Negotiate benefits and salary: Tips for the boss conversation [17 times checklist]


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Dealing with your supervisor requires a certain amount of intuition: on the one hand, this decides on your career advancement - so you should be fine with it. On the other hand, you have yours Chef Express your opinion, demonstrate your competences and not let everything go with it at the same time.

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How to Lead a Successful Salary Negotiation

Mr. D. does a lot for his company and his expenses rise and rise. So far, Mr. D. has always waited until the right time comes to ask if “there would also be more money” - because the boss is constantly moaning about the bad economic situation. But that should change now, because as a qualified employee he wants to see his performance rewarded accordingly.

It is therefore a mistake to wait modestly. On the contrary, if you want to emphasize your skills, especially in a difficult economic situation, you should demand more salary for all 18 to 24 months - which costs more is worth more! But: the sound makes the music. Rhetorical skills are required to optimally convey your arguments, especially with regard to this sensitive topic. Compose a perfect score for the salary talk!

Find the appropriate arguments

However, Mr. D. does not want to run the salary interview unprepared, but plans it exactly. It would also be wrong to argue with his personal reasons, because the boss does not care that Mr. D. still has to pay off the installments for the house and buy a new car. He has to find better arguments.

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Again, your higher expenses are not a good argument. Then you better create a piggy bank.

Who achieves something is worth something

Anyone who does something brings the company and thus the boss direct benefits. And that is a very excellent argument. So that the boss realizes how he benefits from your work, you have to make that clear to him.

List your successes - the sooner you start, the better. This also strengthens your self-confidence for the negotiation. But do even more: Create success through above-average commitment: For example, bring in new ideas or take on more responsibility on your own.

Checklist: How to keep your success diary

Find the right argument: Keep a success diary! Planning for the interview begins long before - with a diary in which you record all the successes. Important: Be as specific as possible because “I have won new customers” is a bit thin.

  • You have gained new customers: How many new customers and what sales volume? Who are the new customers? How did you convince them?
  • You have contributed to the cost reduction: in what way? What is the amount that saves the company? Name as exact numbers as possible!
  • You have stimulated and successfully implemented improvements in the business process: how did you come up with the idea? What concrete improvements have been achieved? How exactly does this affect the work?
  • You have further education: Can you work better and more effectively? How exactly does that affect your work? Can you prove that in numbers?
  • You have taken on more responsibility or new responsibilities: Why is your workforce needed there? What advantage does the company have? Can this be quantified exactly?

The best time for a boss conversation

When does it fit, when is the best time to salary? That's when you have the best arguments, for example after a project has been successfully completed or when the last salary increase is already a while back.

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But even in good economic conditions, when the boss just returned in good spirits from vacation or was just successful, is a psychologically good time. If that's not the case, you'd better keep writing your success diary.

How much can you ask for?

Before the conversation, it is important to determine how much your claim is maximum and which amount can not be undercut. With a degree of flexibility, you are flexible. This gives you a secure position in the negotiation and respect of your boss. Wicht: Do not sell yourself under value, but make no unrealistic demands.

Mr. D. first informs his professional association about comparative salaries in his position. Then he researches the economic situation of his company by studying the balance sheets, attentively studying the employee magazine and conversing with colleagues. This gives him a clear picture of how much he can demand. In addition, he makes a list of monetary alternatives that he can offer his boss instead of the salary increase.

Checklist: Use salary alternatives

Salary alternatives can be a good alternative: Maybe you can also use the smart company scales privately? These are possible salary alternatives:

  • capital accumulation benefits
  • Contributions to pension schemes
  • Profit sharing or stock options
  • Further developments
  • Company car also for private use or a share of travel expenses - also for bus and train (eg Jobticket or Bahncard)
  • The private use of the service cell phone
  • A childcare allowance or other family services (such as a cleaning lady)
  • A special leave or a longer break (sabbatical)

This is how the conversation becomes a success

The start: don't fall into the house with the door! "I want more money" - if Mr. D. starts the conversation like this, he can immediately forget it because the boss will immediately switch to resistance.

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Better: ask the boss for a discussion about your further development and prospects in the company: "I would like to talk to you about my development." If you declare your willingness to take on new tasks from the start, show yourself committed, but it is clear that it will also be about money.

