Dallas Image Coach on The Art of Negotiating
If you grew up with the messages that little girls are demanding and big girls need to lower their expectations, then negotiating may be an area of struggle for you. Getting past these demeaning messages will help you gain the confidence you need to learn how to negotiate well. Notice, I didn’t say that it would give you confidence to require all that you want from others – failing to know how to compromise is not part of the art of negotiating.
According to the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary, ‘Negotiate’ means “to discuss something formally in order to make an agreement.: to agree on (something) by formally discussing it.” It includes leveraging various items, ideas, or skills in exchange for ‘something else’. What skills do you have to use for leveraging a higher pay or better package? What accomplishments can you list? What credentials or expertise have you earned?
Carrie Hammer, in a recent Huffington Post article, provides what she considers the 3 most important tips during salary negotiations. Click on her name to read the article. Her first point is to NEVER accept the first offer. This can rub against the grain of the ‘Pleaser’, so if this step scares you, give yourself permission to not please those who sell you short…who want you to reduce your value and want you to give everything you’ve got…by raising your commitment to speaking up for yourself.
Negotiating is an action that helps all parties clarify expectations – it isn’t about them not playing nice. It isn’t an argument. It is about creating an agreement. If you don’t speak up during this part of the relationship then you are the one not playing fair – and showing up as a little girl in business will hurt you, along with the rest of us. Role play with someone you trust to get sharper at leveraging your knowledge and skills.
Carrie’s second point is to get EVERYTHING in writing. Great advice. The longer I am in business the more I value those who will sit across the desk from me…toe to toe…eye to eye…and create a relationship built on clear agreements. At the onset of any valuable relationship, knowing what the other party wants from me is imperative to my ability to collaborate well with them. Likewise, I have to know what I want from them as vague requests get no action. Writing it all out serves as a reminder to everyone and it can be read any time of day, any day of the week, and years from now. The fantasy agreements we create in our minds do not produce real, tangible results.
Her final point focuses on the dream: to DOUBLE your salary or raise. Learning how to negotiate causes you to be accountable for knowing what you really want. Say it out loud in front of the mirror REPEATEDLY. So you can see how you are making the request. Do you feel silly? Do you giggle or blush? Keep practicing. Do you look convincing? Do you look calm, scared – or threatening? Practice stating your request in a calm, confident tone of voice with facial expressions that match. Have your favorite music playing while you practice and listen to it before you make the actual request so you are in a positive state of mind in order to lift your energy so you can negotiate out of strength. Dress up to increase your confidence and keep it professional.
It’s really not an option. If you don’t opt in, then, the cycle will continue just as it has for Mary Barra, new CEO of GM, whose pay is less than the outgoing CEO, Dan Akerson. Read the article by Paul Eisenstein.
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