Negotiating with Your Boss: How to Get What You Need from Them

Whether you are asking for a raise, a promotion, or that new corner office, having to ask your boss for anything can be daunting. That said, no one should ever remain quietly dissatisfied when it comes to asking for something that means a lot to you at work. The conversation doesn’t have to be frightening if you are keeping both you and your bosses’ best interests in mind. Here are a few tips that can help you feel more comfortable and increase your chances of getting what you want the next time you have to negotiate with your boss. 

Write Down Your Goals

Before approaching your boss, think about exactly what your goals are and what you hope to achieve from the negotiation. Possible goals might be getting a raise, getting a promotion, obtaining additional vacation days, getting more flexible hours, or even getting new equipment for your office. Just be sure you have a clear understanding of exactly what you want as well as a few reasons why you feel you deserve this outcome. 

Have a Shared Interest

Successful negotiations happen when there is a shared intention and shared trust between both parties. Consider not only what is most important to you but also what your boss values. Be prepared to communicate how you plan to meet your boss’s needs through your skills, experience, and work ethic. 

Make a Record of Your Accomplishments

If you plan to negotiate for a raise or promotion, you need to be prepared to explain why you believe you deserve it. Keep a track record of your accomplishments including projects or tasks that you successfully completed, achievements, awards, or accolades you may have received. By reflecting on your accomplishments, you will be able to showcase your skills and competencies. You want your boss to know what you have done to make the company more successful and you want them to see how valuable you are to the company.

Ask for More Than You Expect to Get

Negotiations are all about give and take in order to reach a compromise. Therefore, aim a little higher than your goals so your boss will be more likely to reach your desired conclusion. If you want three extra vacation days for example, ask for a week. Don’t go overboard with your request, but always anticipate a little bit of wiggle room. 


Use Facts Over Emotions

You need to be able to back up your requests with concrete data and examples. You cannot simply say “I feel like I have earned a raise.” Rather you need to be prepared to show that your last three quarters have exceeded company expectations and that’s why you are deserving of a raise. 

Listen to Your Boss

Just as you want your boss to listen to you, you must also extend that same courtesy to your boss. Listen to their perspective with an open mind and try putting yourself in their shoes to better understand their opinion. Active listening helps build mutual trust and respect. 

Keep a Flexible Outlook

You and your boss may not be able to reach an agreement that leaves you fully satisfied, but try to be cooperative and learn to compromise. Your boss may have constraints that make accepting your proposal impossible at the time, so prepare yourself to reach back out to them again in the future.