Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Value of Pancake Promises

When I was about 6 years old I was at my Mum’s workplace running amok as I always did. When it was time to go I’m not sure what came over me, but I refused. I hid under tables, I ran from my Mum and I basically caused all sorts of fuss and embarrassment for her.

I then got the brilliant idea that with this newfound leverage over my Mum I’d start making demands (genius I know!) I wasn’t leaving the office until she promised me that we could go out for pancakes.

After much to-ing and fro-ing my Mum finally gave in. I’m sure I let out a yelp of delight and we left the office.

I’m sure it comes as no surprise to you that, sadly, there were no pancakes that night or for a very long time afterwards.

It taught me a really important lesson though – making demands is pointless if you’re looking for a good long term relationship. Even if you are able to demand your way into what you want, the animosity created by that demand leads to ongoing acrimony.

I’ve seen it time and time again in workplaces where employees will make demands of their employer and wonder why neither party ends up with what they want. So, how about this – the next time you want something, rather than demanding it, why not show some VALUE.

If you want a new coffee machine at work, put together a quick proposal that will show your boss that it’ll give each staff member an extra half an hour in the office a day (rather than going across the road to get coffee) thus providing him with X number of extra work hours a week, that’s a VALUE.

If you want a payrise, put together a list of your VALUE (not demands) to the company. Show the improvements you’ve made in the past X months, the increase in revenue to the company, the benefit on office morale and then go to your employer with a plan for how you can continue increasing the VALUE to them.

As a child, how much better would I have been when Mum wanted to leave the office for me to say, sure, let’s go now, and by the way, is there any chance you could look at us having pancakes at some stage in the next little while if I clean my room and do the dishes as soon as we get home? Ahhh… if only I’d known!

Sign up to Kirsty's weekly email online at:

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments


    • Popular
    • Categories
    • Archives