Powerful conversations can adhere to a structure that alleviates some of the tension. Follow these steps to participate in, rather than avoid, the money conversations that will change your life.
1. Take a few moments before the conversation to breathe and set your intention for how you want the conversation to progress. Decide on your desired outcome ahead of time and be very clear in your mind before the other person arrives.
2. Be objective and set the agenda with the other party. Inform them of the purpose of the discussion, the desired outcome, and the topics you intend to cover.
3. Take a moment to listen. Make certain that the opposing party has an opportunity to speak and that they are aware that you are listening to them. Repeat and summarize their ideas as much as you can to demonstrate that you understand what they are saying.
4. If at all possible, provide several options for resolving the situation in various ways.
Find agreement, even if it means deferring to another decision-maker, and outline the next steps, including who will do what by when. Make an effort to end the conversation on a positive note.
I immediately put this methodology to use after returning home from the conference, and had two such conversations. Since then, I've been breathing a sigh of relief! While it is important to engage in these conversations under any circumstances, if you are looking to change careers or grow your business, this is a skill that will help you significantly.
By avoiding courageous money conversations, you may be unintentionally sabotaging your own success. For example, a mother recently told me about her daughter, who works at a job she enjoys. She is valued by her employer, coworkers, and customers, and she recently received a promotion. She has not, however, received a pay raise in conjunction with her promotion. Instead of having the necessary salary increase discussion, she decided to look for another job. Objectively, this appears ridiculous, but she is so opposed to having the necessary salary conversation that she has made up a story in her head about what this all means and is responding with a somewhat rash action. For her, it may be easier to land a new position than to have a money conversation in which she would champion her value to the company.
Similar to this example, when I work with clients, I frequently encounter two major challenges:
1. Giving voice to, and believing in, their own worth. Examples include stating their fees, declining a reduced fee, and negotiating their salary.
2. Being open about a problem that makes them feel vulnerable. Discussing business plans with a spouse, for example, or renegotiating a loan they are having difficulty repaying.
Taking a stance for your money will, of course, feel awkward at first. However, once you've had a few of these conversations under your belt, you'll be eagerly anticipating the next one! It's about gradually developing a muscle that will increase your overall power. Don't be afraid to dive in headfirst; you'll be glad you did."""