The best time to ask for a raise is the day after your boss and you have agreed to one.
At that point, your boss will be exhaling for having gotten through a possibly awkward raise conversation that may or may not have left you feeling upset or disappointed. Ask your boss if you can sit down with them and ask a hypothetical question that has nothing to do with the raise you just received. Hopefully, they will agree.
When you meet with them, say, “I’d like you to imagine you’re at your next performance review, and your boss is reviewing you and your decision making and the judgment calls you make regarding your people – in this case, me. I would like you to imagine that you say to your boss, ‘By the way, what is the maximum raise we can give [your name] the next time raises come up? I would hate to lose [your name] or have them poached away.’”
“Now please tell me as specifically as possible, what is it that I can accomplish, achieve, and just plain ‘get done’ going forward that would cause you to go to bat for me that way?”
After they respond to this question, say: “This is much too important to me to misunderstand a word you just said, so I’m going to repeat back to you what I heard you’ve told me I need to accomplish, achieve, and get done for you to go to bat for me. What I heard you said is, [repeat back to them exactly what they said]. Is that correct?”
When your boss gives you the affirmative “Yes,” it will deepen their commitment to what they have agreed to.
Then, provided the boss has agreed with what you just said, respond with, “Thank you! Going forward, I’d like to check in with you every month to see if I’m on track to meeting your expectations. What would be the best way to arrange that?”
One final reason on why you might want to take this day-after approach: Knowing that you have this plan can actually help you to be less upset with however your raise conversation went. Furthermore, being gracious during that conversation can make your boss more appreciative of you when compared with the people who don’t react so well to bad raise-related news.
And your takeaway from this? Focus on the future, where you haven’t yet been upset or disappointed, instead of reacting to something that has happened and caused a very awkward conversation.
Dr. Mark Goulston, author of seven books, is widely known as a “people hacker.” To find out more about Dr. Goulston, visit GoulstonGroup.com, MarkGoulston.com, or HeartfeltLeadership.com.
For more suggestions and strategies on how to get out of your own way on your path to career success, please check out Recruiter.com’s first course online course, How to Get Out of Your Own Way at Work with Dr. Mark Goulston.
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Dr. Mark Goulston is widely known as a "people hacker." Early in his career as a crisis psychiatrist, he hacked into suicidal and violent people to figure out what would cause them to not do something destructive. Later on, he hacked into the minds of hostage takers to train FBI and police hostage negotiators on what would cause them to give up and surrender. He went on to hack into customers and clients to determine what would cause them to think, "Gotta buy it!!", because when you create that thought in their mind, you don't have to sell or persuade them. As a key part of the Recruiter.com training initiative, he has hacked into hiring managers' minds about what would cause them to think, "Gotta hire you!" This helps job seekers and recruiters place people in jobs. Be sure to check out his courses at Recruiter.com.
Dr. Mark, as he is referred to, is also the author of seven books, with his book, "Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone" becoming the top book on listening in the world. "Real Influence: Persuade Without Pushing and Gain Without Giving In" was excerpted as a four-part series at the Harvard Business Review, and his book, "Talking to Crazy: How to Deal with the Irrational and Impossible People in Your Life" was featured as an Oprah book and become a finalist in the Audie Awards 2016.
He contributes to Harvard Business Review, Business Insider, Fast Company, Huffington Post, Psychology Today, and Truli, and he writes a syndicated advice column for Biz Journals.
He is an international speaker, executive coach, and advisor to CEOs and boards of directors. He is chief mentor at the Shanghai- and Beijing-based,China Foundations, which improved cooperation between foreign expats and Chinese workers; and chief education officer at POP Protocol, which educates law enforcement and civilians about escalation at traffic stops and other possible confrontations. He is cohost of the Zo What morning radio show.
To find out more about Dr. Mark, visit: http://goulstongroup.com, http://markgoulston.com or http://heartfeltleadership.com.