Over the years I have had clients who take to salary negotiation like a Tribute to clean water. But there are many people who just don’t think they can do it.
Have any of these taken residence in your mind?
- I’m good at my job and they know it. I’ll get a raise because of my contributions.
- When I deserve a raise I’ll get it.
- “Negotiating” feels too aggressive.
- It’ll jeopardize my relationship with my boss.
- They’re good about the time I take off for family/medical condition/career development; I don’t want to be greedy.
- In this economy, I’m lucky to even have a job.
- I’m looking for a better paying job, so I don’t need the raise.
- If I negotiate for a higher salary, they’ll just go with another candidate. I can’t risk it.
- I just couldn’t do that.
- I’m too shy.
- I'm so filthy rich I don't need a raise. <--If this is you, consider this the end of my post.
There are so many mental barriers to getting what we deserve. The thing about mental barriers, though? It’s only us getting in our own way. It's fixable!
Am I an Introvert? Quiz Here.
However, introverts like Miss Everdeen have many negotiating skills to bring to the table. There is enough proof to make a strong argument for shy types being even better at negotiating than their more vocal coworkers.
Factoid: Various studies put the percentage of introverts between 25-50%. (Take-away message: We need better tools for studying this.)
When you think salary negotiations, do you think "in-your-face" aggression? Does it seem like something you’d never be able to do with authenticity?
It might surprise you to know the most effective negotiators are calm, friendly, and good with people. It truly is something anyone can do. If you come armed with knowledge and the introvert-type skills below, you’ll see it’s not impossible. In fact, when it’s done I bet you’ll be saying, “That was easy.”
Introvert Strengths Everyone Can Use When Negotiating
1. Listening skills—Introverts are interested in hearing what others have to say and tend to interrupt less. When you take the time to really hear what is being said to you, you’ll have a much better sense of the person. When it comes to asking your boss for a raise, this skill can help you to strengthen that relationship by highlighting things that will benefit both of you.
2. Attention to Detail—One of the most important aspects of salary negation is making a case for that raise/higher starter salary. This skill will increase your awareness of both the requirements of the job and how your strengths meet, and exceed, this need.
3. Knowing the Bigger Picture—Fight the impulse to hone in on a detail or two, instead, step back and see how you are a valuable piece of the whole. What will you do to benefit the company in exchange for the raise (and promotion if applicable)? If you can lay that puzzle out in your meeting and by the end present that last, crucial piece—you—you may find that the boss is thanking you for taking the raise.
4. Self-Understanding—You must understand your strengths, your weaknesses, and be able to talk about them.
When you ask for a raise, you often open the door for the boss to spit out criticism he’s been holding back. Maybe this is something you knew about yourself, maybe it isn't. Maybe it’s far from the truth. Whichever it is, being able to dig deep and see yourself with an open mind will help you to respond effectively.
You could agree that it’s true and that you’ll do X to remedy the challenge. Kick it up a notch by asking to schedule a day to check in and see if you both agree you’re making progress.
Categorically not true? Then make a case for who you really are with specificity—use examples.
Or, thank the boss and open a discussion about how you can work together on the challenge.
Be prepared: Have a working knowledge of your many strengths. Make that one concern invisible by comparison.
5. Strong Interpersonal Connections—Listening is one of the greatest gifts we can give to another human being (says the counselor). If you want to have a strong relationship, listen to your boss. Understand her. When it's time to discuss salary, you’ll know how to approach it and make the proper appeal to reach your boss. Your work is a contribution to the projects, but your personality is a contribution to the environment.
Employees who are easy to spend time with make the supervisor’s life considerably easier. Especially those who can be diplomatic, aware of themselves yet willing to compromise.
6. Ability to Thoroughly Explore and Understand the Issues—Who better to make a case for a raise than the person who is aware of the issues and has spent time thinking of solutions. The salary negotiation meeting is the perfect time to talk about the problems you’ve solved and the things you’d still like to improve.
If you really consider the project, searching for areas to improve and have already started making changes, your value to the team can be translated into salary dollars.
During the meeting, take another page from the introvert manual—take your time. Think before you respond, when needed. If the negotiation isn't going well and you know you need more time, ask for it. Well-reasoned, well-thought arguments are hard to shoot down.
And if none of this works, maybe it’s time to nock an arrow.
Figuratively, of course.
How Much Should I Be Earning?
A guide for coming armed to interviews/raise negotiations with the knowledge of what you should be making. Source:U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
1. Book: Coaching Career Clients on Salary and Other Workplace Negotiations (Directed at career counselors, this book is a well written, thorough guide to the steps and emotional processes of negotiating.)
2. Links by Salary Negotiation Topic
Source: Karen Chopra, Career Counselor