A vast majority of individuals across the job spectrum report having had difficulty at one time or another when approaching their boss for a raise or promotion. Most common is a feeling of anxiety over the boss' imagined reaction which perhaps causes the employee to procrastinate and avoid the conversation, thus guaranteeing that they will stay at their current rate scale or level longer than is necessary. This challenge is not limited to lower wage earners but can impact people at all levels of the career ladder. People in general may often find any excuse possible to avoid confrontation, in other words, to avoid standing up for themselves in a strong and powerful way. This is even more the case when money is involved.
In my new book, "Vocal Leadership: 7 Minutes a Day to Communication Mastery," [McGraw-Hill, $22.00] with a foreword by National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell, I describe how to gain your advantage in all kinds of career transitions, transactions and negotiations, including how to ask your boss for a raise or promotion. Vocal Leadership is founded upon principles and exercises I have evolved over five decades, called the Vocal Awareness Method™. This method is highly practical and strategic, focusing on breathing techniques, body language and vocal warm-ups all designed to integrate mind/body/spirit and produce Empowerment through Voice. I am often saying I can't empower you, but I can teach you how to empower yourself.
In a society where perception is reality, we want to be consciously in charge of our communication at all times. Vocal Leadership describes how to be in mastery in every conversation, public address and personal encounter -- and how to be consistently tactical and strategic, earnest and caring when appropriate, and, above all, authentic in all communication. "Context does not determine outcome; we want the same person to show up everywhere." This is an important Vocal Awareness axiom. In other words, by incorporating the Vocal Awareness Method into all aspects of your life, asking your boss for a raise or promotion is just one more opportunity to claim your power.
7 tips on how to ask your boss for a raise:
1. Define how you want to be known. Design a Persona Statement that reflects your personal brand. Come from a place of strength, knowing that you have earned the right for this raise and promotion and be able to amplify the reasons why.
2. Realize that every professional encounter, including asking your boss for a raise or promotion, should be considered a "performance," because someone is "watching" and "listening." "Performance" does not mean inauthentic. Quite the opposite. You are embodying who you choose to be. This is an opportunity to put your best foot forward, so be sure to prepare accordingly.
3. To "prepare" really means to "practice" and then practice some more. Literally practice asking your boss for a raise or promotion. Prepare at home before going to the office. We often do not realize how important this step really is. Put your recorder on. Put your video camera on. Get in front of your mirror and practice. Record yourself and listen "without judgment." A great deal can be learned from objective listening. We do not realize how much work it takes to be ourselves in public.
4. Remember the meeting begins before you walk into the room. Do not rush or bustle down the hallway or while opening the door. Make sure before you walk in that you take a moment to set up/focus and be very clear not just about what you say, but how you say it.
5. Embody the message - and the messenger. Generally speaking, only 8% of all verbal communication is retained by the listener's unconscious mind through the words themselves; 37% is conveyed through the sound of the voice; 55% is body language. Be aware of eye contact, monitor nervous habits, use good posture (stand in Stature) and never rush.
6. Have your specific practice notes in front of you to keep you on track. Include not just bullets about the reasons you deserve a raise or promotion, but also reminders of your Persona Statement and how you want to be known.
7. The goal is always to BE who you are and never "present" who you are. In other words, be less concerned about what others think of you and more committed to what you know to be true about your Self.
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