Many people are uncomfortable with the thought of asking their manager or employer for what they want.
Some fear rejection.
Some are unsure of what to do after they make their ask.
And some don’t want to jeopardise their current situation if their ask is not received well.
The good news is that asking for what you want isn’t as scary or as challenging as you may think – and there’s a way you can make your ask while preserving a good working relationship with your manager.
Don’t frame your ask as a demand or an ultimatum.
Frame it as a problem that you’re solving together.
Now, before you have this conversation with your manager, you must get clear on what you want.
If you want a pay rise, get clear on a number.
If you want a promotion, define the key factors of the role you want.
If you want to work from home, specify the details of the arrangement you’d like.
The clearer your ask, the better your prospects for getting it.
If you then make this clear ask of your manager and you’re met with resistance, here’s the question you should respond with:
“What would need to happen for this request to be approved?”
(*You should feel free to tweak this question to suit your situation).
The beauty of this question is twofold.
First, it transforms your manager’s perspective from resistance to curiosity, as it becomes a problem they’re trying to solve.
Second, it gives your manager the time and space to consider your request more fully. Always appreciate that they won’t have thought about this as much as you, so you shouldn’t expect them to be agreeable from the start.
When you fully explore your request as a problem worth solving, it is far more likely that both sides will land on a beneficial arrangement because both sides will have ownership of the process.
And if your manager ultimately determines there are no circumstances under which your request is possible, then you’ll be left with a far better understanding of your prospects within your current working arrangement than you did before.
Thanks for reading to the end of this article!
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