How To Get Executive Buy-In (Part 1) - Analyze Your Audience
Welcome to People Ops Problems with LeAnne Lagasse, a bi-weekly video series designed to help Business and People/Culture Leaders improve employee engagement, retention, and communication with their employees. Sign up now to get it in your inbox.
Without a doubt, the #1 question I get asked the most by People + Culture leaders is:
“How do I get executive buy-in for our HR initiatives?” 🤔
As leaders, we are so passionate about building workplaces where our people are thriving and flourishing, but sometimes we’re not the best at crafting persuasive messages that resonate with internal audiences – executives, managers, other stakeholders, etc.
So how can we strategically communicate more persuasively and get buy-in for those initiatives?
Sadly, there is no formula or script (although I wish there were!) that can guarantee you'll get buy-in.
But, we can use a tried and true decision-making process to improve the chances that our messages resonate with executive leaders and stakeholders. In this blog series, we’ll jump into how we can do that!
Step #1 - Analyze Your Audience and the Situation
To begin crafting your message, ask questions to help you understand your audience deeply. As an HR leader, taking the time to understand other stakeholders’ positions in your organization is crucial. This will put you ahead of the curve.
Take the time to write down your findings from these questions:
What’s the current landscape of my organization?
- What are our organization’s strategic priorities, and how do I link this initiative to those strategic priorities?
- How are we performing with respect to our strategic priorities?
- What resources do we have in our organization that are helping us achieve those outcomes?
- What resources are we lacking?
- Who can help me get more context?
Who are the decision-makers in my organization?
- What are their priorities and motivations?
- What keeps them up at night?
- How is success defined in their role?
- What do I know about this unique person that could be helpful?
- What is their communication style?
Then, ask yourself:
How can I connect my idea/pitch to what I know about them? 🤔
Once you’ve analyzed the audience, this last question will further connect your ideas to your learnings. If you can, come into your pitch meeting and demonstrate how your initiative connects to your business objectives and desired outcomes.
Remember that the difference between a good speaker and a phenomenal communicator is found in audience analysis!
I hope those questions give you a launching pad into some discovery about your organization and the unique people that move it forward.
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