At some point in every employee’s career, he or she will have to negotiate for something. It could be for a raise or just an extra day off – whatever it is, they’ll have to go up against a more experienced Company. Fortunately, there are a few things any employee can do to have a more successful negotiation process.
Do Your Research
A good negotiation doesn’t come from a place of emotion – it comes from a place of rationality. If you want something, stop and do your research. Figure out if the thing you want – a raise, more time off, a new title – is something that is commonly offered in the industry. If you want a raise, see what your peers are making. Make sure that you know what’s going on elsewhere so you can present realistic arguments.
Know What Works
It might sound obvious, but it’s a fantastic idea to know what your company can and cannot provide. If you are in the midst of a wage freeze, for example, it’s probably not the best idea to go in asking for a raise. What CNN recommends, though, is to push for things your know that your company can provide. If you push for something you know is reasonable, like a fairly low-key perk, it’s very likely that your boss will be able to provide it. It might not be exactly what you want, but it might be something that you need.
Know How to Control the Space
One of the most important aspects of a negotiation is control. When you negotiate with your boss or with HR, it’s hard for you to feel in control. There are, however, things you can do to set the pace. Make sure that you show up early, for example – it makes the other party feel like you were waiting on them. Make sure that you open with the first word and that you guide the conversation. The more control you take, the better you’ll be able to meet your own targets.
Know When to Stay and When to Walk
Perhaps the most important aspect of negotation, according to Forbes, is knowing what you need to accept and knowing when you need to walk away. Think of a negotiation a bit like gambling – you should know exactly how much you need to win to stop and how much you need to lose to walk away from the table. If your boss accepts your ideal offer, don’t keep pushing. If you are lowballed, though, you should know that it’s time to pack up and start looking for a new job.
Negotiation is a process of doing your research, knowing what you want, and knowing when to walk away from the table. Go into negotiations in good faith and you’ll stand a chance of getting what you want. With time and effort, you can turn any negotiating opportunity into a career-changing process.