Do you feel as though you’re a round peg in a square hole? Or vice versa — a square peg in a round hole?
You might think you’re in the wrong job. Perhaps you are. Is it a case of being over-qualified or under-qualified? Or do you want a promotion?
Bear in mind you might have a tall hill to climb in persuading your boss to change your job. Companies are focused on their bottom lines, so they’re trying to be more productive with fewer employees. You’ll have to develop a strong reputation as a go-to person.
To mount a persuasive campaign, here are seven strategies:
1. Before you approach your boss take precautions to insure you have a good relationship.
Developing a good relationship takes effort — and a campaign (see 11 Tips for a Better Relationship with Your Boss).
Hint: You should already be striving for an optimal relationship with your boss anyway.
2. Approach the situation with utmost calm.
You should never make a hurried decision, especially regarding your career.
You should analyze your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats — especially as they relate to your role for the welfare of your organization. This is important to formulate your talking points if you decide to proceed.
3. Review your path to your situation.
Remember you accepted your responsibilities and your pay — the boss didn’t point a gun at you.
Be prepared to discuss your commitment as your boss might remind you. On the other hand, change can be beneficial for you, your boss and your organization. It’s up to you to show the benefits of a change.
4. Formulate your goal.
Decide what you want and your reasons why. Be ready to discuss why the company will benefit.
Your boss will want to know whether your proposal will result in more efficiency, productivity, profit, and/or higher staff morale.
You’ll have to develop a strong reputation as a go-to person.
5. Develop your presentation.
Unless you have a strong background in acting, don’t try memorizing your presentation. Make sure you appear to be authentic and don’t present a canned speech.
Simply know your bullet points. You’ll create a more favorable impression and you’ll be more persuasive.
Anticipate possible objections. Formulate responses as you might need them.
If you’re a human-resources or marketing professional seeking to be a partner in the C-suite, it’s vital to communicate effectively with senior executives. To market your ideas to senior management, there are four keys in best practices (see Art of Persuasion — Marketing Ideas to Your CEO Boss).
6. Make an appointment with your boss.
Think about your boss’s style.
When you’re asked what the appointment is about, simply state it’s about your career with the company or that you have some thoughts to benefit the organization. Consider whether to have it in the office or to invite your boss to coffee or lunch from the tense hustle and bustle of a corporate setting (see Tips for Dining Etiquette with Your Boss or Anchor Client).
If it’s acceptable in your company’s culture, you can schedule a meeting over drinks but I’d opt for a more conservative venue and approach.
Depending on the situation, my personal favorites when I was an employee were in the morning when the boss was fresh or away from the office at a nice restaurant.
7. Make your case but listen.
Listen intently for concerns and objections. Don’t get defensive. Simply take notes.
If your boss responds with objections, empathize and restate the person’s concerns to make certain you fully understand and ask if your impressions are correct. Once you get confirmation that you understand the concerns, overcome the objections with facts.
From the Coach’s Corner, more tips to get ahead in your career:
3 Best Interview Strategies for a Promotion in Your Company — So your company has an opening that would mean a promotion for you. Great. But make sure you prepare properly to avoid disappointment. To get the job you must interview well.
Acting, Speaking Coach: How to Improve Communication with Others — Do you know when you marginalize others? If you’re having communication problems with someone important in your career or life, chances are one or both of you will profit from tips in honest communication.
Career Advice: How to Communicate with Your Boss’s Boss — You can improve your career prospects by maximizing your communications – with your boss’s boss. Here are the dos and don’ts.
8 Tips on How to Ask Your Boss for a Pay Raise — Your food, gas and other living costs have increased. But it’s unlikely your boss will agree those are good enough reasons.
“Character may almost be called the most effective means of persuasion.”