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4 Things to Avoid When Asking for What You're Worth


4 Things to Avoid When Asking for What You're Worth

Have you ever felt like (or had the facts) another colleague is being paid more for an equal or lesser role?

The good news is that you’re not alone. The bad news is that it can be very unfair, disrespectful, demotivating, and bad for business.

You may be thinking that this shouldn’t even be an issue, and that there should not be a discrepancy. Agreed 100%.

But, until pay transparency is more regulated and more systems are in place to manage this very real problem,  it may be time to speak up! If you already have, a few new tools could make all the difference for round 2.

Yes, it’s going to take time to get further down this road on pay equality, so it may be helpful to get comfortable (or I should say, confident and influential) about asking for what you are worth.

There is progress being made however for pay transparency and fairness, partially in thanks to pay transparency advocate and former Corporate VP, One Commercial Partner at Microsoft, Gavriella Schuster. If you’d like to hear more about this very topic, what’s being done, and what each of us can do, be sure to connect with me on LinkedIn and tune in to my interview with Gavriella at 2:30 p.m. PST on Wednesday, March 23, 2022!

For now, here are the top 4 things that many overlook when asking for what they are worth, which can sabotage their efforts. Dial these in, and you’ll have a better shot at getting what you want and deserve.

  1. Lack of Preparation
    Plan key points/asks/needs/outcomes. Think through how you want the interaction to turn out (not how you think it will turn out), and how you want to feel once it’s over. Remember, what you think comes out your mouth. If you are optimistic and positive, it will land better than being pessimistic and bitter. Make the conversation as vivid and visceral as possible, then visualize it until you believe it’s possible. In addition, do your tactical homework. What are industry standards or benchmarks in your company? What tangible data supports your ask?
  2. Lack of Empathy
    When it comes to asking for better compensation, it’s common for emotions to run high. Lack of empathy can make you sound nervous, doubtful, angry, or frustrated. This can likely close off others to what you have to say. If you want to be heard, prepare by taking a 360 look at what it’s like to be the person you are trying to influence. Then, your tone will shift as will your likelihood of being heard. Come from a place of compassion even if you feel like you’ve been treated unfairly.

    BTW... I’m not saying you don’t deserve to be angry or frustrated, BUT lacking empathy for the other and having a negative mindset will come through in your tone and gestures and will likely not yield the results you’re hoping for. According to ex-FBI hostage negotiator and author of Never Split the Difference, Chris Voss, the 7-38-55 rule applies which relates to the importance of words, tone, and body language, in that order. So, you could say ‘I love you’ for example and get yelled at by your significant other IF your tone and body language are off. It’s vital to prepare our mindset and stay calm and optimistic, or the conversation could do more harm than good.
  3. A Proposal Without a First Date 
    It’s a human drive to feel acknowledged and validated, so make sure you do so even with those whom you strongly disagree including when you feel like you are not being paid what you feel you are worth. This is NOT agreeing, simply letting him or her know that ‘I hear you, and I understand your perspective.’ If you jump into your perspective first (what you want), it’s like a proposal without a first date, awkward and not likely to go over well. So, a conversation can start something like this: ‘It seems like compensation is based on a number of factors and that it’s important for you to work within certain guidelines which I understand 100%.’
  4. Speaking Too Much or Too Quickly
    Highly    influential     people     speak     slowly     and     only     use     words     that    matter    to     their     cause.

    So, slow down and think through what’s most important for you to convey (see #1). The rest goes on the editing room floor. Then S  L  O  W down the cadence of your words. Be extra mindful of this if emotions start running high. 

Watch my video (above) with tips about asking for what you’re worth.
... or listen to the podcast:

If I can help empower you or your team to have the mindset, influence, and habits to get more recognition, respect, and have an even greater impact, let’s chat! 

Cheering you on always


P.s. Whenever you’re ready... I am here to help: 


Empower your team to have the mindset, influence, and habits to become compassionate yet fiercely focused leaders amidst an increasingly disruptive year, email me at [email protected] to schedule a private discussion. Together we'll customize the Limitless Leader system to help your company, team, or organization deal with overwhelm, manage the new normal, meet the demands of an evolving workplace, and more!


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