The Conversation: What Your Boss Needs to Hear

Meet Joanne Linden, CPS, CEAP, CWCA President and Master Trainer

You’re ready to address your promotion – how do you have “the conversation” with your boss? How do you address the compensation? What about negotiating? Let’s discuss all these important points that you cannot skip.

Ramit Sethi, author of the book and website I Will Teach You to Be Rich, offers a word-for-word script he suggests professionals use when asking for a promotion. Visit the article How to Ask for a Promotion and enter your information in the form at the bottom of the page.

How To Go Into The Situation

Let’s start with the “how” part of having the conversation with your boss about a promotion. First and foremost, make sure you go into the room with confidence. You have already asked yourself the three questions to validate that you deserve a promotion, so go in there believing it with your verbal and nonverbal display! We have already discussed when to have this conversation, but it is also essential to give yourself enough time to have the conversation. Similar to going in with confidence, having the right attitude will contribute to your case. Remember, this is not about you. It is about the company and how positive you are about your future with the company.

The other side of your positive attitude involves preparing yourself if your boss says no. Turn this into an opportunity for feedback and return to a promotion conversation with the Executive down the road. Along with your rehearsed script, go in knowing the monetary value associated with the position you are asking for. You can use this Salary Survey from

Time to Address Compensation

An article from entitled How To Negotiate… When You’re Already Getting That Promotion also advises Administrative Professionals to complete their research to incorporate into the conversation. The article states, “once you are appropriately armed, pitch for your desired compensation without regard to the percentage increase beyond your current salary. For example, if you discover that the competitive pay for your role requires a $50K bump, which happens to be much higher than the hypothetical 5-10% compensation increase aligned with company policy for a promotion, then lay down all the research and fight for it.”

Thinking outside the financial box is also important when negotiating your new role’s compensation. What are the other aspects of your new position you find vital? Remember to mention the answer to this question, which could be anything from moral responsibility to a new specific set of skills, while talking numbers.

Support your compensation request not only with numbers but also reasoning. Promotions often require an increase in responsibility, followed by an increase in the time you are giving to the company. Time is money.

Although going into the conversation confident will increase your success, remember to be flexible numbers-wise when it comes to your salary. Some departments have larger budgets than others. Again, research your company before going into this conversation. You can always ask for an alternative way to add to your compensation, such as additional stock in the company.

Remember the ultimate goal when asking your boss for a promotion. Set yourself up for success, and do not forget to celebrate yourself and your hard work when promoted and receive a raise in compensation!

Meet Joanne Linden, CPS, CEAP, CWCA President and Master Trainer