Getting Psyched Up to Negotiate in 2017

When you are getting ready to ask for something at work, a raise, a promotion, credit for your work, etc., it helps if you feel confident.

The new Secret Deodorant commercial hits this spot on. It shows a young woman practicing her pitch in front of the bathroom mirror, trying different openings, asking for a raise, among other things.

Secret Deodorant Ad

Of course, the ad is trying to say that if you wear Secret deodorant you will be prepared. The truth is - you do need to prepare for a workplace negotiation and it goes beyond your deodorant. 

Here are some good preparation steps you can take to get ready to make the ask. 

  1. Really know what you want - what are you hoping to get out of this conversation and what are you flexible on. You can't get what you want if you don't know what you want. So do some thinking about what is important to you an your priorities.
  2. Gather as much information as you can. If you are asking for a raise, figure out what the salary ranges are for the role. If you want a promotion, come prepared with results of your work. Use what you know about who you are negotiating with to truly prepare for the conversation.
  3. Get psyched up - it is not easy to walk into your bosses office and ask for something. This is hard for everyone and women do get penalized more than men for negotiating. However, the more confident and powerful you feel, the better it will go. Practicing in the mirror, as in the ad, or role play with a friend. These tactics are great confidence boosters.
  4. Stick with it - you may not get the answer you want right away, but keep at it. Bring possible solutions and get creative. If you hear a no, ask follow up questions - like "when is a good time" or "help me understand the evaluation criteria" or "what do I need to work on to move up in this organization". 

What preparation do you do to get psyched up to negotiate at work?






Negotiating salary isn't the only workplace negotiation you should worry about

At almost every conference or workshop we run, we are always a bit dismayed to hear how many women think that negotiating salary is what negotiation is about. Pay is, of course, important. But to focus on pay, at the expense of all other considerations is foolish. 

Your entire package, salary, benefits, work schedule, work assignments, time off, teammates, how you will be measured, potential for promotions, and many other things are all important to a successful and rewarding job and are all also negotiable. 

By focusing solely on salary, you miss an opportunity to find important trades and a full package that is a win-win for you and the company. The best negotiations are those where multiple options are on the table and both parties are able to make trade offs based on their own value system and what is possible. 

Interestingly, the pay wage gap has less to do with women not negotiating about salary, and much more to do with women missing out on promotions along their career. Here's a recent research study that backs up this idea:  Gender Pay Gap Tied to Promotions

Next time you find yourself negotiating at work - think broader than salary and figure out what is really important to you, and ask for the whole package.