Wouldn’t it be great if you could wave a magic wand and have your boss not only listen to your ideas, but also agree with them? Magic may not work, but science can actually help this happen. It’s all about the scientific art of persuasion…


  • Get out your pen.

Want to make something convincing? Add a personal, handwritten note even if only on a Post-It – people consider it asking for help as a favor and are far more likely to respond affirmatively. So often we rely on electronics to get our message across that taking the time to write out a request gives a more human, personal touch.


  • Guilt can work.

If you make a request of a boss and get turned down, try asking for something different next time. Research shows that people feel guilty about rejecting the same person repeatedly, and they may well say yes to another request to assuage that feeling.


  • Give them an out.

When asking for something, tell the person they can always say “no”. Presenting your request this way significantly increases your chances of a “yes” instead because it takes the pressure off the decision-maker.


  • Present it as a negotiation.

Make a request but phrase it such that the person will gain something as well, such as “If you let me do X, you’ll get Y as result.” It’s much easier to grant a request if you feel like something’s being given to you rather than taken away.


  • Choose your words carefully.

British researchers have found that even after the first negative response, if you counter with, “Would you be willing to try A” or “Would you consider B?”, you’ve made the focus their character rather than preference. This is much more likely to get a positive response.


  • Make it a conversation starter.

If you lead with your request, you’ve got the person in a much more open frame of mind, rather than putting it in at the end when the person may feel tired or ready to focus on something different.


  • Use the literal personal touch.

Sometimes a handshake or touch on the shoulder can seal the deal … but be sure to know your audience enough to ensure it will be well-received rather than intrusive.

So next time you have an idea, practice some of these tips to get that “Yes” from your boss you’re hoping for. For your next positive job experience, work with the staffing experts at PrideStaff.


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