The do's

  • Practice the conversation at home.
  • Gather all the important information.
  • Wait for the right time.
  • Stay calm and relaxed.
  • Make your demands clear, but be flexible.
  • Show that you are seeking the best solution for both sides.

The don'ts

  • Do not be too rash: salary negotiation is like a sales pitch - except that the buyer does not actually want to buy.
  • Give a clear sum, no margins - then you must always negotiate at the lower limit.
  • Do not expect stubbornly that your demands will be fulfilled in full.
  • Do not give up right now: rather ask what is expected of you to reach your salary goal. Try again and again: Steady drops hollow the stone.
  • Even if it does not work out with the salary increase: Do not look jealous on others. There will always be someone who earns more.

Argue with numbers and facts

Then present your achievements, which you substantiate with facts and figures. Always think about the benefits for the company. Example: "I won X new customers last year and thus increased the company's profit by 50%."

Then try to get your boss's approval. The best way to do this is with a leading question: “Do you agree with me that my work is therefore very important for the company?” If he now agrees with you, your boss cannot subsequently dismiss your claim by devaluing your performance.

Performance and money should balance each other

Only now do you formulate your claim as specifically as possible. Give a clear number. Example: “Because of my commitment in the past few months, I think a raise of €… is appropriate.” Provide a plausible reason for this sum at this point in time. Therefore, choose the amount so that you still have some leeway downwards. Therefore, do not enter a range - your boss always assumes the lowest amount.

Now the actual bargaining starts, because your boss will not jump in the air with enthusiasm. On the contrary, in seminars, bosses even learn to reject the salary requirements of their employees, and many of them almost automatically reject it.

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Boss objections and counter arguments counter

You should pursue common goals. This is really important: pursue your plans, but also be responsive to the boss. Make it clear that you only want the best for the company in the interests of both parties: “I have already achieved a lot for the company by winning new customers.

And I want to get more involved. I will certainly be more successful if I am motivated even more by an additional financial incentive - what do you think? ”

Checklist: Correctly interpret your boss's gestures and facial expressions

In order to be successful in negotiating, it is important that you anticipate how your boss will respond. Judge the facial expression of your boss correctly. Therefore, pay attention to his physical warning signals and then react:

  • Your boss clenches his lips, bows his head or clenches his fists - you move (temporarily to another aspect where you can quickly find a common ground again: "Can we agree that ..."
  • Your boss raises his eyebrows or raises his palms - you clarify the situation with an inquiry: “Your facial expression indicates that you do not entirely agree with my explanations. What exactly is bothering you? ”
  • Your boss rolls his eyes or plays around with objects - you bring your boss back into the conversation by asking him for his assessment or a suggestion: "How do you assess the possibilities that my new project offers for the company?"

Respond to counter arguments

A salary increase is not a gift. Find a compromise together. Always take the boss's arguments into account: repeat them briefly. By asking, you show interest and make sure that you understand your boss correctly. Give your boss some right. Then formulate your counter arguments.

Avoid “yes-but” phrases that signal that you haven't really taken your boss's arguments. Better: Use an “and”: “Of course you are right that the costs for the new IT system have already put a heavy strain on our budget and I can compensate for these costs through faster order processing, so an increase in salary is quite possible.”

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Find compromises

Then find a compromise together with which your boss also agrees. Ask him about his suggestions: "What options do you see there?" Build verbal bridges that show what you have in common: “We all agree on the value of my performance”.

Start with a strong argument, then the weaker ones will follow. But hold back at least one strong argument with which you react to possible objections: "I am currently planning a new project that will bring great benefits to the company because ..."

Anticipate counterarguments

Instead of reacting defensively to counter-arguments, it is more skillful to name arguments that you expect from your manager and to invalidate them. “They will say that the company cannot afford to pay me more.

According to my calculations, however, this can be offset by the added value, because I get out for the company. ” However, there is a risk that you will wake up sleeping dogs and bring the boss to new counter-arguments.

