{pretty please?}

an inspirational entry about getting people to get on board

One Friday morning after a stressful week of work, I came very close to throwing in the towel and quitting on the spot. Instead, I decided to ask my boss for permission to adjust my work schedule. Without a second thought, I dialed his number and left a voicemail, hoping that he would go for my proposition. I needed to shake things up. Seven years into this great job in sales, my motivation and passion waned, and I needed something to give.

My hopeful thoughts of a fresh, new way of working my hours perked me up that morning and gave me an extra spring in my step as I called on my customers. I waited all day for my boss to return the phone call, as the idea of a new schedule grew bigger and better in my head. When I finally sat in front of him to pitch out the idea and reasoning behind my need for a change, I blurted everything out with a bit too much excitement and emotion but not enough reasoning. After some thoughtful consideration of my proposal, I got my answer.

NO.

At some point we all find ourselves in situations where we need to persuade others to get on board with our ideas. Whether we are a college student working on a group project for our psychology class or a volunteer for a non-profit with a new way to manage the fund raising, developing the skill set to pitch out ideas and get what we want is key. As I evaluate how I handled the meeting with my boss, I've realized two key things that could have helped my slightly misguided effort to get what I wanted.

~ Be prepared. I was so psyched by the idea of change that I didn't take time to look at logistics or gather my facts. From my boss' perspective, I had a fanciful idea with out anything to back it up. What I should have done was write out some concrete bullet points highlighting the necessity of a schedule change and how this shake up would benefit him as well.

~ Set aside emotion. My seven year itch had me all worked up, and as I sat in front of my boss, tears wetted my eyes and my voice wavered. This only weakened my case for a schedule change. Though there is a time and place for emotions and relating to people, in an effort to get what we want, sometimes a sense of calm confidence convinces the other person that what we are bringing to the table is worth their while.

I did not enjoy hearing no from my boss. In my mind, my idea was awesome and would give me more motivation to be a better salesperson. In his mind, I didn't give him good enough reasons to change the sales team's dynamics. But, I took his feedback and coupled that with my own lessons learned. Next time I will be better prepared and keep my emotions in check.

How about you? What arena in your life are you trying to convince or persuade someone of an idea? I would love for you to share your thoughts and lessons learned. Leave a comment and let's continue the conversation.

Resources...

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. {Jeremiah 29:11-13 NKJV}

Climbing the Ladder in Stilettos: 10 Strategies for Stepping Up to Success and Satisfaction at Work by Lynette Lewis

Sarah Martin loves the new fall season television line up. (Thank goodness for DVR!) Check out Sarah's blog for encouragement in living out the Kingship of Christ in everyday life: www.liveitoutblog.com

© 2011 by Sarah Martin. All rights reserved.

For more devtionals like this one, check out Proverbs 31 Ministries