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How effective are you at pitching your ideas for approval?


SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 210,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

How effective are you at pitching your ideas for approval?

  • Extremely — My recommendations always get approved: 5%
  • Very — Most recommendations get approved but not all: 59%  
  • Somewhat — I get many approved but could do much better: 26%
  • Not very — I struggle to get my recommendations approved: 8%
  • Not at all — I rarely get anyone to approve my ideas: 1%

Getting to Yes Can be Tough. In a world of scarce resources where everyone is competing for the same budgets, people, and time, the ability to clearly communicate a compelling recommendation is a true performance differentiator. Some people get ideas approved through brute force of personality. Others swamp their audience with data. Still others find dogged persistence is the key to approval. The real secret to getting ideas approved with minimal effort is understanding what your audience cares about and pushing their button. The more clearly you can connect your recommendation to their objectives, the easier it’ll be to get it approved. Spend less time crunching numbers and more effort on understanding your audience.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS and the host of the upcoming Executive Insight 16 — a leadership conference being held in New York this November.