How to get “Buy-In”

This is simple, even obvious. You’re going to kick yourself when I tell you, because you already know this. Are you ready?


Just ask. Here’s a question you can steal: “What will it take for you to be fully committed to this approach?”

That’s it.

When you ask this question, it shows you’re committed to the course of action you’re proposing. This is rare. More often, I see managers trying to get buy-in for an approach they aren’t committed to. Here’s how you can tell: Buy-in is enthusiastic follow-through. It’s visible. It builds momentum. If you aren’t getting buy-in from others, look in the mirror. Are you following through enthusiastically, even aggressively? No? There’s your problem.

Before leaping into ineffective action and hoping others will join you, ask yourself this: What would it take to get my full commitment to this? Then follow up enthusiastically. You’ll be amazed at how receptive people are when you ask for what you need to commit to their goals.

Might it feel awkward? It could – you are saying a whole-hearted yes, which might be a new experience for each of you. Will you get “push-back” and have to horse trade a bit? Of course. Stick it out and make sure you get what you need to do your best for them. You’ll be delighted to discover what it’s like to work with the wind at your back instead of beating into it.

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