There exists a business theme that resonates in most business books, journals, and throughout the seminar circuit, as well. For decades, organizational developers have been citing this theme as being one of the most essential elements for organizational success. Let me solve this mystery for you so, as the saying goes, "The suspense is killing me" does not happen to you!
There, I said it! I think we all would agree that management buy-in is critical in all organizations, and that obtaining buy-in for our training department and our programs is no exception. The key is finding out how to obtain this buy-in. I am writing about this topic because a lack of management buy-in is one of the most frequent and painful complaints I have heard over the past decade.
My goal in the next few paragraphs is to provide you with three tips that will lead you on the right path towards obtaining more management buy-in for your training organization and for your training programs.
Don't forget the small stuff; it can have a bigger impact than you might think. When seeking management buy-in, the small stuff includes maintaining a positive and up-beat attitude at all times, even when you feel beaten down. People make judgments about you based on the impressions you create. Remember, nobody wants to deal with a "Negative Nellie." Sound and look confident whenever you are dealing with upper management.
Do your homework. Come prepared. Know your organization so you can present training solutions that impact not only the bottom-line, but also address key business initiatives. Talking the language of the business, rather than just “training-speak" will help you gain more respect within your organization. When presenting a training proposal, for example, come prepared to discuss facts, figures, and statistics that matter.
Don't take rejection personally. Ask, “What would change a ‘no’ into a ‘yes?’” and work toward that goal. Remember Tip#1. At the end of the day you will feel a great degree of personal satisfaction and fulfillment that you tried your best. No one can ask more of you than that, wouldn't you agree?
In conclusion, I truly hope you will consider these three tips, and that they will help you move towards the right path in gaining more management buy-in. If you have any other tips that you have used to gain support from your management, I’d love to hear them.