You can make your point in many different ways. However, you must be careful and avoid strong-arming another person to agree with you. Dale Carnegie once wrote, “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”
Proving someone else wrong is far from an effective approach. In fact, it is counterproductive to getting things done. When you want to make a point, consider the other person’s perspective. What are the interests of this individual? How can you create a win-win situation?
Here are three strategies to making your point and getting things done:
#1: Consider the big picture.
Think about the end result. The recommended strategy is to win the war, and not the battles that fall in-between. Your long-term success depends on keeping everyone moving in the right direction, and getting caught-up with petty issues will slow down progress.
Think about the situation in which you and another manager are competing for a key resource. You need Jaclyn on your project, but her line manager will not release her to help on your initiative. Instead of escalating the issue, go directly to the manager and discuss the situation. Look for ways to compromise, and stress the importance that your project will have on the organization as a whole. When Jaclyn succeeds, the line manager will also look good. Think win-win.
#2: Avoid leaking information about how things will get done.
In some cases, managers will leak information to team members stressing how others must buy into the program, or get out of the way. In other words, it’s my way or the highway! This bravado is good while enjoying a beer during Happy Hour, but it falls short of convincing others to believe in your plan.
Great leaders have a vision that others are happy to follow. They will do whatever it takes to help the organization succeed. Focus on painting the picture of the new reality. By working together, you’re going to expand our market share, or you’re going to gain a competitive edge. Instead of spreading rumors, use a transparent approach in which others are clear regarding how they can improve the bottom line.
#3: Make sure to reward others for good work.
It’s surprising that many leaders still make the mistake of taking all the credit for work done by their employees. They are first in line for promotions, bonuses, and accolades. The hard work and nonstop effort from the employees is wasted.
I recall hearing a colleague, Amanda, telling me that she spent weeks working on a research project for her company pertaining to the construction of a new embassy. Her manager presented the results to the leadership team and was applauded for the hard work. Amanda was also in the meeting, but the manager never recognized her for her contribution. Unhappy about the lack of recognition, Amanda soon left this company and is now doing meaningful work for another employer.
The next time you want to make a point, and you want to prove you are absolutely right, think of this epitaph:
Here lies the body of William Jay,
Who died maintaining his right of way—
He was right, dead right, as he sped along,
But he’s just as dead as if he were wrong.