Metaphors and comparisons

Use metaphors and comparisons to convince the supervisor, because pictures address the feelings and are immediately understood. Use metaphors from areas that your boss knows and can understand. Does your boss like to golf? "With this project I managed a hole-in-one". He is a passionate mountaineer? “With the motivation of this additional fee, we could reach the summit together.”

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In some companies, certain metaphors are in vogue, such as “reaching the ball”, “innovative” or “better positioned”. Let small stories flow into your reasoning that affect the personal interests of the boss and arouse positive associations: “Do you remember the exhilaration that inspired us all at the World Cup…” Your boss likes to golf? Argue with appropriate metaphors!

Checklist: How to respond to your boss's typical objections

Your boss will have many objections as to why he doesn't want to pay a few more euros. Here are some possible reactions for you:

  • Your boss says, “Why should I give you a raise? You haven't been in the company / your position for long. ” You list your most important performance arguments again.
  • Your boss says: "Today you wanted more salary and tomorrow all your colleagues are sitting here." They reply: “I think my situation has to be considered individually, you can't transfer that to another colleague. In addition, I will of course not tell anyone about our agreement. So nothing stands in the way of our conversation. ”
  • Your boss says: “However, I can offer you the highest… €. Unfortunately, that's all there is to it. ”First, make your point clear:“ I wouldn't be satisfied with that. ” But then show yourself willing to compromise on the offer: “But I think we can still find a solution. I have an overview here of possible salary alternatives… ”
  • Your boss says: “I'm sorry, we have to save. You know our economic situation ”You argue:“ I know that, yes. But with my many ideas, I have successfully contributed in the past year that the company can save. Shouldn't that be rewarded? ”
  • Her boss says: “It looks bad at the moment. Better ask again next year. ” You won't be put off: “I have been asking you for a raise for some time, but I waited until I successfully completed Project X. I don't want to wait any longer. ”
  • Her boss says: "Such a salary is not common in the industry!" They reply: "But I got information from the professional association that shows that my salary is at the lower limit of what is customary in the industry."
  • Your boss says: "I'm sorry, I can't pay you in this position." They remain persistent: "When and under what specific conditions would the next transport be possible for me?" Or: “Then I would like to ask you to work with me to find a way to expand my area of ​​responsibility accordingly. I already have some ideas for this .. ”

You're worth it!

Be aware of your value - you define the point where you are satisfied. Do not be afraid to say clearly what you are worth. And: Valuable employees are reluctant to leave the company, so they will try to find compromises.

If your boss does not agree, ask him for another specific appointment for a follow-up interview: “If I carry out my planned project, when would you come to meet me? When exactly can we have a second conversation on this topic? ” Remain calm and do not make any hasty decisions, such as a termination: Mr. D. The first impulse after the rejection of his wish is: "I will quit and become self-employed" But after careful consideration, he still sees a future in this company. However, he wants to be transferred to another department because he sees the problem in the person of his boss.

Checklist: Your short protocol after the call

After the conversation, keep a brief record of what came out. Remind your boss with the agreement. If your request has been rejected, the protocol will help you to reflect on what you might do better next time. Create a short log. Write down:

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  • What could you do with what you set out to do?
  • Does your boss at least agree that you do a lot for the company?
  • What arguments have you advanced, which have not?
  • When should you have reacted differently?
  • What can you be particularly proud of?

How to respond to demands and criticism of your boss

Just don't start from the worst: "What does he want now?" Groans Mr. D. when his boss orders him to come to him. Last week's conversation is still in his bones: he had made a mistake.

Do not be offended

The boss was angry and rather unfair: “Apparently they are completely incapable. In the future you will work around the clock until everything is in order again! ” “I'm doing what I can. But how about if you would give more precise instructions in the future? ”Answered Mr. D. bitingly and made three mistakes: He showed the boss that he was insulted and attacked, justified and attacked the boss right away.

Oh boss, what is coming now?

It can also be done differently: make sure you can handle others well, but also be able to parry unfair criticisms and taunts. You can also apply many of these to the boss. Nevertheless, a little more tactical restraint is appropriate: Too much impudence can cost the job. Better: Understand even in difficult situations sovereign your skills.

