Whether you’re gunning for a raise or just want your boss to stop picking on you, this will help.
Step 1: Talk early Schedule chats with your boss between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Research shows that’s when employers are most open to requests and suggestions—plus they’re just plain friendlier in the morning.
Step 2: Choose your seat Seeing the boss? If it’s a woman, sit directly across from her. If it’s a man, subtly park your chair at a right angle. Studies show women feel more comfortable face to face, while men are more relaxed at a 90-degree angle.
Step 3: Don’t make excuses Never make excuses—even if you’re in the right. Evading responsibility is employers’ number one pet peeve, according to surveys. If you’re criticized, just say, 'It won’t happen again,' and let it go.
Step 4: Don’t mumble Don’t mumble. It makes you seem indecisive and will just plain annoy the boss if she has to strain to understand you.
TIP: If you’re in the habit of saying 'um'—break it! It makes you appear both insecure and stupid—not traits your boss wants to see in an employee.
Step 5: Be positive Be positive—even when you have a beef with the boss. If you approach your employer with a 'here’s how we can improve this' attitude, rather than from a whiney, 'this isn’t working' standpoint, you’ll win major points.
Step 6: Listen Talking less and listening more is the best thing you can do to impress the boss. And, hey, you just might learn something.
FACT: Only 36% of workers say their boss is honest and has integrity, and only 29% believe management cares about them.