How To Be The Best At Asking Your Boss For More Dosh

Pay Rise Please. Pretty Please?

Did you think 2019 would be the year you finally received that pay rise you’ve longed for? And yet you still didn’t get one, not even a wee morsel? Ouch. It’s not a good feeling, we’re with you on that one. 

It’s time to hack a plan for 2020, to make sure you get exactly what you want money wise. And why not? If you know you deserve it and you can’t think of much else, it’s absolutely worth investing some time into nailing that pay rise meeting when you come face to face with your boss. 

By tapping into your brain’s potential power, you may just get what you want this year. By mastering clear-cut decisions, growing your confidence and controlling your breath and heart rate, you’ll be cashing in on the big bucks in no time. $$$.


Master Your Decision Making 

We make 35,000 decisions a day! Expending a ridiculous amount of energy on choosing what to eat, what to say, what to wear, whether to smile at that stranger, if you should take a lower pay rise than expected and 34,995 more. If we can make decisions faster and with more ease, imagine the extra time you could free up in your brain.

You could actually think about stuff that matters, like whether the slogan on your jumper is slightly too aggressive for tea at your nan’s or how much to save each month so you can afford a pony… On a serious note, if you conquer your decision making skills, it may be the key to boosting your brain’s confidence in time for asking for a pay rise. 

Making snap decisions on the day you ask for more dough may be essential too. Especially if your boss offers a £3k annual increase instead of the £10k you wanted. Thinking on your feet helps, but more so does making a cool, calm and collected decision. 

Many studies show that being able to make clear cut decisions without too much fretting and hesitation can build your confidence two-fold. Neuroscientists have shown that the brain’s reaction to clear decision making can correlate directly with how the brain values your confidence levels. 

“A key process in decision-making is estimating the value of possible outcomes.” Work out how much energy you should expend on making the decision in the first place. 

“Growing evidence suggests that different types of values are automatically encoded in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC).” Proving that the importance of a decision is given value by your brain. New studies are suggesting that these decision-values are “accompanied by a second-order valuation (a confidence estimate), which is also automatically incorporated in VMPFC activity… Such an automatic aggregation of value and confidence in (the) same brain region might provide insight into many distortions of judgment and choice.” If you’re lacking confidence one day, this lack of confidence may affect your decision making skills. And vice versa. So nail your decision making skills to increase confidence and kick insecurities in the face. 

How can you improve your decision making skills? 

  1. Play Peak and challenge those snap decision making skills. Professor Wei Ji Ma and Sebastiaan van Opheusden of New York University “built a computational model that predicts people’s choices in a two-player board game… The model generalizes to predict choices of players” and can “capture aspects of the computational process that underlies decision-making.” Peak’s well-loved game Connect ‘Em Up challenges problem solving skills and is helping with their research. 
  2. Trust your gut. And lead with your heart not your head. Sound airy fairy? Science doesn’t think so. Intuitive skills are often under-utilised and some studies mention the power of using and building them over time. You can in fact train your gut instinct over time to become a decision making pro. Matzler et al., found “the more extensive a decision maker’s experience, the more patterns he or she will be familiar with; the more patterns, the better the intuition.

    When an experienced senior executive attributes a decision to “gut instinct,” he is saying in different words that he recognizes patterns from experience. Studies in psychology have found that one needs at least 10 years of domain-specific experience to develop the gut feeling needed to make good instinctive decisions.” Train your brain and it’ll train your gut. 

Catch Your Breath 

The Wim Hof Method is an underrated breathing technique that can help with calming nerves, stress reduction, mental clarity and keeping a cool head. The founder Wim describes the breathing exercises as being “focused on deep and rhythmic inhalations and exhalations… By practicing the breathing exercises, you are releasing more energy, influencing your nervous system and changing various physiological responses. You are inducing a voluntarily short stress response which ultimately will lead to more resilience towards everyday stress, mentally and physiology and feeling more in control.”

Studies have shown that tapping into your breath can help with focus and decrease stress: “The deep breathing technique is capable to induce an effective improvement in mood and stress.” With reports of seeing changes in “heart rate and salivary cortisol levels.” If you can control your heart rate when your pre-meeting anxiety levels are hitting the roof, you’ll be able to calm your mind and collect your thoughts so you can effortlessly say what you rehearsed. 

Interestingly, many people are now using “self-regulation of breathing as a primary treatment for anxiety… Detrimental effects of stress, negative emotions, and sympathetic dominance of the autonomic nervous system have been shown to be counteracted by different forms of meditation, relaxation, and breathing techniques.” In fact a 2015 study proposed that “these breathing techniques could be used as first-line and supplemental treatments for stress, anxiety, depression, and some emotional disorders.” We couldn’t think of a better way to get in the zone before asking your boss for more dosh. 

Know How Their Brain Works 


You’ve worked alongside (or underneath as they may like to think) your boss for some time now. And without consciously realising it, you would have gained a substantial amount of knowledge on what makes them tick, what makes them tock and what makes them go BANG! 

It’s now time to gather this knowledge and get into their heads. Forget mind readers, you’re about to become a brain reader. Being able to predict your manager’s reaction to a situation has been shown to be a great way to create a strategy of gentle manipulation. A 2017 study by Terada found that “humans understand that human behavior is varied; that humans have internal states, such as minds and emotions… And that humans exploit others who lack behavioral variability based on behavior-reading in a competitive situation.” 

If you know that your boss doesn’t like to be told what to do and is a massive control freak, then use your words wisely. Rather than demand a pay rise because of reasons personal to you, instead, list the reasons why your manager has chosen you to work with them. Gather compliments she’s previously given you. She may have said during your appraisal that you’re great at keeping on top of the marketing budget, plus she said in a meeting last week that you consistently do well when you pitch to external businesses. Bingo. These are your golden nuggets. By doing this, you’re letting her feel in control of the situation and making her think that she was the one who put the pay rise idea in your head. 

Choose the time your meeting will be held wisely. If you know she has got a load of intense meetings coming up, then wait! A couple of weeks won’t make a difference, so choose a time where she’ll be tuned into you, not thinking what the CEO might say in response to her missed targets. 

If these 3 methods still don’t cut the mustard. And you really believe you’re worth the big bucks. Then you need to negotiate hard or have a back up plan in place. What’s the best back up plan if you’re denied a pay rise with no real justification or/and given no targets to get one soon? Seek out another job which will pay you what you want. Because you’ll never be satisfied stuck where you are, on the salary you’re being paid. 

Brought to you by Peak, makers of the Peak – Brain Training and Peak Sleep – Sleep Better apps. Start brain training and sleeping well today:

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Sources Cited:

https://www.nature.com/articles/nn.4064

https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/1564328

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006899309011111

https://academic.oup.com/cercor/article/26/1/118/2366355

http://science.unctv.org/content/reportersblog/choices

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27995346

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28736536

https://academic.oup.com/cercor/article/26/1/118/2366355

http://www.imp-consulting.ch/neu/editor/upload/file/MIT_SLOAN_Article_IMP.pdf

https://www.wimhofmethod.com

Maisie Bygraves

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