Accept does not mean understanding

Basically: You do not have to accept all the reactions of your boss, eg you are not completely incompetent because your boss insults you so much. But try to understand why he reacts like that - because you've made a mistake and he got in trouble. From this factual level, you will find together a solution to the problem.

Show criticism by serenity

If your boss criticizes you, nothing seems so confident as serenity. If you keep your nerve even if he attacks you unfairly, for example with: “Your argument doesn't make any difference Sense“Show that:“ I am capable, I have everything under control. ” For example, with this self-confident answer: "You see it that way, in reality it is a very meaningful argument." Serenity convinces every boss. The good thing: you can train them.

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As you also think clearly and logically in case of trouble with the boss

Pay attention to how you react when you have an unpleasant conversation with the boss. Go through everything again in the head: What went well, what not? When were you sovereign, where could you have reacted better?

You will find that there are situations in which you are automatically annoyed. For example, if your boss generalizes individual mistakes ("You always do everything wrong!"), Ridicules your abilities ("What do you have to say"), gesticulates, speaks quickly or loudly and much more. Always remember: Even if it didn't go that way - it will get better next time!

Think positive!

Stay cool! Wrong: Mr. D., called to the boss, immediately thinks of further criticism and is loaded accordingly at the beginning of the conversation. Right: First of all, start with the positive - and from what you know. Do not interprete anything in utterances that was not said. Maybe the conversation has a positive reason?

Build a positive attitude towards your boss: He is only human. Even if he has a different opinion than you, that's fine. But you too are perfectly fine and make your workforce available to the company. And you need each other.

Checklist: reduce stress

When you get angry, your body releases adrenaline that can interfere with the logical mind. If you reduce it in time, stay calm.

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  • Move. Very easily. Take the elevator instead of the stairs, go for a lunch break. In the process, excess adrenaline is self-degraded and at the same time it becomes powerful again.
  • If you notice a conversation escalating: Cancel it and make a new appointment.
  • If you want to gain time: Apply a suitable codeword.
  • The abdominal breathing is a simple breathing technique that calms your pulse, the oxygen supply helps you to think clearly. Repeat the following exercises until you automatically breathe with your stomach:
  • Take a deep breath and let the shoulders fall deliberately as you exhale. Relax pines and face
  • Take a deep breath and slowly count to four. Pause for a moment.
  • Exhale again, counting at the same speed as before until seven. Pause for a moment.

Detect triggering mechanisms

Recognize which buttons you need to press to blow yourself up and intercept these mechanisms. Rationally grasp that the boss is pressing your trigger button. Find a personal code word that you can then say to yourself to gain distance, such as “stop” or “cool”. Or associate an image, such as a stop sign. Now force yourself to consciously listen to the factual information in the statement and simply ignore the attack.

For example, the boss grumbles at Mr. D.: "When is the report finally ready?" Normally, Mr. D. would now react irritably to the "unfriendly tone" trigger. However, Mr. D. has only practiced the factual information: his boss is stressed himself and should help him by hurrying.

Checklist: Answer sourverän and friendly!

Often the body warns you that you are about to get angry or get stressed - how does it differ from person to person: e.g. through tension, restlessness, sweating, shortness of breath, pain, a queasy feeling in the stomach - or through your inner voice. Be aware of this because these signals will help you rightzeitig to gain distance. How to categorically correct criticism without justifying yourself:

  • Whatever the boss accuses you of, listen to it and send back the content of the opposite of the allegation as a statement: "Your way of working is not economical at all." - “You see it that way, my way of working is absolutely economical.”
  • Important: A stable eye contact. Particularly effective: At the end of the statement, relish the name of your boss again: "How do you want to lead a working group if you can't organize everything!" - “You are wrong, I can organize very well and my work group also appreciates these skills very much, Mr. V.”
  • You simply pry the statement out and show your great self-confidence - this earns you respect, for example: “This task is very complex. If you are a realist, you have to admit that you are not up to it. ” - “That may be your truth, but it is not true. I'm very good at it! ”
  • Find your own statements. Introduce this with: “No wrong…. "; “You are wrong….”; "That is your opinion ..." or "You see it that way ..." You put the statement behind it, since the beginning of the sentence has no effect without any further addition.
  • If you have a safe position, you can also respond with sharper sentences: "No, of course this is absolutely wrong ..."; “You are completely wrong….”; "That may be your isolated opinion…." or "Only you see it that way ..."

