Consider at Least Three Solutions
Many people make the mistake of looking at a situation with an “either/or” lens. Instead, refocus on finding a solution to your problem by offering at least three alternatives. This may include some out-of-the-box thinking, but you’ll have much more leverage with some fresh ideas by your side. For example, if you’re asking for a raise, consider asking for:
1. An opportunity to increase training and acquire new skills
2. A chance to take on a new set of responsibilities as a trial period
3. A chance to work with your boss to redefine your position
These are all alternatives to simply getting a salary increase, and will show your boss that you truly care about growth with the company and that you deserve the raise.
Consider the Other Person’s Time
If you know they’re a quick decision maker, use this to your advantage by choosing an opportune moment. Scheduling a long conference call or meeting probably won’t help you move your case along.
Show that you Understand
Put yourself in the other person’s shoes, and let them know that you’re doing it. This is one of the best interpersonal skills you can develop, and will help the other party see that you are on their side.
Keep your Emotions out of It
It’s hard to negotiate when you are caught up in an emotional tidal wave; ask for time to think things over if you need to, and avoid saying something you may regret later. Disengaging your emotions from a situation can be difficult, but the extra steps to manage this will help you get ahead.
Don’t Believe Everything
In many cases, you’ll be tripped up with white lies and discrepancies. It’s important to read between the lines and be sensitive about details. Look for incongruent messages and use this to your advantage!
Don’t Show your Cards
Pretending like you don’t care too much is a skill you can develop by playing poker, and it is a valuable bluffing move for when you’re negotiating an important deal. Still, there’s a fine balance between being nonchalant and showing interest; work on creating calm, but focused attention.
Get Some Resources
Pick up some persuasive speaking and negotiation books, as a guide. These can give you some real-world examples that will help you in many life situations.
Getting what you want may involve some strategy and planning, but keep in mind that over-thinking a situation won’t help you. Working with other people to arrive at a solution is the best way to create a win-win situation. Negotiate with a shared goal in mind, and you’ll be setting yourself up for success