The Winning Voice

Best in class communication techniques from Michael Kelly

Power is never given. Power is taken

Power is never given. Power is taken.

People who are “ready” give off a different vibe than people who aren’t. Animals can smell fear; maybe that’s it.

The minute you become ready is the the minute you stop dreaming. Suddenly it’s no longer about “becoming”. Suddenly it’s about “doing”.

You don’t get the dream job because you walk into the editor’s office for the first time and go, “Hi, I would really love to be a sports writer one day, please.”

You get the job because you walk into the editor’s office and go, “Hi, I’m the best frickin’ sports writer on the planet.” And somehow the editor can tell you aren’t lying, either.

You didn’t go in there, asking the editor to give you power. You went in there and politely informed the editor that you already have the power. That’s what being “ready” means. That’s what “taking power” means.
Not needing anything from another person in order to be the best in the world.

Many years ago I was struck by this passage from Gaping Void, a Culture Design Group

What the point for you?

Simply this.

As this month’s theme is ‘Ask for a raise’, before asking for a raise or promotion, deeply know the worth you provide to the organisation. Know the power you already. Enter an interaction with your boss, with that knowledge in mind. Don’t enter with subservience.

In my work, I always

show up at prospective client meetings with a buyer’s mindset.

That is, I know the worth of my services –  and the other person, needs to demonstrate why I should ‘buy’ him/her as a client.

I’m not arrogant with the mindset. Rather, quietly imbued with it.

With the above thoughts in mind, here are practical techniques to prepare for, and ask for, a raise or promotion.

“Know the state of your company’s finances.Don’t ask for a raise when your company just had a rotten quarter and is pondering layoffs.” 

“Come in prepared with a list of your accomplishments. If you can prove that the company has the money and you deserve it, you have a decent chance of getting a raise.”

“Don’t just ask for a raise when you’ve suddenly had some big financial issue,” 

“Do your homework, not only on how your company’s latest earnings were and what your accomplishments are, but also what the standard pay for your job is. One way to do that is using salary sites like Payscale.com or GetRaised.com.”

“Don’t forget about your human resources department. People in big companies often underuse their HR department. But they have pay grades, salary bands — and they’ll be able to tell you where you fall,” which will help you figure out where you need to go.”

“When you ask for a raise, you can’t just go in there and blurt it out. Do it at the right time, in the right way – and do it with your data evidence.”

  • “Doing a great job and working a lot of hours aren’t enough to warrant a promotion or raise.”

The above quotation is from a telling article entitled, 8 managers share the best way to ask for a raise and get it. * by Elana Lyn Gross.

The quote reminds me of a question and statement made by and Executive General Manager at one of Australia’s top four banks. The EGM was speaking to a group of internal IT people. He said:

“How many of you are flat out? (most people in the audience raised their hands)

That doesn’t separate you.

Be famous for something.

That will make your stand out.”

Other notable points that resonated with me from this article included:

Regularly ask your boss for ways you can improve in your current role, and what you can do to position yourself to the next role.

Command the tasks and responsibilities in your current role and start solving problems of the next role.

Share your accomplishments early and often.

There’s not much chance you’ll get more money if you don’t ask.

  • Prepare and Practice your message and your delivery with feedback from friends/video recordings

Plan a simple, concise message that you want your boss to retain and/or act upon.

Frame your speaking with an Open – Middle – Close speaking structure in mind.

Here’s an example of words and syntax for a meeting with your boss.

OPEN: ‘X, thanks for meeting with me.’

MESSAGE:  ‘Let me get to the point. When I look at my successes and results over the last 18 month – I believe, I should have a salary adjustment.’

FLESH-OUT the message: ‘These are the reasons why this adjustment should be made.

I’ve been acting in the role for the last 18 months – very successfully. My ICSM scores are always at four to five.

I led the team in the PQR project which delivered $8 million in cost savings.

And I handled that difficult supplier matter to a successful conclusion. As you know, if that project went off the rails it would have meant significant reputational damage for us.’

REPEAT MESSAGE and Ask for action: ‘My message again. I believe I should have a salary adjustment. Do you agree?

  • Prepare for/Develop your BATNA (Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement) if you get a ‘No’

BATNA is a term from the legendary book Getting to Yes, by William L. Ury, Roger Fisher and Bruce M. Patton. You need to have your BATNA or BATNAs in case your boss says ‘No’ to your pitch for a raise/promotion. The more fall back options you have the better.

Management consultant Alan Weiss make an significant comment on the value of options.

‘Words are like tools. My father-in-law, who could fix everything mechanical and most things non-mechanical, said to me. “If you have the right tools, you can fix anything. We have these wonderful tools at our disposal, but too many fail to secure a sufficient quantity to address all likely scenarios.”

Here is are good options for when you get a ‘No’ from the above Gross article.

‘Request an interim performance appraisal with clearly defined goals and salary adjustment before your next annual review.’

‘Ask for things beyond salary such as bonus, incentives, professional development opportunities or more vacation time.’


Own the Conversation

In the next seven days commit to an action that will move you further along your career progression path. Choose an idea or technique from this post to help you with that progression.


*This article is aimed at Americans. Australians and people from other countries/cultures should adapt these points to your culture.

p.s. Check out this post entitled,  Thinking on your feet – The power of the nod.

p.p.s. You might want to trial my Confident Personal Communication video learning programme because it will give you practical techniques to ‘Own the Conversation’.

 

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