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Assuming you wife is technical here.. . Talking to a supervisor about any change is like talking to a brick wall. Supervisors are not in charge of change, they are in charge of resisting change. Most supervisors that I have worked for were never, or have not for a long time been technical. Supervisors traditionaly supervise people, not work. So when non-scheduled improvements are suggested, a supervisor thinks 'more work = less time' for scheduled work. The blank stare response is often a crafted response with the intent of making the suggester believe that the suggestion is not understood, when if fact it is easier to feign technical ignorance than it is to explain why a good idea is too hard to justify spending time on. I would suggest going to someone in marketing with the idea.

I am not criticizing supervisors (though, it may sound like it), just re-iterating what I have learned from those that I have worked around.

One trick I use to communicate to someone that does not understand me, or appears to not understand me, is to find out (though observation) who they do talk to and understand(and are therefor comfortable with). I will then sell my idea to that individual and ask them to help me sell the idea. This has to be done carefully of course, as such action can be percieved as 'going over the top' or 'around' the person that needs to be sold.

One other thought sort of related to that, a supervisor is seldom (in my experience) in charge of technical decisions, and have little vested interest in promoting technical improvements if those improvements are not directly related to reducing man hours per unit produced. So if your wife feels strongly about her suggestion, she may want to find someone with a vested interest in her idea.

There are writing that address these issues from a professional perspecitve. Do a google search on 'Win/Win'. Here is a starter for you Win/Win :-)

...the majority is always wrong, and always the last to know about it...

In reply to Re: Talking across great divides by wjw
in thread Talking across great divides by corenth

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