Some people are born negotiators. When it comes to buying a car, for example, I get my game face on — negotiating the price is an Olympic sport, and I go in to win.
My son has definitely inherited some of those tendencies. Sunday was Independence Day (happy belated Fourth, everyone!), and my neighborhood had a terrific block party with barbecue, games, and of course fireworks galore. My five-year-old was on a mission to see exactly how many treats he could successfully lobby for on this special occasion, from ice cream to cupcakes and lollipops, since he knows I'm usually a one-treat-per-day mom. By the end of the night, he passed out in a sugar-induced food coma. (We both knew who won that battle — and it wasn't me.)
Then again, there are other people who recoil at the mere thought of having to negotiate almost anything, especially something as critically important as a salary. Reasons (admitted or otherwise) range from not wanting to appear rude or selfish, to not knowing what to ask for or how to ask for it, and sheer fear of hearing the word “No,” just for starters.
The irony is that many of us – especially women – will absolutely go to the mattresses to fight for what they believe someone else needs and deserves, but can't find it in themselves to put the same fervor, passion, conviction and skill set into negotiating on behalf of themselves!
That's why this week's podcast is unique — rather than interviewing a senior leader or technical expert, we're sharing a case study of someone who rose to the occasion and successfully negotiated her own salary and compensation package for a new job beyond what she ever thought was possible.
Lydia was offered a role at a new company that she was extremely excited about, with a good compensation package, which she accepted over the phone. What she didn't expect was for her current employer to counter-offer with a more-than-competitive salary raise. She really did want the new role, but had already verbally accepted their original offer, so she didn't think negotiation was an option, and had resigned herself to taking the job with a now-less-exciting package.
Tune in to hear how Lydia's mindset shifted from fear and overwhelm to a win-win state, how she learned to think outside the proverbial box and find alternative creative solutions, how she framed the conversation from a position of diplomacy and strength, and what she actually got as her new package.
What's more, the HR manager actually commended her for having both the courage and ability to ask for what she really wanted. What does THAT tell you?
Naturally, the strategies, skills and mindset shifts Lydia shares are applicable to many more situations than simply salary negotiation.
In the spirit of the season, ask yourself: how will learning to flex this “muscle”, find your courage and develop your negotiating skills set YOU free?
Where have you felt “stuck”? Where did you think the door was closed or that “they'd never negotiate something like that,” so you didn't even BOTHER asking, assuming they'd simply say no, so you rejected yourself FOR them?
Or perhaps you were willing to negotiate, but your approach missed the mark and the conversation did not go at all as you expected. What might have worked better? Listen for new options you may never have considered.
Imagine the possibilities!