His hand might be on your leg, but right now, you’re in the driver’s seat!

1. Phrase your request carefully: It’s absolutely imperative that when you ask the man who currently has his hand on your knee for a raise, you are respectful and conscious. Nail down every word in your request beforehand, so that when the time comes, the man with his hand on your knee is inspired, but not threatened.

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2. Anticipate your talking points: Ask yourself: Is your employer data-conscious? Is your parent company in a good financial position to give out raises right now? Are five sweaty fingers simply resting on your knee, or are they moving around, toying playfully with the fabric on your pants? As you’re sitting across from the man controlling those fingers, make sure you’re constantly asking yourself these types of questions, because if you do, you’re guaranteed to step up your negotiation skills tenfold!

3. Assume a stance that is confident but also gently pushes his hand off your knee: Whether you’re crossing your legs to subtly shake his hand off your knee or swiveling your chair to guide his palm onto the armrest of your chair, try to use your body to signal confidence, rather than looking fidgety. After all, visual cues are just as important as verbal ones. So when you sit down in his office and notice the hand on your leg or rubbing your upper arm, look like the valuable employee you truly know you are!

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4. Make sure to ask for an exact salary before the man’s fingers start moving up your leg: It might seem daunting at first to directly ask for money, but if you don’t come with an exact number in mind, the man with his hand on your knee will end up confused, with little direction information about how much of a bump to give you. Calculate an appropriate new salary so you can bargain, but when you do, avoid mentioning the salaries of any other coworkers whose legs he has also touched, because this is about you, not them!

5. Don’t mention the hand: A real negotiator stays on target and doesn’t let day-to-day work conversations creep into business. Mentioning or even looking at the hand is a surefire way to upset the man with his hand on your knee and bring the meeting to a close without getting a raise. Keep your message laser-focused!

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6. Be prepared for a no: Look, you might not get a raise this time, but don’t worry, it’s not personal! That’s just business, and sometimes you have to ask once, twice, or even three more times before the man with his hand on your knee finally gives you a raise. And if he doesn’t, who knows? Might be time for a new job!