You know how to ask for something you want from someone you're comfortable with, but do you get a little nervous when that someone is the boss? You don't want to come off as being a pain, but you have something you want and the boss is the only person who can make that happen. Perhaps you want a raise or a promotion, or maybe you want to work from home part time. Whatever the case, it can be nerve-wracking to ask for what you want, but it doesn't have to be. By following a couple of easy steps, you can beat your nerves and feel confident in asking for what you want. Whether or not you'll get what you want is another post altogether. Gather Your Thoughts "I want to be promoted to a higher position, but at the very least I want my boss to know that I want to be promoted." Always be prepared. Write down what you want and all the steps in between to get you there. Figure out what you're really asking for without adding emotion. Keeping things simple and straightforward is one of the best ways to get what you want...from anyone. The more emotional and weird you get, the less likely someone is to want to help you. Make sure you're thinking rationally and decide on your bottom line. Set Up The Problem "I have exceeded expectations in my current role, but I feel like I am being overlooked for a promotion." Once you've got your meeting with the boss. Take control. Tell him/her why you're there and what you hope to accomplish. Bring an outline with you if it will help keep you on track. Sometimes nerves get the best of us and we think, "Darn, I should have asked..." By preparing yourself with notes or a mental checklist, you'll be able to stay focused and think clearly about ways you can get what you want. This may be the first time the boss is aware that you have this problem, so try not to make any assumptions about what they may or may not know before you talk to them. Provide The Solution "Perhaps my boss and I can discuss my performance and set up a plan of action that includes a timeline I'm comfortable with." Never rely on someone else to provide all the answers. If you want something, figure out how the other person can give it to you, and then tell them in a constructive way. Giving a boss an ultimatum is never a good idea, unless you're absolutely willing to walk. Most people like actionable solutions not ambiguous ideas. Go into the meeting with a plan. Before you meet, think about how you and your boss can accomplish your goal by presenting your ideas in a professional, succinct way. Know that you're probably not going to get exactly what you want if you don't have proof that you deserve it. Go in armed with evidence, a plan, and a smile. Follow Up "I'll set up a meeting for us to meet one month from now to discuss my progress." If you're the one who called the meeting, then you're the one who should follow-up. Depending on the content of the meeting, you may already have an answer. If not, and you still don't have what you want, set up a follow-up meeting to discuss your progress. Showing that you're committed to getting what you want is impressive and mature. If you go through all the steps and you still don't get what you want, it might be time to think about your next step. As the Rolling Stones once said, "You can't always get what you want." Don't let it get you down, turn it into action...maybe it's time to plan your exit strategy?
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