The workplace is essentially a second home. Many of us spend a large portion of our weekly hours at our jobs alongside coworkers with whom we share meals, seek advice and inevitably form friendships.
While a polished resume can get you pretty far, there are certain aspects to the workplace that are left entirely up to you: pay, growth, benefits, etc. When it comes to the shinier parts of having a job, much of the time you must execute the power of negotiation in order to get what you want. And let’s face it; this isn’t exactly the most comfortable part of having a job. Thus, it is important to stay brushed up on your negotiation skills if you hope to get the most out of your position within a company. Although there are more specific approaches depending on whether you’re negotiating as a man or a woman, here are 5 ways to strengthen your workplace negotiation skills no matter who you are.
The best way to begin this process is to carve out time for yourself to really sit down and reflect. Clear your head and approach this situation from a well-versed standpoint. What is it that you’re negotiating? What part of this is not meeting your standards? What do you really hope to gain out of this situation? This conversation should be unique to who you are and what you hope to achieve from it. If you’re hoping to use someone else’s words or experience to better your own situation, it will not only feel inauthentic, but it will probably not get you anywhere. Reflect on where your situation is lacking and why this isn’t meeting your standards. Find a way to communicate this in a calm but confident manner that comes directly from you.
Do your research. Look elsewhere for reliable numbers and statistics based on what you’re negotiating. For example, if you’re asking for a pay increase, more paid vacation, a better benefits package, or anything else that would be considered an advancement, research that of those around you. Find out exactly how much the average person in your position is getting paid, how much time they have off, or what sort of benefits they’re receiving. Having a solid, tangible bit of research to use to back your case is going to be a inarguable.
- Be Specific
Once you’ve done your research, apply it to your situation. Do you want a 3k salary increase? Do you want another week of paid vacation? Would you like dental insurance? If you’re going to have this conversation, you need to be specific in what it is you’re asking for. You’d be doing yourself a huge disservice if you initiate a conversation to negotiate the things you want but remain broad in the ways you’ll be satisfied. Unfortunately, our bosses are not mind readers; if they were, we wouldn’t have to have these conversations at all. Be upfront about what you want.
Give yourself time to practice. Actively speak, out loud, the things you want to say during your conversation. One way to do this is to sit down with a friend, a colleague, or a loved one and practice having this conversation. They can give you feedback on what works and what doesn’t, and they can also role play scenarios that might throw you off a bit. If you don’t want to involve someone else, try saying the words to yourself and listen to how they sound. When you can get these words out into the atmosphere, it will help you formulate the way to negotiate that feels the most natural to you.
- Know Your Worth
Above everything else, know your worth. Acknowledge yourself for your skills, experience, and effort in all that you’ve done up to this point, according to Negotiations Training Institute. If you don’t truly believe that you deserve the things you’re asking for, no one else will either. Honor yourself for your hard work and set standards for what you need to feel balanced in your workplace.
Remember that having these conversations doesn’t have to be a battle. If your employer is not willing to give you what you’re asking for, know that you have the ability to move on. Otherwise, speak from an assertive but respectful place.