Start by making your case in writing. This isn't a topic that you want to wing with your boss. Instead, put your talking points in writing as if you were preparing an important presentation or speech. Even if you were getting up to lead a PTA meeting at your child's school, you'd get your ducks in a row in advance. This is no different.
Reiterate your commitment to your position and your career. Focus on your strong performance and acknowledge that you're seeking a flexible accommodation, not an entitlement. Be clear that the basis of your request is to strengthen your quality of life at work and at home, while simultaneously delivering even better results for your employer.
Explain what you believe will be the benefits to both you and the company, while realizing that your manager will care much more about the benefits and impact to the company than to you.
If you sense that your request may be met with resistance, propose a trial period. Your boss doesn't have to commit to a permanent plan right out of the gate. Instead, suggest a three-month trial with specific benchmarks to measure the success. Remember that the onus will be on you to maintain effective communication and results if you're granted this opportunity.
If your request is rejected, ask your manager what you can do on your end to have the company reconsider such an arrangement. Ask if there's a time frame in which you should follow up. During that waiting period, continue to gather more ammunition to support your case. This may include articles on successful flexible benefits offered by your company's competitors or testimonials from people in similar positions who benefit from such arrangements.
In the coming weeks on "Good Morning America," we'll continue to tackle this issue with specific strategies and solutions for women in all lines of work. Be sure to tune in for those segments.
To connect directly with Tory Johnson or for other information on career advancement, visit www.womenforhire.com