Our Experts | Robin Doerschuk
Women negotiate 30 percent less often than men and when we do, we ask for up to $16,000 less. Why?
When it comes to applying for a job, women think they need to be 100 percent qualified while men only think they need to be 60 percent qualified.
This lack of confidence explains why women hesitate to ask for anything across the board – a raise, a new responsibility, more time off, etc. Even women in the boardroom have this problem.
That is why, when asking for something at work, it needs to be tied to a business goal. This is the bridge between eliminating fear, building confidence and having a much better chance of receiving a “yes.” There is a also certain way to ask for what you want at work (within reason), and once perfected, you should either get a yes or a compromise of some sort.
Here are the 5 steps to take when you need to make an ask at work:
- Start your conversation friendly and casual. You don’t want to beat around the bush, but it also isn’t a great idea to come in and demanding or trying to intimidate. Stay calm and together, and confident in yourself.
- Ask questions to understand your boss’s business goals. This step is crucial, because you need to understand how you can accomplish your company’s or boss’s goals by getting what you are asking for. What are their needs and problems, and when do they need them solved? Listen carefully, repeat it back to show you understand, and keep in mind how you can help accomplish these goals. This will help aim your conversation towards an agreement.
- Make your ask. How would getting your YES solve their problem? Ask for what you want and what you need to solve their problems, while meeting your own objectives– be specific and relate it to the business cause. Give a roadmap of success.
- Wait it out. You might not get an answer right away, so don’t talk yourself out of your yes in the meantime. Make your point and leave it on the table – it’s okay to let them process it.
- Rejection is okay. You might not get an immediate yes, but don’t drop your case. Come back with more info, find common ground between your ask and their rebuttal, ask what you can do to get the skills needed, or ask to see the next person in line for a decision.
These steps are a great way to set up your actual interaction with your boss; however, during your discussion, you’ll want to prepare some statistics and solid evidence that proves you deserve to get what you ask for. See Leverage, Ask, Listen: How to Get a Yes for more insight.