Say no: Respond properly to performance requirements of the boss

Mr. D. feels overwhelmed: His boss expects above average work, but Mr. D. is already working at the limit of his capacity - he would like to swallow everything until the next salary conversation, to make a good impression.

The boss will realize at some point, what he has on him. But this attitude is fundamentally wrong: Fewest bosses recognize by themselves, when the employees are overloaded and burden them more and more. Mr. D. is becoming increasingly dissatisfied and nervous and urgently needs to set healthy limits.

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If you don't say “no”…

Just saying "yes" is not just good-naturedness or indifference. Those who cannot say “No” say “No” to themselves internally because they deny their own needs. So train your “No” in a targeted manner. If you never say “no”, you will feel totally overwhelmed at some point!

Better: Say "No" in good time, calmly and clearly, without becoming hurtful if the boss's requirements become too much for you. This earns you respect because you have asserted yourself and prevents you from having long-term personal problems up to and including burnout. Of course, it doesn't make sense to reject all of your boss's demands - that would certainly be detrimental to your career. However, if there is no other way, you have to be consistent, otherwise you will miss out yourself.

Checklist: When is a “no” appropriate?

You do not need to feel like your hands are tied: Dare. Say no!

  • if you can not finish the tasks in time.
  • if you already know before that you can not reach the set goals.
  • if you do not find the right framework conditions for a project and you therefore fear a failure.
  • if you fear negative consequences for the company or department.
  • if you have significantly more overtime or Saturday work than your colleagues.
  • if your privacy suffers as a healthy compensation to the job hard under work.

Checklist: How to deal with your fears of saying "no" to:

Saying “no” consistently can be a real test of courage for some people. But this is absolutely necessary so that you yourself live happier. How to deal with your fears. First, make yourself clear why you are afraid. Because they:

  • do not want to be rejected by the boss
  • fear possible negative consequences
  • Prove your performance at the boss and do not want to count as a failure
  • Do not want to stand in front of your colleagues as an egoist
  • want to feel needed and afraid to be superfluous

Be aware: Many bosses use these fears and try to get employees to say yes by means of light manipulation, such as pressure, defense of a guilty conscience, rip-off or flattery. Do not let yourself be tampered with and stay consistent and, if necessary, quick to act.

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Checklist: Work on your fears

Work on your fears. Be quite realistic: What consequences do you have to expect? Are the negative consequences really as bad as you fear?

  • If the consequences are really so negative, can you bear the consequences of a “no” or not?
  • Make a cost-benefit calculation: What are the disadvantages of saying no? What are the benefits of saying no? Is it worth it to say "yes" permanently, just to be liked by the boss? Understand the longer-term consequences of saying yes!
  • The spiral of thought is often worse: Mostly, a boss does not react so unpleasantly to a “no” as many employees fear.
  • If you make clear statements from the outset, you will show yourself to be a reliable employee who knows his own limits. You sharpen your profile in the company and gain self-esteem. However, some rhetorical skill is also required so that the rejection does not sound too harsh.

Clear information leads to positive reactions

Many people appreciate clear information that they can use to orient themselves. Because that shows your self-assurance and consistency. Better refuse in time than to be kicked off behind!

However, Mr. D.'s behavior is wrong. He tries to meet all requirements and does not express his reservations unequivocally: "Actually, I don't have any more time ... but of course I can ..." Soon he can't do anything properly, misses appointments and finally has to work give up because he can't make it.

He blames his boss for this: "You can't organize at all, otherwise you would have relieved me of my work." His boss is really angry now: “If you had said straight away that you couldn't make it, Mr. D., I could have planned differently. Because of your sloppiness, an important project is delayed! ”

Checklist: How to say “No” correctly.

