Getting buy-in is about people collaboratively engaging to explore challenges, find solutions, and act to bring about change. Solutions might be known in advance but are often “discovered” through dialogue. If you want to suggest a solution, then the process of getting buy-in shifts away from dialoguing and more toward encouraging, influencing, motivating, and persuading others to agree (buy-in) to your suggested solution.
However, in the case where the solution is not definitively known and you want to maximize people “owning” the solution, which is the vast majority of cases, then the process shifts toward mutual exploration, dialoguing, and creation of solutions.
It is in this spirit of collaboration and service of the mutual interests of people that this paper focuses. The goal of getting buy-in is to arrive at a mutually agreed to and supported solution that has the mutual commitment of two parties to implement the agreed upon solution.
People Either Agree (buy-in) to Your Ideas or Requests or They Don’t
The best way to accomplish buy-in is with a serving attitude–an attitude that demonstrates and communicates to the other person that you care about them and are attempting to serve their needs, desires, and wants. When you focus on them, rather then yourself, and what you want and need, you demonstrate and communicate a serving attitude.
The biggest problem people have with “getting buy-in” is that they feel they are manipulating another person, so that the other person is not served. Instead, remember that you get buy-in when you are honest, professional, and show honor and integrity in the process of gaining mutual agreement for action, so that both parties are served to their individual benefit and satisfaction. This is partnering, collaborating, and teaming.
Once “getting buy-in” is accepted as an indispensable people skill, critical to all human communication and cooperation and production, then people can begin to master the “process.” Ultimately, it’s how you win friends and influence people.
The next part will address the four-step basic process of getting buy-in.