to move forward and stay current. This can also be scary for some. See the opportunities and possibilities of how you can help provide well thought out ideas to present and help your boss, while also taking into consideration your boss’s concerns or hesitation. Be skillful about proposing creative ideas that will benefit you and the organizations you work for.