Many Australians underestimate their value in the workforce – being the unsung heroes we may not recognise our own strengths, or even ask
for what we deserve.
Most of us will work twice as hard hoping someone will notice, rather than simply asking for a raise. We then become disillusioned when we don’t get one, and mistakenly conclude that we do not deserve one.
So, what can we do to stand-up and ask for the pay and position we deserve?
One of Australia’s leading NLP coaches, Pip McKay, has come up with a step by step plan which will ensure you have a much higher chance of success when it comes to fronting up to the boss and asking for a pay rise!
Step 1 – Believe you deserve one
Review your current role and the tasks that you do. List all of your duties on paper and organise them under headings including all the incidental extras that contribute to interpersonal relationships and the smooth running of the business. Compare this list to your original job description.
This is likely to give you some great insight into your current role and give you confidence in your belief that you deserve an increase in pay.
Step 2 – Dress like you deserve a pay rise
Like many other people I had believed that dressing to impress was shallow and that you should be recognised for who you are and what you contribute, not for what you wear. I agree – in a perfect world what we wear shouldn’t matter, but it really does.
When I dressed differently subtle changes in others began to appear – I was listened to more intently, more rarely interrupted and my suggestions and opinions were more likely to be adopted with less resistance. I was astounded at the difference it made. Your image is your brand! Dress for respect.
Step 3 – Plan your negotiation
Armed with your new image and your job outlines in hand, it is time to book an appropriate time with your boss. Choose a time when they are less stressed and in a frame of mind to listen.
Make sure you have other business to discuss and make the appointment based on that other business. Why, you may ask? Isn’t it better to be up front? Yes, however there may be some resistance to giving a pay rise
so this will ensure they haven’t made up their mind before you even enter their office.
Gaining a pay rise is about negotiation, so think about three positions:
- Your ideal pay rise and promotions
- Your realistic position, what would be reasonable?
- Your fall-back position
What will you do if they don’t give you a pay rise or promotion? How happy are you in the position? Would you look for other work or stay where you are?
Step 4 – Visualise your outcome
Visualise your meeting going just as planned and rehearse what you will say inside your mind or with a friend. However, remember that when you are in the meeting, your listening skills will be very important.
Think about using visual aids such as diagrams to help your boss understand your proposal. Do you have facts and figures at your fingertips? Do you have a couple of proposals typed up that you can provide? This really looks incredibly professional and shows you are serious and have
put in a lot of thought and also value your boss’s time.
Step 5 – Build Rapport
Most bosses have little time for pleasantries, so how can you build rapport? The fastest way to build rapport is to mirror your boss’s body language and tone of voice. They will then subconsciously assume you are the same status as they are and therefore deserve a promotion. Subtly sit
the same way as they do, vary your pace and tone of voice to match theirs (don’t be too obvious about it though).
In a subtle way this makes them feel reassured, safe and respected.
Once you notice a feeling of familiarity, it is time to change the topic to your job.
Step 6 – Stating your case
Give a brief summary of the process you have been through. How you have looked at your position with the
aim to improve efficiency and productivity. Briefly discuss how long you have been in your current position and what your original position was.
Show your boss how your position has expanded and changed over time – using a diagram if necessary – present them the job position you have outlined and any facts and figures supporting your case – whether for changes, new employees and so on.
Then describe what you want and why – give them your ideal.
To your surprise they may accept your package – with very little further negotiation, if not, have your fall-back positions handy. If it’s not an increase in income, what about more flexible working hours? After all, if you can negotiate some more personal lifestyle time, that is sometimes as good as a pay rise.
Negotiating a pay rise was an important lesson for me. I wondered why I hadn’t done it earlier. Once I went to work on my vision for myself it was surprisingly easy, I spent about 2 hours in preparation and 1 hour negotiation – the highest paid 3 hours I ever spent considering the return.
Your worst case scenario is you’re still doing your same job on the same pay you’re on now. What have you got to lose?