The sound makes the music. When they feel pressured or overwhelmed, many people tend to say "no" excessively violently and unkindly. Right: Always stay polite and pack your “no” skillfully:

  • Show understanding for your boss's concern: your “no” is more acceptable if you appreciate the motivation of your boss and at the same time formulate your “no”: “I can understand very well that you need the information for the interview tomorrow, but I do can't help you today. You should have told me this yesterday .. ”
  • Justify your “no” so that your boss understands you better. Attention: Do not justify yourself, but make your personal reasons clear: "With this budget, I cannot successfully carry out the project."
  • Stick to the “no”, but offer your boss an alternative, which you can do in this matter: “But I still have an idea…” or “Today I want to go on time, but I would like to do it tomorrow morning and it's ready when you get to the office. ” Even small concessions can be helpful.
  • If you are not sure whether to say “yes” or “no”, allow yourself time to think about it. to weigh the pros and cons of proceeding. This allows you to gain more inner clarity and collect arguments: "I'll let you know tomorrow ..."
  • If the boss keeps coming up to you with small tasks that he could do faster and better himself, offer him help for self-help: “I would like to go through the filing system with you so that you can find the documents in the future if I'm not there. ” or "I would be happy to explain this computer problem to you, you will see that you can always quickly solve it yourself."

When the boss lets his power play

Without a doubt: Your boss has power, because he has influence on your earnings, your development opportunities and your work. Power in itself is not negative - your boss has a lot of responsibility. But it is bad for supervisors to use their power to enforce their wishes, for example by threatening to give notice, termination, transfer or denial.

Why some bosses are like that

Fewest bosses are by nature evil. When a supervisor lets his power play, it's mostly because he does not know anymore. And threatening is just faster than discussing.

Mr. D. hears from his boss: “I already told you last week that you have to make more efforts. If you don't finally do that, you can forget about your promotion. This is a service instruction. Take it seriously! ” Mr. D. is speechless and angry. But when a threat is made so aggressively, it is wiser to give in first, because you will always be the loser. However, you should not give in in all cases, otherwise you will not remain true to yourself and will no longer be taken seriously at some point. And: Sometimes gestures of humility make sense - but not always!

Checklist: Do not be afraid of the boss

The following questions help to visualize the “intention” behind the fear and to reduce it somewhat.

  • Why am I really scared? What does my fear protect me from? What is the purpose of my fear?
  • What can happen in the worst case if I react the way I want? How do I deal with it? Is this worst case really that bad?
  • Were there situations where I was not afraid of my boss? What was different there?
  • What would the conversation with my boss look like if I were not afraid anymore?
  • What would be the consequences if I was not afraid in the conversation?
  • Can I live with these consequences?

Determine the limits of the boss's power and stick to it. Mr. D., for example, is willing to work longer in the evenings. But under no circumstances does he want to come to the company on weekends. “I want a promotion, but not at any price! Is his answer.

Determine where the boundaries are

The power of the boss is finally. How powerful a boss is always depends on how much power you grant him, because that's what he defines his power for!

Refuse to play the power game. Be independent of the power of your boss. Important: Do not climb on threats. Try to constructively continue the conversation by compromise with factual arguments. Of course, you must also be prepared to bear the consequences, because only then are you truly independent.

Do not play with me

Mr. D.'s boss threatens to resign. Mr. D.'s reply: "I appreciate my work very much, but if it couldn't be done otherwise, I would also leave the company." This neutralizes the power of his superior and can now communicate again on a cooperative level. To this end, he continues to signal his willingness to compromise: “So that things don't go that far, I would like to come up with a constructive solution with you. I therefore suggest that you work longer during the week, but I would like to have the weekends off for that. ” Just don't play the game!

Show willingness to compromise in negotiations through questioning techniques

Ask an open question: "What do you suggest?", "What rules apply here?" or “What do you think is a good compromise?” By doing so, you are signaling an honest interest in a factual agreement.

Power games as a topic of conversation

Another way to get out: Make the power game a topic of conversation: “We should stop arguing emotionally and start talking again on a factual level”; "Do we want to deal with each other like this?" or “I don't find it helpful at the moment, if we are just thinking about an all-or-nothing alternative, let's start again. I would like to discuss this topic constructively with you. ”

I formulations

Confess your feelings, wishes and observations and speak them out honestly: “I feel very pressured by you”, “I am quite dissatisfied that I now have to do this task under time pressure”;

"I would like more help from you on this project" or "I am somewhat unsettled by your criticism and cannot carry out my work in peace." Speak very deliberately in the first person form, do not hide behind an impersonal “man” or “we” - that looks more credible. Wrong: You messages like "But you are irrelevant!" are accusatory and trigger resistance and barriers that impair the flow of the conversation.

