In today’s business culture, there are five moves to make before asking for a raise. One of the most important things is to consider who you will be asking. We can be intimidated by the fact that the person in charge is “over” us in the organizational structure of the company. Imagine sitting down with this superior and presenting a different attitude and possibly getting a better outcome.
1. Put yourself in their place.
Think of them as an equal for a minute. What are they trying to achieve? What are their goals and how do they fit into the mission of the company? What problem would it present to them to give you a raise?
Also, consider changing your perspective in this ask: Shift into relationship mode instead of “talking to your boss” mode. You can have a better shot at countering the automatic resistance any boss will have if they know you are asking for a raise. In short, a boss will automatically “brace” themselves to turn you down with the pressure that puts on them to increase their outflow of money in these economic times.
When you decide your goal is to create a better relationship with your boss rather than ask for a raise, you are building up the potential to attain a raise. Otherwise, you are working against yourself. Personalize this situation into creating a good relationship with your boss so that they will “want” to help you grow your career, including by giving you a raise. Consider delaying your gratification for a better outcome a little later on.
2. Turn the ask into a conversation.
Be sincere in wanting to contribute to the growth of the organization. Give your leader a specific example of something you like about their leadership and ask thoughtful questions. For example, you could say, “Thank you for allowing me to work here. I like working here because your door is always open. How can I best serve you this next quarter or year? What are some things I can do to help this company thrive?” Take notes in the meeting to capture their response.
3. Share your dreams.
Ask them if you could get personal and share with them some of your personal and professional goals. Share a personal goal first, e.g., “I want to be able to start a college fund this year for my oldest” or “I want to take my family on a trip to Hawaii this year.”
Next, share with them what your professional vision is for your position in the company. Maybe you have already discussed this in a review but take the time to be vulnerable here: “Could I share with you my dream for working in the company? I want to be you. I want to be a vice president someday. I know it will take a lot of work, but I am willing to take some courses, learn some new skills or be open to what I still need to do to get there!”
4. Ask them for help.
Act as if they were an admired mentor. Say, “Could you give me some advice on how to get there?” Turning the tables around and asking them for help removes the awkwardness of the typical scene of asking for a raise.
5. Table your raise for now.
Having this kind of conversation with your boss starts with you building an equalitarian relationship. After all, she is just a person like you. If your boss gets to know you and your dreams and believes you are willing to do the work to get there, you’re more likely to get your raise—and perhaps get more than you wished. Building a more personal relationship with your boss can pay off in more ways than one.
We are all just people working toward what we want in life. Working as a team toward our dreams builds up the power of the company and eventually improves collective performance.