“I have some ideas on how to increase office effectiveness, but am not sure how to get our office manager to consider them.”
- Pick one idea. Try looking at the situation from the office manager’s side of the desk. Anticipate as many possible reservations and concerns as you can. Formulate reasonable answers. If you hit some uncertainty you may want to run the idea by an appropriate person, someone with expertise on the subject. Seek to understand the big picture before you ask to be heard.
- If you still think the idea has merit, practice how you will present the issue to the office manager. Rehearse being concise. Resolve to stick to the issue and not get diverted.
- Ask for a time to discuss it with the office manager. How you ask is important. Try something like, “I’d like to see what you think about an idea. When will it work for you to get together for 30 minutes?” If you are prepared, it won’t matter if the meeting takes place immediately (you are ready) or at a later time.
- When you meet, present your idea in a brief, clear, positive way. Ask the manager’s opinion. Some of your questions to the manager might be: What do you think? Do you see ways we can use this? Are there modifications that would make the idea even better? What can we do to get this in the works? If your pitch is successful, the manager may be ready to try a version of the idea.
- Even if the manager is not sold on the idea, listen for points of agreement and build on those as you can. He or she may be willing to try the new idea for a limited time—ask. In the event the idea is turned down completely, take it like the pro you are. Thank the manager for meeting with you. Try another time with another idea. Tenacity often pays!