Make Your Boss Stop Rejecting Your Ideas: How To “Bossify” Them
Are you tired of watching the ideas you propose at work mostly get turned down? No, it’s probably not because your ideas aren’t good enough. There is however, a psychological way to get your best work viewed as more compelling by others, especially your boss.
Let’s face it. Sometimes other people reject your ideas simply because they are not theirs. It turns out, that there are both conscious and subconscious components to their bias. The conscious one is more obvious. It is likely laced with old-fashioned envy plus a good dose of – “their ideas can’t be as good as mine.”
You can overcome this by giving your manager or colleagues a chance to contribute to a part of your idea. Even just having them come up with a name or slogan for it will do.
This works because the unconscious part has to do with something called the “IKEA Effect” studied by behavioral economist, Dan Ariely, from Duke University. Here, there is pride and admiration in us for the piece of IKEA furniture that we put together by doing the final assembly at home. Even though we are aware that a major part of the labor was done at the factory.
So also when we get others to contribute to our ideas, they develop this “IKEA Effect” and develop a fondness for it since they put their effort in creating at least a part of it.
In fact, co-creation actually makes them overvalue your idea because they now have an emotional attachment with it and see a part of themselves in it.
Surprisingly, Corporations also succumb to this and there is now a name for it: The Not-Invented-Here bias. An example is Sony, which lost out on opportunities to get into the MP3 and flat-screen TV product lines simply because those technologies were pioneered outside of Sony. Instead, they wasted their efforts on products like cameras that were incompatible with memory storage devices of the time. In the end, these products from Sony mostly failed.
On the funnier side, there is also a Dilbert comic on how to “bossify” your idea. You can read it here. One of my favorites.
Being aware of this will also allow us to give ideas we hear from others more thought and consideration because we are going to be biased in the same way.
Chapters 3 & 4 in Dan Ariely’s book below discuss the IKEA effect and the Not-Invented-Here bias in more detail. An interesting read.
My full persuasion reading list can be found here:
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