By Anita Bruzzese
Whether you’re interviewing for a new job, hoping for a pay raise at your current job or working on moving into semi-retirement; you’re not going to get what you really want from your employer unless you learn to use proven, effective negotiation methods.
Here are a few tips from some of the best negotiators:
It’s Important to Speak First When Proposing What You Want to Your Employer
When you propose something to your employer, like a pay raise, be sure to speak first. This gives you an advantage, what professional negotiators call an “anchor”. Your spoken request is like dropping an anchor on the table, it’s the point at which your negotiation with your employer begins. If you instead let your employer be the first to speak about or propose an amount for your pay raise, it may be less than what you want. This will then make it more difficult for you to negotiate the pay raise you truly desire.
Be Specific About What You Want From Your Employer
Research shows it’s better to be specific when negotiating with your employer because it makes you seem more knowledgeable and confident. You do not want to come across wishy washy and uncertain. For Example:
If you are negotiating a pay increase:
Do Say: “I would like to request a pay raise of $5,024 a year”
Don’t Say: “I would like about $5,000 or so more a year”
If you are negotiating semi-retirement:
Do Say: “My plan is to become semi-retired and work reduced hours beginning Sept. 22”
Don’t Say: “My plan is to become semi-retired sometime this year.”
Have the Right Mindset When Negotiating with Your Employer
It’s important to stay focused on your ideal goal when entering into negotiations with your employer. When you define your goal make sure that meeting that goal will put you in a better position at your place of employment.
Before you begin a negotiation with your employer, list everything you hope to accomplish in your negotiation and how it will benefit you. Refuse to allow negative thoughts about “what could go wrong with your negotiation” enter your mind.
It's estimated that women who fail to negotiate their pay in the early days of their careers end up losing out on about $2 million in pay over their work lives. So even if you don’t obtain the goal of your negotiation with your employer it is much better to be disappointed than to have not tried to negotiate at all.
Seek More from Your Employer - Nibbling Pays Off
Once you have achieved a goal by negotiating with your employer, such as working from home three days a week, there is no reason you should not seek more. Be thoughtful of your employer and don’t’ overwhelm them with requests but do “nibble” at seeking more. For example, you might say, “I want to let you know I have been using my personal mobile phone quite a bit for business purposes. Would it be possible to receive some reimbursement for those expenses?” When you get that approval, you might also add: “Oh, it would also be so helpful to be able to hire a virtual assistant to keep my calendar when I’m on the road this year….” Remember: If you don’t ask for something, you won’t get it.
Avoid Being Empathetic During Workplace Negotiations
Women often are seen as having keen emotional intelligence, which includes being empathetic. Such traits are becoming more valued in the workplace, but women need to learn to set their empathy aside when they’re in the midst of business negotiations.
Research shows that while it’s important to be able to clearly understand the other person at the negotiating table, it’s not a good idea to feel sympathy or compassion for that person. In other words, you want to understand the person’s perspective – but not cave into feeling empathy as that reduces your ability to achieve your desired outcome. Stay focused and objective.
Finally, it’s a good idea to practice your negotiating strategy with a trusted friend or family member so you can eliminate any weak points. Remember to be confident – and go for what you want in the workplace!
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