You can do it, says negotiating expert Lisa Gates, co-founder of She Negotiates, but you have to toss out old assumptions about what asking for—and getting—a raise is all about:
- Step 1: Instead of seeing negotiation as adversarial, think of it as a conversation leading to agreement, Gates says. You’re communicating your thoughts and desires—and inquiring about your boss’s. Pros call it "interest-based negotiation."
- Step 2: You may think of negotiation as divvying up pieces of a pie so that one person loses and the other wins. Forget the pie: Gates says to imagine the conversation as a little box between you and your boss. You open the box and play with the parts and put together something that works.
Step 3: If your boss says no, ask diagnostic questions based on who, what, where, why, when, how. “What results do I need to produce to make a raise possible?” “Where else can I improve?”
This allows you and your boss to think of solutions that hadn’t occurred to you before.
- Step 4: You can’t rush a raise. Follow our tips in the next few weeks, and you’ll be ready to ask for a raise in early November: just in time for your boss’s 2012 budget. And if you hear "no" this time around, you'll have plenty of time to set up a follow-up meeting early next year to revisit the convo.