by Gloria Pierre
You have a suggestion that would improve a process and help you and the company be more eﬃcient and cost-conscious. So what’s the best way to get buy-in from your boss? How can you present your idea persuasively?
When I was writing my book, ABC For The Workplace, I asked 20 senior executives how their employees should communicate to them if they have a suggestion to improve a process. They were unanimous in how they want to be convinced. I’ve condensed their answers into six areas and provided six tips to simplify writing the proposal.
Here are the six areas bosses will look at when considering your suggestion:
- Clarify if it’s the whole process or part of it that needs improving. Show the disadvantages of the current situation in time and money.
- Elaborate on the benefits of improving the process, how it will impact the results, who would benefit, and how.
- Aim to show how it will be done, the resources needed, cost, and timelines
- Explain which departments will be impacted and/or involved during the course of the change.
- Show what the next steps are to move this forward and who is spearheading the project?
- Boost your pitch by submitting it in writing and be prepared to make a presentation.
Six fundamental tips for writing your proposal:
- Seek guidelines for writing your proposal from your company or online.
- Write in a tone that addresses your boss’ interest in the proposal
- Don’t only state the facts. Tell a story. Show the problem and what could happen if it persists. Then show what results your solution will produce.
- Your writing should be clear and concise, easy to follow and understand. It must not be too wordy or it will sound abstract.
- Use active voice just like you do in your spoken conversations. It identifies the action and who’s doing it, making the proposal more transparent
- Use short sentences and use more verbs than nouns. Pull out the weed words which don’t add value but clutter up your writing.
Your written proposal and presentation will show a demonstrated understanding of the current situation and build a compelling argument for the better process. Present your business case this way and showcase your professionalism, initiative, and leadership.
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Gloria Pierre of Clearly Speaking is the author of 6 books – ABC’s Of Networking, ABC For Speakers & Presenters, ABC For The Workplace, (K)New Words, An English Guide To Pronunciation and Mispronounced & Misunderstood. She speaks, presents, and coaches on workplace topics and accent reduction.