Where is your boss coming from? Libby Leffler pictured.
Steve Maller

  • Libby Leffler, a former Facebook executive and Google employee, is now the vice president of membership at SoFi.
  • Leffler recommends that, before you ask your boss for a raise, you put yourself in their shoes. What are they going to be thinking and feeling when you start negotiating?
  • She also reminds people that they can negotiate for things other than a salary bump, like benefits.


"Being able to put yourself in someone else's shoes is really important."

This is true of life in general, but it's especially true when you're asking your boss for a raise.

According to Libby Leffler, who is the vice president of membership at personal finance company SoFi as well as a former Googler and Facebook executive, the first thing to do when you're planning to petition your manager for a salary bump is to "consider where you're coming from and where they're coming from."

For example: Are they trying to manage an already-tight budget for the division? Are they under strict orders only to grant raises for knock-it-out-of-the-park performance? Once you understand their goals and constraints, you can adjust your pitch accordingly.

Leffler's advice recalls insights from Daniel Shapiro, founder and director of the Harvard International Negotiation Program, and author of "Negotiating the Nonnegotiable." Shapiro previously told Business Insider that it can be helpful to play the role of your boss while a friend or colleague plays you.

The idea is to think and feel how your boss might be thinking and feeling - and to then tailor your strategy so it really resonates with them.

Remember, too, Leffler said: You can negotiate for outcomes other than financial ones. "Compensation is whatever these things mean to you," Leffler said. It can be flexible hours, extra vacation time, equity, or bonus pay. Figure out what exactly you want (and what your boss might be most likely to concede).

Leffler's most important piece of wisdom? "Practice, practice, practice your pitch before walking in." She'd never advocate going in cold.

Leffler said, "You want to take all these steps in advance to really set yourself up for success."

Receive a single WhatsApp every morning with all our latest news: click here.

Also from Business Insider South Africa: