This week’s guest blog comes from The Step Up Club, founded by career experts Alice Olins and Phanella Mayall Fine. The modern voice of women’s careers, The Step Up Club is unique for its blend of practical careers hacks and long lasting emotional support.
Put your hands up if you enjoy negotiation? No hands in the air? We thought so. There are very few of us who revel in the thought of striding into a work situation that involves the request for more money, a stonking bonus, or a deserved promotion.
So first of all, know that you are not alone. Second, know that women generally struggle more with negotiation. Yes, this is gender stereotyping, but it’s also a proven fact. Women have to dig deeper to get what we want, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be awesome negotiators.
Here is our five point rule book to get what you want at work.
1. BELIEVE IN YOUR WORTH: Before you even enter the negotiation ring, stop and believe that you deserve this. Research salaries for your role (recruiters, colleagues, Vault.com are all great sources) then mentally accept your worth. Next, have the confidence to nudge the top of the range.
2. WRITE IT DOWN: Literally enter your negotiation meeting with a set of notes. You need ammunition for your request: sales figures, successful projects, client feedback. No one can argue with black and white facts, plus your notes will help you stay focused and unemotional.
3. ASSERTIVE v AGGRESSIVE: Assertive is good. It’s what makes people take note of your request. But, too often we conflate assertive with aggressive. Regain the confidence to assert yourself and people will start to listen.
4. POWER OF BODY LANGUAGE: Confidence doesn’t just come from within. It also arises from how we position ourselves. With this in mind, always place your feet flat on the floor, shoulders back, sit tall and look your boss in the eye. This stance will make you feel more powerful and will make others see you as more commanding too.
5. KNOW YOUR FALL BACK POSITION: Negotiation works best when you ask for the whole package. Yes you want to be paid more, but what about holiday, pension and insurance? This approach also gives you some leeway to give in a little on the points that aren’t as vital to you, so that both sides feels that they’ve won in the end. However, make sure you know your fall-back position. What’s the least you’ll feel happy accepting? When you have a hard fall-back (written down – see above), you will stand firmer and will be more likely to leave the room with the result that’s right for you.