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Mindful : December 2013
December 2013 mindful 67 Two mindful business advisors answer your workplace questions Set the Tone Scenario: Negotiating a raise Categorize under: Career management Advisor: Michael Carroll Negotiating is fundamental to work, whether it’s over money, deadlines, resources, task assignment, or simply sharing office space. Appreciating your own value and inviting your employer to recognize your contributions is key when negotiating a raise. It’s about being comfor table with yourself and recognizing what you offer to your organiza- tion. But it’s also about keeping your employer’s perspective in mind as well. Here are four guidelines to consider when you’re preparing to ask your boss for a raise: Have the facts: Why do you believe your work is wor th more than what you’re currently get- ting? If your job responsibilities have expanded, or your sales per formance has improved sig- nificantly, have the facts ready so your boss will understand why you deser ve a raise. Asking for a raise just because you “need more money” doesn’t take into account the employ- er’s perspective. Timing is key: If your company is in the midst of a layoff, your salary negotiations may not just be unsuccessful; they may also be perceived as thoughtless. That would be bad timing. An example of good timing would be raising the topic after a sig- nificant accomplishment. Set the stage: Don’t ambush your boss or rush things. You may need several conversa- tions. You might first ask your manager for some time to dis- cuss your job and share ideas in order to garner feedback. You can approach the idea of a raise in a follow-up conversation or you can decide the time is right to broach the subject right then—unless your boss pro- poses it first, which leads to the next point. Invite the raise: Asking for a raise is not just your responsi- bility; it should also be shared with your manager. When seeking a boost in pay, invite your boss to step out as well. You might tr y something like this: “So, Jennifer, given that my job responsibilities are growing, I wanted to get your perspective on how this could impact my salar y. Of course, from my perspective I’d like to see a pretty good increase, but before I get too far down that road, I’d like to hear your views on what I might expect.” Michael Carroll is the author of Fearless at Work. Scenario: Defusing office politics Categorize under: Leading a healthy workplace Advisor: Mariann Johnson Like bullying at school, divisive politics at the office hur ts. It is the cause of sleepless nights for many of us at some point in our career. When bad feelings among coworkers or mind games from management are flying around, it’s hard to know what’s real and what the best course of action is. It’s essential for those in leadership roles to set the tone. Promoting skillful communi- cation and the compassionate and wise use of power is the goal here. As leaders, our words and actions need to embody what we expect from others. First, reflect honestly on how your own role affects ever yone. Are you perpetuating an atmo- sphere that allows office politics to flourish or are you setting the stage for respect and collabo- ration? If you make the choice to act with integrity, you can have a power fully positive ripple effect on your organization. Also impor tant: listening well to those who voice concerns, and coaching employees and colleagues to raise issues con- structively. That means discuss- ing problems in the light of day rather than in the shadows of gossip, innuendo, or retaliator y behaviors. Encourage those you coach to move away from seeing problems as personal affronts. Ask them instead to suggest thoughtful remedies to address the organizational issues that may underlie a crisis point. ● Mariann Johnson is an instructor with the Institute for Mindful Leadership. As leaders, our words and actions need to embody what we expect from others. in practice at work