What I’ve learned about getting buy-in

Relationships matter.

Over the years I get reminded of this at work in many different ways.

The way we talk to our work friends matters.

People get upset at work because relationships aren’t as they expected.

Our leaders provide leadership through the quality of the relationships they have with others.

Teams collaborate better because they have stronger relationships with some teams than others.

High performing individuals tend to be those who have strength of relationships to enable success to take place.

So I often have to remind myself that spending time to build relationships is a key way to get buy-in for my ideas and my things I want to get done.

And here’s some foul ups I’ve made along the way which taught me valuable lessons.

That time I was new to the organisation, sat through the induction, and immediately made judgements on what needed to change. I then proceeded to send out an email to all presenters from the organisation and let them know about the changes I wanted to make as the owner of the induction. I got an immediate backlash. I clean didn’t pay attention to the fact I spent no time before getting to know the presenters and their context and what they want new starters to know and understand. I just decided I knew best. Of course I knew little and had to spend time sitting with people and talking with people to understand their needs. From there we could move forward.

That time I decided the executives didn’t need that much of a briefing before an important programme launch. I was ready to just plough on ahead with my plan to roll out the programme and have the Chief Executice do the kick off presentation. I thought as an experienced business leader this would be a walk in the park for him. What I didn’t pay attention to was the importance of the briefing wasn’t to prep him for the kick off but to help provide assurance and context for what I wanted to achieve from the programme.

That time I needed everyone to complete CPD logs in a system. It was one of my first projects to get completed for the business as their new L&D Business Partner. I wasnt confident about what needed to be done in the system and had to try and corral very different teams to complete their entries. They didn’t know me and here I was sending emails asking for completion to be achieved or we risked losing our membership to this body. They did it and we got there but only because I realised I needed to spend time with the business leaders and get their commitment to helping me achieve this piece of compliance.

That time I didn’t openly share what I was working on and created distrust with my manager. I was going through some personal stuff and it was affecting the quality of my work. I knew it was happening and I couldn’t shake the guilt of not being productive and in delaying important deadlines and meetings. I eventually had a frank conversation with my manager about what I was experiencing and we could then have a conversation about improving my performance. That was hard and I realised I perform better when I let people know there’s stuff going on for me.

Relationships matter. They’re the bedrock of performance achievement in so many ways. I also know it’s a lesson I have to regularly re-learn.


Published by

Sukh Pabial

I'm an occupational psychologist by profession and am passionate about all things learning and development, creating holistic learning solutions and using positive psychology in the workforce.

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