It’s a great feeling to successfully persuade people to support and help you implement your ideas. Yet sometimes, positive acceptance is elusive. New ideas and suggestions for improvement can scare people who resist change. When you have a difficult time convincing your colleagues to believe in or act on your ideas, try one or more of these approaches. They may just be the key to winning over idea supporters.

1. Destroy disinformation. Confirm facts and information before you communicate them to your colleagues. If the price for upgrading to new software is going to be $5000 and your department is on a tight budget, disclose the actual price but highlight the ways in which the software upgrade provides a return on that investment. If word gets around that a potential vendor promised a special feature that you know to be outside the scope of the upgrade, correct and clarify the disinformation so that everyone is clear about what to expect.

2. Act and react in the way you want them to respond. Ever notice how excited you can get about an idea when the person presenting it is also excited? Emotions are contagious. How you react and are perceived to be affected by your own idea conveys a message to peers that they should react and act similarly. If you aren’t excited and pumped about your own ideas, how can others be so?

3. Establish an environment of comfort and trust. Organize impromptu group forums such as group breaks, lunches, fun contests, and other activities that build camaraderie. People who are comfortable with, know, like, and trust each other are more open and honest when they communicate.

4. Negate the negatives. Refuse to pass rumors or talk negatively about others. This allows you to play on an even playing field, which helps colleagues evaluate your idea without prejudice. If you speak negatively about someone or someone else’s idea, people wonder if you will speak negatively about them at some point. There is an adage worth keeping in mind that when you can’t speak positively about someone or something, say nothing at all.

5. Zip your lips. If told something in confidence, keep it confidential. The ability to keep “secrets” to yourself will go a long way in building respect among your peers. Full disclosure and transparency are ideals that encourage trust. Surely you must disclose to concerned parties that which impacts the success of implementing your ideas. Confidentiality is important where individual feelings and concerns are expressed to you “in confidence”, one-on-one. Even close relationships learn to respect that if you do not share something with them that you hold in confidence with someone else who asked you to do so, then you will likewise hold what they share in confidence when the time arises.

6. Have a laugh. Find humor or irony in a situation and communicate in a way that evokes smiles or laughter. Whatever you do, avoid sarcasm. You never know how someone might misinterpret your “joke”. Keep the mood light and neutral when you communicate your idea. “Yes” comes easier when accompanied by laughter and cordiality.

7. Stay positive. A positive approach goes a long way towards moving your idea forward, especially through rough patches. If others want to participate in gripe sessions, be the one to discourage this involvement. Maintain as positive an outlook as you can to keep your ideas in the best light possible.

Follow these steps to not only help establish a good rapport with your colleagues; they also provide a foundation on which you can communicate your ideas in a positive, nurturing environment. Even if you don’t have an idea to develop immediately, try incorporating these approaches into your daily communications. When your time comes to present your idea, you will have a support system of accepting, motivated cohorts who are ready and willing to do what it takes to see that your idea succeeds.

Author's Bio: 

Sylvia Henderson is Chief Everything Officer (CEO) of Springboard Training—your springboard to personal and professional development. She is an author, workshop facilitator, speaker, and business woman. She provides people, tools and resources that focus on professionalism and work ethics (employability skills) and leadership...helping people & organizations show they are as great as they say they are.