How to Talk About Money in a Professional Setting

Talking about money at work has become a taboo subject in most settings. There are situations, though, where talking about money is inevitable. In those cases, it’s important to know how to properly and appropriately talk about money in a professional setting to get the desired outcome.

Why Money Conversations Benefit the Workplace

Talking about money can be uncomfortable, especially with colleagues, but there are plenty of circumstances where the discomfort is necessary to enhance your professionalism and in some cases, your career. Transparency in the workplace can increase employee trust and overall satisfaction. 

In some cases, though, it’s not appropriate to discuss money in the workplace. Salary differentiation can create resentment between employees, and it’s important to promote these types of conversations in the appropriate setting with your direct reports. Encourage them to talk to their superior or human resources when discussing financial matters. 

Types of Money Conversations

Consider how compensation may be brought up between your employees or coworkers. 

  • Salary Comparison: Peers may bring up their salary frequently in hopes to uncover a dissimilar salary. It’s important that your employees and yourself know that it’s not required to disclose salary and that this information can stay confidential if that’s their prerogative. 
  • Salary Negotiation: It’s completely acceptable to negotiate salary, whether you’re applying for a new role, or believe your accomplishments garner new wages. Consider concrete examples of your achievements to share during this money conversation. 
  • Reimbursement Requests: It can feel awkward to ask your company to pay you back for something owed. Before beginning these conversations, remember that these types of requests are part of business operations and completely acceptable to have at work. 

Regardless of the money conversations you encounter, consider the person you’re having it with. The graphic below will help you deduce the personality type of the person you’re going to speak to. This will help you begin the conversation successfully, and understand how to approach potential roadblocks during the talk.

Meyers Briggs Infographic - How to Talk About Money in a Professional Setting
Link to Original Infographic

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