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When you’re not able to persuade a colleague


Has this happened to you?

It’s Monday morning and you feel a burst of energy that you haven’t experienced in a long time. A brilliant work idea came to you Saturday afternoon while you were out for a walk and you spent the rest of the weekend thinking about it. You are positive that this idea will make a huge improvement at work and you are so excited to share it.

By lunchtime on Monday, You just can’t hold it in anymore. “So, I have this idea” you say to a more senior colleague whom you’re having lunch with. His face lightens up with anticipation. However, as you start to explain, you see that your colleague’s excited facial expression slowly shifts to one of disappointment. He looks down uncomfortably. You feel a weight on your chest and lose your train of thought.

“We tried that before...” he says, “A couple of years ago. It didn’t work out.” Now the queasiness in your stomach begins. Not only has your colleague totally dismissed your idea in under 10 seconds, but the look in his face signals to you that his respect for your has nosedived. You attempt to explain why and how your idea is different, but he changes the subject.

Don’t worry. We’ve all been there. The question is: what do you do now? First, don’t give up. The situation can very much be saved. Second, breathe and change your approach. Take a step back and consider a bigger goal: engagement.

Reflection Question

What do you do when present your ideas so that people don’t reject them?

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