Having the right equipment available when and where you need it will enhance your ability to provide the best patient care. And very often, it’s up to you to submit the request or build a case to help your department or team get the tools they need.

Whether you are in respiratory therapy, radiology, MRI, EMS, or any area within the healthcare arena, getting your management to say “yes”, isn’t always easy, but you can learn how to be convincing. Here are four fundamental tactics you can start using right away to overcome why someone might say “no”, and increase your odds of getting a “yes”.

1. Start with Their Goals, Not Yours

People are more likely to resist your request if they sense your request centers more around your best interests and not theirs. Remember, management loves team players, so before stating your request, think of where it’s coming from. Consider what the benefits can be to management, or the entire organization rather than just you, your team or department. Then, position your request as a way your team or department can better contribute to overall success. Starting with their goals first will increase your chances of gaining alignment and approval.

2. Ask the Right Way, the First Time

Remember, there are no dress rehearsals when it comes to asking for money or department upgrades. And, asking multiple times or multiple people can actually decrease your success ratio because it can become an annoyance rather than a catalyst to the people you need to convince. It’s more important to be strategic than aggressive. First, pinpoint the right person or group who can most benefit from your request, and invite all of them to come together for a set amount of time. Then, go in strong the first time. Outline your plan or request, describe what problems it will avoid or solve, why it will work, how you will ensure the success, and summarize the benefits to the organization. Being organized and specific can help you gain sway.

3. Reverse Their Psychology

Very often people, particularly in positions of control or responsibility, may be more motivated to avoid a loss than to achieve a gain. Sounds counter-intuitive, but the higher the stakes or risks, a common response may be to stay with what is known rather than to enter into the unknown by doing things differently in an attempt for a gain. That’s where you can turn the tables and reverse their thinking. Consider building your request in a way to demonstrate how not making the choice you are offering can actually cost more in the future, or bring about a potential loss. And remember to always link your request to upholding the prime objective: patient safety and best care practices.

4. Build Relationships Grounded in Trust

No matter how logical your rationale, or beneficial your plan may be, people will only say “yes” to the people they trust. That doesn’t mean they will say “yes” only to people who always agree with them. It means they will say “yes” to people they believe are operating with the right interests in mind, and who have the knowledge, credentials, experience or authority to do what they say they will do. Management will trust people with a good reputation and track record of success. Make sure you demonstrate your trustworthiness, and use that as a basis in building all your relationships. When you are trusted, you will have the advantage in getting people to say “yes” to your ideas or requests. And if you do not yet have a track record based on trust with your management, consider inviting someone in the organization who does, to come to the meeting with you and support your idea or request.

These tactics are not hard to use and master. So be confident, and show it. When you are working on behalf of others – your patients, your department, and even your entire organization, your sincerity will come through. If you believe in your request and the positive outcomes it can bring about, never let it go. Success is available to anyone. “Yes” can happen.

In the comments below, share how you get a “yes” to your requests. We’re always looking for great ideas!