5 toughest work conversations

Want a raise? Think your performance review was unfair? Here's how to broach five difficult topics with your boss, without hurting your career.

'I want a raise'
toughest work conversations raise

Before asking for a raise -- even if you need and deserve it -- it's easy to let self-doubt take over: What if your boss doesn't think you're worth the extra money? What if your boss hasn't had a pay bump for a while, either, and labels you a complainer?

Lobbying for a better salary or perks shouldn't jeopardize your career, though, if you do it the right way -- especially if you're a valued employee, says Joseph Grenny, who wrote the bestselling Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High.

The key to getting what you want? Stick to the facts, Grenny advises.

"First, research salary data online to find out what other people get paid for jobs like yours in your geographic area," he says. "Then, be ready to give solid evidence for why your performance merits more money."

Whatever you do, don't say you need more money for personal reasons (no matter how urgent), says Grenny.

To make it easier to sell the idea to higher-ups, "you want your boss to see this as an informed business decision, not a charitable contribution," he says.

  @FortuneMagazine - Last updated August 27 2013 09:43 AM ET
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