Darryl Stewart
By Darryl Stewart
picture of stairs on a white background

How to generate buy-in

It would be great if we all got to do what we wanted to at work all day, every day. The reality, though, is that we all have tasks on our to-do lists that we would prefer to avoid. Even those of us who love our jobs still have to do some stuff that we simply don’t like to do.

How do we help people give their best effort even when they are not excited about the task at hand? This is a daunting challenge for those who lead.

There is, thankfully, a powerful solution. Here’s how I like to transform MY goal to OUR goal.

I typically give my staff a great deal of autonomy over their own work. I judge each task separately and then ask the person leading or performing the task to make as many of the decisions as possible about how the task will get done. Some examples of my questions:

  • This needs to be done by next Thursday. Who will you get to work on it?
  • By when can you have this done?
  • How will you get this done?

The key here is asking questions. Questions demand answers and answers demand decisions. When someone answers these types of questions and says: “I think I will work on this with Leanne and we will use the Zulu software,” then we have generated buy-in while overcoming potential disinterest.

Having made the decisions and verbalized them, the staff member has bought in. And with buy-in comes ownership of the assignment you need completed.