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How do you feel about negotiating for yourself?

Do you feel nervous going into a negotiation? Never seem to get what you want? Or maybe you’re not even sure how to start negotiating for yourself.


We are often pretty good at negotiating for others but when it comes to doing the same for ourselves? Sometimes that’s a bit trickier!


From getting a pay rise at work to finding the best deal on a dream holiday, negotiation is an important part of life. It can be hard to know where to begin or who holds all of the power when it comes down to making decisions and getting what we really want. Whether you're leading a business or simply looking for ways to get ahead in life, this blog post will give you insight into how to negotiate for yourself. So it's time to learn some tips and tricks that can enhance your negotiation skills, making any decision-making situation easier and far more successful.



Establish what you want and why you are entitled to it

Understanding what you want and why you deserve it is an essential aspect of achieving your goals. Whether you're striving for that promotion at work or dreaming of your next big adventure, taking time to establish your desires and identify the reasons why you are entitled to them can help you stay focused and motivated. Perhaps you've put in the work at the office and demonstrated your abilities to the business, or maybe you've saved diligently and researched extensively to plan your next trip. Whatever your aspirations, recognising your worth and having faith in your abilities is key to making them a reality. By setting your sights on what you truly want and believing in your right to have it, you can cultivate the confidence and determination needed to succeed.


Research the topic before negotiating

When it comes to negotiating, knowledge is power. And what better knowledge to arm yourself with than knowing what the current market rate is for what you'll be discussing? Researching beforehand can give you a good sense of what you should be aiming for and what's reasonable to expect. It also helps you avoid low offers or being taken advantage of. Think of it as doing your homework before a big exam - you want to be well-prepared and confident going in. So take the time to do your research, and you'll be better equipped to negotiate effectively, have a number or outcome in mind and don’t be afraid to state it up front.


Think about how you start your negotiation

When it comes to getting the discussion started, you can put that research and preparation to good use. Articulating why you deserve that pay rise is not only important for your confidence but will help the other party understand why it's important to them, so instead of starting with 'I'd like to discuss a pay rise' start with more of a statement such as 'I have been doing some research about what the market is paying for roles that are delivering the impact I am currently delivering and I'd like to discuss the timeframes for a salary increase to recognise my impact in the business', it's subtle difference but has a different psychological impact on the person you are talking to and changes the conversation dynamic and again, don’t be afraid to be really clear about your expectations, if you put a number on the discussion or say the outcome you are looking for first, the other party knows where they need to get to and the gap they need to negotiate (or not) and will more often than not start the negotiation a bit closer to what you want than they would have done otherwise.


Talk about the advantages of what you're asking for

There will always be some advantages for both sides in a negotiation so don't forget to emphasise the advantages of what you're asking for. After all, who wouldn't want to know about the benefits to them? Whether it's requesting a pay rise, a day off work, or even just a favour from a friend, highlighting the advantages can make all the difference. Not only does it make your request more convincing and compelling, but it also shows that you've done your research and know exactly what you're asking for. For example, if your organisation can charge more for your time when you get promoted, make sure you highlight that benefit in your discussion.


Make sure your requests are realistic and achievable

When you're asking for something, it's important to make sure your request is realistic and achievable but don't undersell yourself. You don't want to set yourself or others up for failure, which is why the research part is so critical to understand what's actually feasible given the circumstances. Depending on what you're asking for, consider factors like scheduling, resources, and capabilities and if possible have a strategy for dealing with them, so that if or when you get that challenge you are prepared with a response. This way, you can set yourself up for success and avoid disappointment. Keep in mind that sometimes compromise may be needed when it comes to requesting things; so consider what you're willing to give up in order to achieve your ultimate goals but only compromise if you are happy to do so.


Know when to walk away from an offer and when to accept it

Knowing when to walk away from an offer and when to accept it can be tricky. It's like balancing on a tightrope - one wrong step and you could fall. Sometimes it's easy to just say yes to an offer because you're afraid of missing out on an opportunity. But other times, saying no is the best decision you can make for yourself. It's important to weigh the pros and cons of what’s on offer before making a decision, but also the pros and cons of doing nothing too and remember that there will always be other opportunities. Ultimately, you should trust your gut and do what feels right for you. Don't be afraid to say no if it doesn't align with your values or goals. After all, it's better to walk away and keep looking for the right fit, than to accept an offer that doesn't fulfil you or make you feel valued.


Stay calm and collected during negotiations - don't give in to emotional outbursts

I know it sounds easy to say that because negotiations can be daunting, but it's important to stay calm and collected during the process. Emotions can cloud judgement and lead to poor decision making. Keep a focus on the end goal and try to remain level-headed throughout the discussion. Avoid giving in to confrontational behaviour, as this can escalate the situation and make it harder to reach a resolution. Take a deep breath, listen carefully and respond thoughtfully, if you need some time to consider the offer, then take the time. It's absolutely fine to say 'ok I need to take this away and consider it' if you are not happy or unsure, try not to get pushed into making an immediate decision, give yourself time to mull it over or talk to someone you trust. By approaching negotiations with a clear head and taking time if you need it, you'll be better equipped to make informed decisions and achieve the outcome you're looking for.

Negotiating requires good communication, a little bit of knowledge, and making sure to keep your cool. There are many techniques that you can use when negotiating - establishing what you want and why you are entitled to it, researching the market rate before negotiating, talking about the advantages of what you're asking for, making sure your requests are realistic and achievable, knowing when to walk away from an offer, and etc. No two negotiations may be alike but following the tips mentioned earlier will certainly put you in a better place when it comes down to getting what you want or need. So go ahead and make sure to negotiate confidently without fear nor hesitation!

What are your best tips for negotiating? Let me know in the comments!

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