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Ready For A Raise? Try These 60-Second Tactics

Ready For A Raise? Try These 60-Second Tactics
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It’s something we’ve all had to stare down at one point or another. Some of us are great at it, but most of us aren’t. It’s an essential piece of business, though, and one that, with sharpened skills, confidence, and simple tactics, can ensure greater job satisfaction and a more comfortable financial future. What am I talking about? Asking for a raise, of course.

Like it or not, at some point you’re going to be in a position where asking for a raise is essential. Perhaps you’ve been at the same company in the same role for years and it’s time to set your sights on something bigger and better. Maybe your circumstances have changed and you need to get a raise here or go elsewhere. Or maybe you’re simply feeling undervalued in your current organization. Your choices? You can make a play for that raise or you can continue on your current path of discontentment. I know what I’d choose.

So the million-dollar question is how do you position your request? What are the essential steps to cutting through the clutter and making the ask? Equally importantly, how do you ensure that when the chips fall, they’re more likely to fall in your favour? There’s walking in confidently and truly believing in what you’re saying and in the validity of your request. There’s ensuring you’ve paved the way to this moment in time by building strong relationships with your superiors, so when you do make your request, it doesn’t feel awkward or aggressive.

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But you know all that, right? So what happens after you’ve made the decision to make the ask? After you’ve walked through your boss’ door with a value-first mindset and the confidence that comes with it? Tap into one or both of these 60-second persuasion tactics. They may feel uncomfortable at first, but you can do anything for a minute, can’t you? Take a breath and find the one that suits you, along with your relationship to your company and your boss, and have at it. Chances are you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what comes next.

Tactic #1: Go big or go home.

Teenagers are masters of this approach. They want to stay out past curfew, so they aim high—2:00 AM, let’s say. They know their parents will never agree, but they do know what likely comes next: a compromise that gets them a late night out without rocking the parental boat.

It’s a genius strategy in business, but it’s also a bit high-risk. Think about the salary or compensation package you feel you deserve, then increase it. Maybe you double the raise in your mind, or add 20-25% to the top. Then, confidently, make your value-centric case and lob this higher number—and wait. If you’ve truly brought something compelling to the table, your boss won’t immediately reject your request. This will likely lead to some level of negotiation or, at least, some feedback on what can or can’t be done, potentially. While you likely won’t get the big number, you’ll probably land somewhere closer to your true goal and your boss will feel that he’s won, too. What could be better?

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A word of caution: if you’re a high-value employee, this is a perfectly appropriate tactic to try. However, if you’re a bit shakier, this could backfire—you could seem misguided or as if you have a false sense of self-worth. Really understand how you’re seen within the organization and in your boss’ eyes before hopping into this “big ask.” It’s a powerful and highly successful technique, but it’s not for everyone.

Tactic #2: Have options—or at least understand your options.

Going into a salary negotiation with another job offer on the table can be extremely powerful, especially if you’d be happy to take that other post. It’s not just having a backup, it’s everything that mentally and emotionally comes with it. Think about how you feel when you get a job offer: You’ve got confidence. You’ve got swagger. You feel like the king of the world, don’t you? Even if it’s not “The Job,” someone has picked you out of a lineup and determined that you are a high-performing, high-value asset that they would love to have at their organization. How can’t that feel good?

And here’s the interesting thing: when you walk into a salary conversation with this option in your back pocket, you can’t help but carry yourself differently. You likely aren’t as anxious about asking for a raise and, at the same time, have real-world proof that your professional worth is higher than what you’re making now. And, chances are, all of this will come across from the moment you walk through the door, even before you make the ask.

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That said, this shouldn’t be a gun-to-their-head moment. This is still a negotiation and, if you’re having this conversation, it’s likely you’d prefer to stay put—with a higher salary, that is—or would at least entertain the thought. Be respectful, tout your value drivers, but be sure to note that there is another option on the table and that it’s forced you to examine your worth within the organization. People innately have a fear of losing something of value, so much so that we’ll do more to avoid pain than we will to potentially gain pleasure. If you’re a positive force within your organization, your boss’ avoidance trigger will immediately spark and they’ll likely attempt to roadblock your move.

But what if you don’t have another offer? It’s ideal, but not always realistic. So, what do you do? Having options doesn’t have to be about having an offer letter in hand—it’s simply knowing what else is out there and benchmarking yourself accordingly. If you know other people in a similar position are earning more elsewhere, consider that an option. You could apply for a position there or at countless other companies that have similar roles and would readily welcome your talent and expertise. Talk about your value in the overarching industry and the options that exist in the marketplace for a professional like you. There’s no direct acknowledgment of an offer but, instead, an acknowledgement that you’ve done your homework and understand what’s out there. Planting that seed can be powerful—again, it’s the avoidance trigger at play.

