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HOW TO SELL YOUR IDEA AT WORK

HOW TO SELL YOUR IDEA AT WORK

Sell an idea at work
Jack in Persuasive Mode

 

Do you truly want  to sell your idea to the right people at work? And then watch your idea be implemented?

The Answer: Two Words. Gold and Green

Do you know that about 85% of all executives and managers could have either a Guardian Gold or Rational Green temperament? So if you want your idea accepted, consider selling to Gold and Green values and strengths.

Gold Guardians

Gold Guardians put your feet to the fire on their core value of responsibility. Here are some questions that Gold decision-makers surely have in their heads when you want to sell an idea.

Gold Question #1. Is the proposal perfectly clear? And ‘perfectly clear’ is no joke. You don’t want a Gold person to ask what you really mean? So is your idea countable, measurable, sketchable, and undoubtable?

Gold Question #2. Are you reliable, all the time? If your idea will inflict more change on the team than Gold people are comfortable with, do you have a reputation for consistently delivering sound, workable ideas? In other words, will your Gold manager not worry about regretting a decision in your favor?

Gold Question #3. Will we get value for our dollar from your idea? If nothing else, Gold managers are rigorously careful with money, so be ready with return-on-investment research that honestly reveals business risk.

Gold Question #4. Who else has done this already? This may be the most important question for Gold managers. Gold folks tend to be the most risk-averse.

Green Rationals

Green Rationals nail you for their core values of deep knowledge and trustworthy competence. Here are predictable Green questions.

Green Question #1. Are you a person worthy of respect for your knowledge and competence? Related to that, do you share connections with other experts that your boss respects? Are you the in­-house expert on this subject? Are you known for doing your homework? Do you deserve profound respect for your thorough research and careful presentations?

Green Question #2. Where’s the beef? In other words, where is all the research? And can I see it when I ask for it?

Green Question #3. Have you done enough work on this that I don’t have to fix it? Green managers pride themselves in the perfection of their work and they never, ever, want to be caught looking incompetent. So are you an icon of competence where you work?

Green Question #4. Am I learning something new from you? Perhaps the best way into the hearts of Green managers is to consistently wow them with new information based on an expertise they do not possess. If you do this regularly, you will be invited to more brainstorming meetings and your word will carry weight over others’.

So You Are Orange or Blue?

If you are an Orange artisan or Blue idealist, you might quickly agree with the advice above, but the odds are high that your standards of expertise, of detail, of completeness, and pure naked objectivity come nowhere close to what Golds and Greens actually expect. So try this: Run a few ideas by your favorite Gold and Green friends and ask them to critique the ideas severely. The truth may hurt at first, but you will probably learn how to prepare better when you need to ask for serious changes at work in the future.

 

Case Study: How To Hire a Green

Case Study: How To Hire a Green

Last year, I did a Four Windows workshop for a team with only one single employee out of sixteen who saw the world through a Green Window. So guess which rational Green strengths were missing from the team. Big picture thinking? Yes. Eagerness for strategic planning? You bet. Competent research analysis? Yes again. I.T. skills? Oh yeah.

The manager, Renee Jones (we’ll call her) knew that new Green Window strengths would make a difference. The team was stagnant and uncomfortable with change. When measured against big-city teams in the same industry, her department competed poorly. They were not flexible. Nobody could write code.

So Renee designed interview questions that would reveal Windows strengths and values for all four temperaments and which would certainly reveal folks who seriously viewed the world through a Green Window.

Question #1. What did your former bosses most appreciate about you? The Green candidates answered that their bosses praised them for figuring out problems on their own and finishing jobs with perfection within timelines. Bosses depended on Green Window research and long-term planning of all kinds.

Question #2. How would you describe your ideal boss? Green candidates said the best bosses got their respect when they demonstrated deep knowledge and skills, they were open, they were fair. Greens especially liked superiors that did not micromanage.

Question #3. What workplace strengths are you most proud of? Green interviewees talked of being terrific team players, usually adding that they prided themselves on making sure everybody was on the same page about each project. They liked being seen as dependable and loved it when their coworkers were just as reliable.

Question #4. How do you like your co-workers to treat you? Most Green candidates wanted their co-wokers to respect their space and time, as well as the quality of the work they produced.

Question #5. What behaviors cause you the most stress and frustration? Green stressors turned out to be high emotions, too much socializing, too many meetings, and wasted time.

Question #6. What is your ideal work environment? Being highly task-oriented, Greens interviewees hoped for plenty of time, space, and independence to complete projects, together with resources, open-mindednes, and teamwork to support and fuel the projects.

Notice what Greens did not say to Renee. The language was devoid of Blue Window idealistic expressions. Neither did they dwell on Gold-Window rules and traditions. And no Green responses seemed as knee-jerk as Orange folks might tend to voice.

So what can we conclude from this? First of all, during job interviews, why not get a face-to-face personality scan while delving into work background, skills, and education? When your organization is Four Windows savvy, you realize you can confidently identify your needs for strengths and values and then ask for them, find them, hire them, and leverage them.

Another benefit: Yes, your job description in this case would have asked for I.T. skills, experience with strategic planning, etc., but the personality probing would make interview comments more telling. Non-Greens can say “the right words” to fit the official job description, but a people who have viewed the world through a Green Window all their lives will say those right words with the conviction of genuine passion for the values that meet your needs.

Disclaimer: Never, ever discount the experience of Blue, Gold, and Orange people. Do not exclude them from hiring, even in a case like this one, because plenty of non-Greens do indeed not only have experience, but they often possess Green values and strengths that they have developed over time, thus bringing to the table a whole palate of skills that nobody else can ever replicate.