Best Way to Ask for a Raise

In Inquiry Management, as an employee, we gain and can develop the skill of managing up.

Managing up means that through the process of inquiry up and passing problems up, we are able to develop our relationship and secure success within an organization. An example of this, I call, “the best way to ask for a raise.”

The best way to ask for a raise is: At your next review, one-on-one, or even a meeting that you arrange, ask the person who you report up to, what you would have to do to be worth X% more or X dollars more to the company 6 months from now or a year from now. And then listen carefully. Different responses are possible.

One response would be that there is nothing you can do to be worth more in 6 months or a year. That is great info to know. You’ll know there is no upward mobility and you can start accepting it and be happy with it, or you can start looking for a new job.

A second answer may be that you can get a raise if you are able to develop x skill, to learn to do spreadsheets, increase sales by x%, be able to demonstrate a certain capacity or attitude, or something else. With any of these responses, you would want to ask more and make it measurable so that it is something you could both agree on. The beauty of this system is that once they agree, you’ve already made the agreement for the raise. So you don’t have to worry about asking for it, you can just focus on doing what you need to do to get it.

If you are in a company that employs Inquiry Management and Inquiry Leadership then you can check in on your progress in your weekly meetings or one on ones. If you aren’t, maybe you can just check in on a monthly or weekly basis about how you are doing towards your goal and how they feel about your work. That way you keep focusing on and honoring the agreement you’ve made.

From a management point of view, I recommend doing this with the people who report to you. Make these kinds of agreements. That way, with raises, you are actually able to continue to develop and guide the development of your workforce. Make sure that you are actually incentivizing activities and goals that support and amplify the goals and success of the organization.

Want more like this? Check out our ECourse and EBook on Inquiry Management.

Opinion and Truth

There is a big difference between your opinion and the truth.

Opinions are imposed, truth is shared.

Opinions can be argued, truth cannot.

Opinions need defending, truth does not.

Opinions are thoughts, truth is self evident.

Opinions come from you, truth comes through you.

Opinions are arrogant, truth is humble.

Opinions are force, truth is love.

Opinions create separation, truth brings us together.

Opinions can be owned, the truth is for everyone.

Truth can be proved, opinions cannot.

Truth is found through inquiry, opinions are invented at whim.

You don’t get credit for the truth, only your capacity to hear it.

Truth told as an opinion loses its power.

We each have a choice which one to hold most dear, but they can never be equal.

~ Kyle Mercer


Accountability is what happens when someone owns the outcome of an event.  Business owners have inherent accountability, they don’t need to find or accept it, it is their company and money on the line, and the market creates an inherent accountability.

The challenge is how to create accountability in non-owners?  The key is to develop a culture where each person is connected to their own success and where they can make a direct connection between their performance, their personal success, and the corporate success.

The best way to do this is to show personal concern for employees’ professional well-being and success.  As the owner or leader, it is important to know your team’s ambitions and desires and to show them that there are direct opportunities to have what they want.  You can demonstrate this clearly by creating a direct relationship between their performance and successes. For example, if you are aware and have looked into what their ambitions are and have shown them that these can be achieved by doing their job well, now they have tied their success to the success of the company and now they are the owner of their own dreams and inherently accountable to themselves.  By regularly reviewing and showing your interest in their success you reinforce this connection and their accountability.

Ultimately, this process of creating accountability requires that you pay attention. Your attention and direct connection with the people who work for you are your accountability and inherently creates accountability in them. Retaining your accountability and demonstrating it through regular observation and interaction is a vital part of this process.  Your accountability as a leader cannot be replaced, it is your most important activity, “what is measured grows.” If you don’t directly observe what is happening with your people, your success and their success will suffer.  Observation cannot be replaced, we all perform better when we know what we do will be measured and seen; done right this observation is experienced as support.

There is little difference between being this kind of leader and the mentoring and coaching that I do. I call it Inquiry Management when we create an environment of growth and accountability that serves individual and corporate well-being.  Become the kind of leader who inspires, not requires, accountability.

Inquiry Negotiations (The Cost of Getting the Edge on Someone)

In finding retreat sites for experiences I used to be a hard negotiator. I would get the price down to the least amount, the best deal I could get. I just figured that it was good business and I was a good negotiator.

Then when I got there I was surprised about a negative attitude, problems, and issues.

I didn’t realize that by winning the negotiation I was loosing the good will, that I was hurting people and creating a bad situation.

In Inquiry Method we want a situation that serves all parties. Not because we are altruistic or giving ourselves away, but because we recognize that things work better when everyone feels good about the interaction.

We may have our own wants, but in the negotiations we have a collective “want for us”(all involved) to be happy and enthusiastic about the deal.

When we win, the other person wants to get back to even or better.

When the other person feels good about the arrangement they want to service it because they don’t want to lose it.

I have never seen a good relationship come out of winning a negotiation.

Where are you focused on winning? In business? In Family?