Tactic #3?

Do nothing, hoping you’ll be noticed, acknowledged, and elevated to the professional and financial level you feel you’re entitled to. It’s definitely a tactic and one that can work—albeit very rarely. The more likely outcome? You remain stagnant, feeling under-appreciated and undervalued. Eventually, those feelings seep into your day-to-day, negatively impacting your work, your social interactions, and your results. Your productivity dips, your discontent grows, and you fail to deliver the same level of value you produced just a few weeks or months ago. And without that tangible worth, if and when you do decide to ask for a raise, chances aren’t in your favor as you’ve lost your “high-value” bargaining chip.

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No matter your industry or role, eventually the raise conversation needs to happen—and rightfully so. Focus on the value you bring to a company, build strong relationships, and understand your worth within the organization and outside of its walls. Go into your negotiation ready to make the ask and confident that you’re worth it. Don’t be afraid to go big or to exercise your options. See where the chips fall. If you leverage these tactics, more often than not they’ll land in your favour.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay 2016 via pixabay.com

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Published on July 27, 2021

15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow

15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow
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During the pandemic, video conferencing replaced in-person meetings and has now become the standard option for business meetings. Over the past 17 months, most workers have gotten past the video conferencing learning curve with Zoom or Microsoft Teams (or their platform of choice).

But just as with in-person meetings, attention can wax and wane. Some say we’re just not used to staring at ourselves so much on the screen. Instead of fixating on that, try employing smart video conferencing etiquette, or you may risk indiscretions that will flag you as a slacker.

Put the Pro in Professional

After more than a year of fine-tuning, here are the new rules of video conferencing etiquette.

1. Mute Your Mobile and Other Devices

The first video conference etiquette you need to know is muting your other devices. Just as in the pre-COVID days, someone’s obnoxious ring tone blaring Taylor Swift’s newest single in the middle of a meeting is also an annoyance if it happens during a Zoom meeting and so is the inevitable fumbling to turn off the sound. Even the apologies to the group get tiresome.

Also, when notifications are activated on the computer that you’re using for the meeting, the incoming message takes over the audio and you’ll miss out on snippets of the conversation. Be sure to eliminate this possible faux pas.

2. Dress the Part

While working from home, you may have fallen into the habit of slipping on your comfiest T-shirt each day. Hey, no judgments! But before you log on to your video conference, try to make an effort with your appearance.

Depending on your company culture and the importance of your meeting, consider dressing the part of the professional whom you wish to project. It will help you feel more self-assured, and others will likely take you more seriously.

For women, wear light make-up, put on earrings, and make sure your blouse is crisply pressed. For men, show up freshly shaved. Wearing a crisp collared shirt in a solid color will usually suffice.

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Pro Tip: Stay away from wearing white or black, unless those colors look great on you. Consider wearing light blue or brown instead.

3. Stage Your Workspace

Have you noticed the backdrops of experts interviewed on news shows? Bookshelves and photographs are carefully curated, and no busy-patterned furniture or artwork is in sight.

Take note of what appears behind you when you choose the location of your video conferences. Piles of junk mail on the table or stacks of folded laundry on the couch will convey more about your personal life than you care to share. Make sure you remove clutter from the camera’s eye, and present a tidy, orderly workspace to your colleagues, coworkers, and bosses.

4. Put Some Thought Into Lighting and Perspective

Be aware that in a video conference, your computer camera can actually make you look up to ten pounds heavier depending on where you sit. But you can easily drop those added pounds by moving back from the screen to diminish the wide-angle distortion.

Frame your head on the screen by tilting the screen up or down. Also, it’s best to not place yourself in front of a window or bright light, which makes you appear in shadow. Instead, face the light source, moving it (or yourself) until you have a flattering amount of illumination. You can also purchase some small spotlights that allow you to add light as needed.

Pro Tip: If your lights add too much redness to your skin, consider counter-balancing with a green filter.

Remember That Half of Life Is Showing Up

5. Arrive on Time

In the old days of in-person meetings, it was nearly impossible to slip in late into a meeting unnoticed. In today’s video conferences, logging in late still shows poor form. Instead, strive to arrive five minutes early and get yourself settled.

Once the meeting is underway, the host may be less attentive about late arrivals waiting to be let in. Diverting the host’s attention away from the meeting with a tardy entry request is the ultimate giveaway that you didn’t honor the schedule. If you don’t want a black mark against you, log in on time.

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6. Turn on Your Video

Few people like to see their face on the screen, but buck up and turn on your camera in video conferences. In most cases, it’s better to be a face on a screen than a name in a blank square. Your statements will be more memorable when other meeting attendees can see you.

If you need to turn off the video, either because of a poor connection, some commotion in the room, or a need for a quick break, give a short explanation via the chat feature. Then, go back on video as soon as you’re able.

