He's smart, quick on his feet, and has power. All attempts to persuade him have failed. You could just give in—after all you've tried, and he is the boss. If he wants something a certain way, then fine.
But, deep in your heart you know you're right. You care. It matters. Others are counting on you. Try again and PERSUADE him to your point of view.
Of course, every boss is different. Understand and play to their style. I've had lots of bosses over the years, and am constantly being persuaded by those I lead.
Here are eight time-tested approaches to consider.
P - Private
Whatever you do don't confront him in front of your peers, his peers, or the team. You get the picture. Take the discussion offline.
E - Emotion
Let your passion inspire your argument, but don't emote. Stay calm. Appeal to his heart and mind, but don't wear your heart on your sleeve. It might help to tell a story, but think it through first. Overly emotional appeals will weaken your argument.
R - Research
Do your homework. Prepare for questions. Do the math. Do more math. Do the math his way. Poke holes. If he doesn't like math, collect stories. Do more math—just in case.
S - Share
Share your concern frankly. Speak your truth. Share why you are concerned for the business. Have several supporting points.
U - Understand
Listen CAREFULLY. The boss has broader perspective and more context. Learn as much as you can. Hear him out completely and suspend judgment. Then listen some more.
A - Acknowledge
Appreciate his point of view. He's likely not a jerk. He's got pressures too. Understand them. Learn all you can. Consider deeply.
D - Data
If you're still convinced, bring on the data. Build graphs. Show correlations. Draw pictures. Find stories. Benchmark with the best.
E - Engage
Engage your supporting team. For me, this usually means finance. These folks are more reasonable than you think. Convince others to care about your point of view. Get a light murmur of whispers headed to support your cause in their own words.
Your turn: How do you persuade the boss?