Salary Negotiation Specifically
First, let’s acknowledge that negotiation at work, whether it’s when you get an offer and you are negotiating salary or before a review cycle, is not something that begins at that exact moment. It’s something you’ve been working toward throughout the interview or throughout the previous year before having that conversation with your boss about compensation. Rapport and relationships are the foundation of negotiations. By using the techniques we’ve gone over in this series, you can learn a lot about who you’re dealing with, what’s important to them, and possibly even how to influence them. Rather than being self-centered, you want to be and come across as we-centered, team-centered, or company-centered.
So how do you make yourself valuable to an organization?
One way is to ask “How” questions. For example, in an interview or even on the job ask your boss a question like: ”How can I be involved in the strategic projects that are critical to the future of the company?” You’ve asked a great “how” question. It’s very deferential, and instantly you transform yourself into someone who wants to guarantee their future. Two things happen. They love that and they want to pay you more because they want to retain you. You’re not just there to get a paycheck and do the minimum and go home. You’re there looking out for the entire team. It’s an incredibly strong message.
It’s worth noting that there are careers where salary negotiation doesn’t happen. In childhood education (elementary school and high school), in law, and firms that hire a large number of college or professional-school graduates into entry-level positions tend to offer standard packages and avoid negotiating with new recruits. Also, there are specific companies who have banned negotiation and in these environments where they are banning negotiation, they will let you know ahead of time how they handle it. In most cases, there is always room to negotiate. There is an expectation that you will negotiate.
In addition to this negotiation guide, we have another article “When you Should Think Twice About Salary Negotiation” here.
Market Value Salary
Before getting into negotiation around salary, make sure you do a market analysis and consider the company itself and what it can sustain. This is a very important aspect of salary negotiation best practices that cannot be left out. The market value salary is the amount of money that an employee should be paid for their position, based on the current market conditions. This number is usually determined by looking at similar positions within the same industry and geographical location.
Confidence, Presence, and Body Language
Suggestions show that body language makes up more than 60% of what we communicate. People offer non-verbal communication through micro-expressions, posture, gestures, physical behaviors, and eye-glazing. When involved in the negotiation, we should be aware of the other person’s range of communication including body language. And likewise, we need to be aware of ourselves and how we are coming across.
Here are a few negotiation tips:
- Show up on time
- Be ready with a firm, friendly handshake
- Stay aware of your own body language
Try to make sure that your body language reflects the positive connection and rapport you’re building. Take care not to frown or wrinkle your forehead worryingly and take the opportunity to smile and nod in agreement whenever possible. Keep your chin up, show positivity, and keep your eyes level. Remember, the other person will be looking to see if your physical gestures mirror your words–keep your body language both open and positive.
A few additional points:
- Keep your arms calm and open.
- Don’t cross your arms or legs.
- Keep your hands away from your face.
- Maintain a nice verbal pace. Speak calmly.
- Listen closely to the other person and use the mirroring we discussed earlier in the series.
- Keep your posture positive and confident. Shoulder back, chest open.
In her book Presence and in her TED talk (which incidentally is the second most popular TED talk in all of TED talk history), Harvard professor Amy Cuddy discusses how “through accessing our personal power, we can achieve “presence,” the state in which we stop worrying about the impression we’re making on others and instead adjust the impression we have been making on ourselves.” In other words, what we think about ourselves matters and becomes part of our presence. We don’t need to achieve the greatest heights to feel good about ourselves and show strong executive presence, instead, we need to “nudge ourselves” moment by moment, by tweaking our body language, behavior, and mindset in our day-to-day lives.”
Power Posing During Salary Negotiation
Cuddy revealed through scientific research that the way we carry ourselves not only is a part of our communication with the people around us, but it also has a strong effect on our own self-image. Studies show that our body language physically changes the testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain hormones that affect the way that we feel. Cuddy explains that by practicing “power posing” (by standing in a confident posture) we affect our mindset, and this makes us feel more confident. So, this is something that you can do before negotiation or before any important conversation or meeting.
Negotiation is Necessary
There are many situations that require negotiation. In fact, you cannot overstate the importance of negotiation. This negotiation guide covered a number of topics for your consideration. Negotiation holds the key to getting ahead in the workplace, resolving conflicts, and creating value in contracts.
We hope that this negotiation guide can help you feel more confident with negotiation but also give you reasons and techniques to practice again and again. These salary negotiation best practices are sure to set you up for success if you follow them. Also, remember that our award-winning coaches at Ignite offer a 25–30-minute free phone session. These phone sessions can further build on this negotiation guide. Click here to schedule this through our website by clicking any of the coaches’ photos.