Pro Tip: Keep your explanation for your departure pithy. “Sorry! Doorbell rang. Back in five” says it all. Be sure to honor what you say in chat and really do return in five minutes.

7. Plan Ahead Before Sharing Your Screen

Don’t be one of those people who makes everyone else wait as you click through folders in search of a document. That’s just poor video conferencing etiquette. If you know you’ll need to share a document or video on your screen, prepare by pulling it out of its folder and onto your desktop. Also, clean up the files and folders on your desktop to reduce clutter and facilitate easy access. Close other programs like chat, calendar notifications, and email. Disable pop-up notifications to ensure there’ll be no unforeseen distractions.

Be sure to remind the host before the meeting that you’ll need them to activate the screen-sharing function. Show courtesy once you’re finished by hitting “stop share” to return to the screen with participants.

Attend to the Pesky Details

8. Make Sure That Meetings Remain Right-Sized

With the easy accessibility of video conferencing, it can be tempting to extend the meeting invitation beyond the core group and include everyone peripherally involved in a project. But just as with in-person meetings, the more people involved, the more unwieldy the meeting becomes.

Use good judgment when asking others to sit through a video conference so that you don’t needlessly take up others’ time and so that participants can be fully engaged.

9. Remember to “Unmute” Before You Speak

Most of us are likely able to count on one hand the number of video conferences when someone didn’t have to be reminded, “You’re on mute!” Forgetting to unmute before speaking has become one of the most common missteps in video conferencing.[1]

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Show everyone your impeccable video-conferencing poise by managing your mute feature with flawless control.

10. Stay on Point to Keep the Meeting Length in Check

As with in-person meetings, an agenda with assigned time limits for discussions remains necessary to keep a meeting focused. Data shows, however, that video conferencing can actually reduce meeting time.[2] Reasons include the elimination of commuting time and the ability to screen share and annotate to keep everyone on task.

Additionally, side conversations are virtually impossible with video conferencing now that you can no longer have back-and-forth exchanges with the person beside you.

Pro Tip: If you’re running the meeting, let attendees know in advance the protocol for the chat feature. Is it okay for them to “chat among themselves” or not? (See point 11, as well.)

Talking Has a Time and a Place

11. Chat Appropriately

Just like side conversations or texting in an in-person meeting, the use of the chat feature during a video conference can be disrespectful unless it’s directed to all participants. Hence, it’s good video conferencing etiquette to mind your use of the chat.

At the start of the meeting, you may want to ask the host if it’s alright for participants to use the chat feature. This allows them to disable it if they choose. Used appropriately, it can be a helpful tool to clarify or amplify an earlier point once the conversation has moved on or to let the group know that you need to sign off early (and why).

12. Use the “Raise Hand” Feature to Avoid Interruptions

The slight lag in many video conferences can result in speaking over another person if you attempt to jump into a conversation. To avoid this awkward interruption, indicate when you have something to add to the discussion with the raise-your-hand feature that signals the host you would like to speak. This effective meeting management device makes video conferencing run more smoothly, especially with a large group, but it must be activated and monitored by the host.

Pro Tip: For meetings of six to ten people, sometimes the old-fashioned raising of your physical hand may be the best option. But it’s up to the meeting host. Ask them what they would prefer, and follow that.

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13. Don’t Record the Session or Take Photos Without Prior Permission

In this case, not sharing is caring. The “sharing culture” made popular through social media has little place in video conferencing. Before recording a meeting or capturing a screenshot of the participants, always ask for consent in advance from the full roster of attendees. Knowing that a video conference will be photographed or recorded could have a bearing on what others are willing to discuss.

Manage Yourself

14. Minimize Distractions

While de-activating audio and video features can keep distractions from affecting the other participants, you will need to manage noise and disruptions on your end to give your full attention to the meeting.

Move out of high-traffic zones in your home, keep your door closed, and ask family members to be considerate.

15. Save Snacking for Later

Save snacking for later—or earlier. Eating while on video conference is a no-no. Munching in front of the group while close to the camera—as you are when video conferencing—subjects the participants to an up-close and (too) personal view of your food consumption process.

However, it’s perfectly fine to sip quietly from a glass of water or cup of coffee or tea. If the meeting threatens to last for more than two hours, you may want to ask the host in advance to schedule a five-minute break at the halfway point.

Final Thoughts

Even though bosses are now beginning to ask workers to spend some of their workdays on-site, up to 80 percent will permit employees to work remotely at least part of the time, which means more video conferencing in your future.[3] Mastering these video conferencing etiquette tips will help you dial in—as well as dial back—your participation and demonstrate your unwavering level of engagement to the team.

Featured photo credit: Chris Montgomery via unsplash.com

Reference

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