In last Sunday’s Dilbert cartoon, Dilbert requests permission from his boss to attend a class to update his skills. His boss asks for alternatives and Dilbert provides several comic responses including, “replace me with someone younger who earns less than I do and already has the skills.”
So what should you do when your counterpart has better alternatives? First, identify and take concrete steps to improve your alternatives and limit the attractiveness of your counterpart’s alternatives. Or shift the focus to independent standards that support the inherent fairness of your request, like market value, precedent or an expert’s opinion.
Here, Dilbert could have pointed out the high costs associated with employee turnover (limiting the attractiveness of his employer’s alternative) and/or emphasized company precedents and policies (standards) which support sending him to the desired class.