This is the fifth in a series of articles that will help employers better identify the candidates who are superior.
What Makes a Candidate “Superior”?
Answer – living a life based on principles such as being responsible, committed, authentic, in contribution, and in collaborative agreement (getting buy-in ). Besides being a benefit to employers, a candidate can benefit by assessing their understanding and application of these principles in their life. Let’s see how you, as the employer or candidate, “measure up” to understanding and applying the principle of being “in collaborative agreement” by getting buy-in.
The key here is learning the process and the skills to getting buy-in. Getting Buy-In™ is gaining agreement with people to act together, collaboratively. Cooperation plays a key role. To “buy-in” is to decide to act, even if the “act” is you just agreeing with a statement or idea. To get buy-in is mostly about understanding other people and what they want and need. It’s NOT primarily about “telling” other people about what you want and need and how you should have it.
Getting Buy-In™ Is A Process That Involves Four Main Steps
- Seek to understand who the other person is (or company, organization) as regards their values, behaviors, interests, etc.
- Seek to understand what the other party wants and needs (at as many levels as possible: personal, professional, emotionally, financially, etc.).
- Suggest how you fit the job or how your organization’s job fits the candidate and address all fears and considerations.
- Make a request to act together (ask for the offer, as a candidate, or if the employer, as the candidate to accept your offer).
Minimizing other people’s concerns is fundamental to a successful process of gaining collaborative agreement. As an employee-candidate for a job position, you must minimize the interviewer’s fears, considerations, and objections about you being a good fit for the position. You do that by showing how you fit with what the employer said they are looking for in a candidate. As an employer, you need to show how the job fits with the best qualified candidates so they agree to accept your offer of work.
Getting Buy-In™ requires “ways of being” with people that support them in getting past their fears, considerations, stories, excuses, and limited thinking and beliefs. Those include being understanding, curious, confident, competent, and assertive. In summary, to get buy-in, understand who the other person (organization) is, ask (and be curious about) what they want and need, assertively address their fears and considerations about you fitting the job by confidently showing how you are competent and a good fit, and then ask for their decision (action) you want them to say yes to.
Watch Out For The “Teller” Types
Do you, as the interviewer or as the candidate, demonstrate this understanding and application of collaboratively getting buy-in? If a candidate is skilled in “getting buy-in”, they are likely to make their case that they fit the job and get an offer. During the interview, they focus on seeking to understand and then presenting themselves as a fit. “Teller” type candidates talk about themselves without how they fit to the job. Instead, you want a candidate who seeks to understand your needs and shows how they fit.
During interviews, notice if the candidate focuses on “seeking first to understand.”
- Does the candidate listen for and address your concerns with whether they fit to the job?
- Does the candidate make a good case for how and why the fit with the job requirements?
- And finally, does the candidate ask for the job offer?
If the candidate is unskilled in the process of getting buy-in, watch out! Let someone else hire the “teller” type person. Getting buy-in is essential for productivity and matters in the job!