Management Tip of the Day: How to convince a skeptic

Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:14am EDT
 
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BOSTON (Reuters) - Sometimes swaying a skeptical executive to accept a new idea can seem like an uphill battle, but there are strategies to help, says Harvard Business Review.

The Management Tip of the Day offers quick, practical management tips and ideas from Harvard Business Review and HBR.org (www.hbr.org). Any opinions expressed are not endorsed by Reuters.

"Swaying an executive to accept an idea is tough, especially if she's a skeptic.

To overcome her cynicism, you need to adjust your style. Here are three ways to influence a non-believer:

1. Co-present with a trusted source. Skeptics are highly suspicious of any information that challenges their worldviews. You can increase your chances of success by sharing the stage with someone the executive believes in.

2. Demonstrate endorsements. You need as much credibility as you can garner. Ask others who support your idea to let the executive know.

3. Stroke egos. Skeptics respond to flattery. Start sentences with, 'You've probably seen this data already...'"

-Today's management tip was adapted from the book, Harvard Business Review on Communicating Effectively.

(For the full post: here)