To practice criticism of your boss

If your boss's way of acting doesn't suit you, you should address this: If you always swallow criticism, you will become permanently dissatisfied or “burst” at some point.

Checklist: Rules for criticism of the boss

But very few bosses are so self-confident with their leadership role that criticism would be a matter of course for them. For your criticism of the boss therefore very special rules apply:

  • See the criticism discussion as a change proposal: The aim of the discussion should be a measure or a concrete agreement. Speak openly about what you want, what solution you want and what you want to achieve. This shows that you think constructively and don't just want to get rid of frustration. “I want to change the communication processes in my department so that we can work more customer-oriented. This requires that ... ”
  • Be gentle, careful and kind, but be clear and straightforward. Avoid plasticizers (“I actually wanted”). Stay factual: "I think that ..."
  • Criticize the behavior or the matter and not the person of your manager: "In this case you expected something impossible from me." Avoid general formulations like: "You always expect too much from me!", Because this creates resistance
  • Give specific situations and examples: "In the current project, I don't have specific appointments, so I can't make realistic plans." The more specific, the better!
  • Never criticize your manager in the presence of third parties. The criticism then seems much stronger and he can quickly get the impression that it is a "conspiracy". For some bosses this is even an insult to majesty and you will feel the consequences.
  • Show the consequences that the negative behavior of your boss has for you personally. Share the consequences of this for your work and what emotionally triggers your behavior: "I cannot do my job in peace if you assign me a new task every hour."
  • Instead of attacking them, ask your supervisor for help: "I need your support for this important project."
  • Avoid comparisons with other superiors, as these can be offensive: "My former employer was much more confident in such a case."
  • Include positive behaviors or the things you value. This creates a good atmosphere. Addressing things that work well directs the conversation in a positive direction.

Stay friendly!

Friendliness prevails. In psychology, the mechanism behind this is called cognitive dissonance: with a charming smile you confuse the aggressive supervisor because he expects a different, equally aggressive reaction.

He wants to close this gap reflexively and comes to meet you. Apart from that, sovereign friendliness is also contagious, because your boss will barely manage to return your open smile with threats.

Confuse the aggressive boss

If your boss lets his boss play his power very aggressively, he probably wants to get you upset and make us vulnerable. So confess insults and outrageous attacks quite confidently and thwart his plans calmly:

"Please stop insulting me, because we want to come to an objective agreement." A little sharper: Show your boss that you have seen through him, then he feels caught and will be embarrassed: "You keep interrupting me, obviously my arguments are so good that you don't want to hear them."

The do's

  • Do brief, concise and understandable statements
  • Pay attention to your boss on a straight, upright posture and a quiet stand
  • Keep an open eye contact
  • Strive for friendly facial expressions and gestures
  • Speak at a reasonable volume

The don'ts

  • Do not use verbal softeners like "actually" or "maybe" - this is unsafe.
  • Avoid subjunctive, say "I want to" instead of "I would like".
  • Do not fidget around talking to your boss and do not touch yourself - it makes you nervous.
  • Do not stutter or behave in a monotone way - this betrays that you do not know what to say or have practiced.
  • Do not phrase your statement in a questioning tone. Better: A self-confident statement in which the Stimma goes down at the end of the sentence.

Please do not hit back

Not recommended: Striking back with threats, such as "If you deal with me like this, I will go to the competition." Even if you have a certain amount of power because you are working on a project that is particularly important to the company, are practically irrevocable or have special knowledge and skills, a direct confrontation endangers your position or at least the relationship with your boss.

If you really get stuck in the conversation: Look for allies, such as the works council or boss's boss. A combative conflict may be only the last resort, because it always draws a short straw! But: do not become aggressive. Better: Imagine the boss in underpants! This helps to reduce aggression.


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  1. Angela Clarida

    I should have read the article before I fell on my nose during my last salary negotiation. Thanks for that.

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