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I work in IT at a small-medium airline. My Director is my superior. All new technologies, processes, procedures are approved through my Director. I am going to be using this individual as a focus for this question but it is not limited to just this person.

Frequently when something new comes across the table their personal opinion sets the future of the project immediately.My boss will dismiss things out of hand such as food stipends in expensive locals or technology concerns.

My response to these comments is something along the line of "Why do you think that?" which is usually retorted with "I just know" and further exploration in the conversation is just me against a brick wall and shutting down because its not worth the fight. Much in the same way that presenting new ideas can fall flat because of what appears to be unjustified personal opinion.

I am not saying these people are wrong but it is very disheartening to try and work on something that was tasked to me that gets dismissed by, what I am interpreting as, flippant unjustified opinion.

How do I encourage these proposals, presentations and conversations in a manner just doesn't boil down to one personal opinion. Meeting in groups is a great place to start but I cannot start those meetings without getting past one person first in some cases.

I am not looking for ways to cope with this situation. I know when to let things go. I need to know how to communicate effectively in these situations when I have to talk to these people one on one.

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You need to meet with your direct supervisor and discuss: her goals, your perceived technical expertise and your responsibilities. All the arguments regardless of their technical merits will do you no good if they don't fit in with the supervisor's goals.

In areas of your responsibility, ask if you can take charge and seek out the help of others as needed. If people make suggestions, you're in the position to make the decision, but you need to get the authority first.

As far as your technical expertise, pick and choose your battles. Push to have your opinion heard in these cases. Let the rest go. You don't want people to disagree with you because they think you're always disagreeing with everyone else. Also, I think this will help alleviate some of the mental frustration.

Technical people too often ignore the politics of working with others. Concentrate on developing strategies to communicate and to get what you want instead on expecting everyone to recognize you having the right answer automatically.

  • I made some changes after this was closed. Have a look and see if your answer still reflects the question. – Matt Feb 8 '18 at 1:42
  • @Matt - Sorry, but the question, "how to communicate effectively in these situations" can barely be answered in an entire book, let alone a QA site. Your boss may be over-whelmed and just needs to get things done with the bare minimum of discussion. – user8365 Feb 9 '18 at 12:53
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Let's analyze these points:

I am not pushing for these nor trying to force their adoption.

and

My response to these comments is something along the line of "Why do you think that?" which is usually retorted [...]

And your title question is

How to deal [...]

I might be getting it all wrong, but apparently it seems to me that you did not even started trying to deal with it all.

You did not push the least bit and, as I understand, you just occasionally reply to exclamations like "it won't work".

You haven't shown any initiative, just occasional passive reactions.

You have to start from somewhere: why not start trying by calling a meeting to make documented and informed suggestions? This will send them the message that this is something worth being at least considered, regardless whether they will end up changing their mind.

Hey, this guy bothered to put up a meeting with us all, let's see what he has to say.

...might be what they think. At the end, they might be reacting with a more-or-less-predictable "Umph, that was all garbage"... yet you at least started from somewhere less passive.

Now, well, I used the term "meeting", but if it's too a big concept for a small company you might intend it as heading to your boss and explicitly asking for a conversation: "I need to talk to you a couple of minutes, when you can." As I always say, the "we need to talk" message normally raises the attention level in the interlocutor.

After this, we might anaylize if, when and how to continue pushing.

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    Those quotes were me trying to pre answer comments about my potential bias. I can't start proper meetings because it is not up to me. my last sentence in the question: Meeting in groups is a great place to start but I cannot start those meetings without getting past one person first in some cases.. That bias could follow into the meeting as well and I would be forced to deal with it in a public forum. Would prefer not to call out my Director in non-department meetings. Part of the issue here is that we have no proper project management – Matt Feb 6 '18 at 15:30
  • I think i'm trying to say that I want "thing" to pass/fail on its own merits – Matt Feb 6 '18 at 15:34
  • I made some changes after this was closed. Have a look and see if your answer still reflects the question. – Matt Feb 8 '18 at 1:42

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