With the power of negotiation, you can get almost anything you want in life. Including a raise. But most people are intimidated by the thought of asking for more money from their boss or have no idea how to approach the situation.
That’s why Vanessa Van Edwards says the trick is to see negotiation as a “fun challenge” instead of as a necessary evil. Once you see negotiation as a game, you open yourself up to the idea that becoming a good negotiator is a skill that can be learned. Edwards, a published author, self-described “human behavior hacker” and lead investigator at Science of People, discusses her science-backed strategies for successful negotiation in her upcoming Creative Live class, The Power of Negotiation. Check out some of her tips on how to negotiate salary and start becoming a better negotiator today:
1.) Make a list highlighting your contributions
Learning how to negotiate salary for your recent job offer, or the raise you deserve, requires thinking like your boss. Why would your boss want to give you more money unless you can prove that you deserve it? So prove it. Before you set up a meeting with the boss, make a list of the important, impactful things you have achieved for the company in the past and are working on currently. Write down your goals within the company. Highlight what makes you different from your coworkers—what do you bring to the company that they cannot? What makes you an asset? Put together a portfolio to present to your boss during the meeting. Have a negotiation meeting rehearsal with a friend to practice your talking points and body language.
2.) Meet on a sunny day
Speaking of timing, check out the weather forecast before you set the meeting date. Negotiating on a sunny, pleasant day is good for everyone’s mood, and studies show that people tend to be more generous in good weather.
3.) Do your boss a favor
Edwards says you can boost your chances of looking good in the eyes of your boss by doing him or her a favor before your negotiation meeting. Studies have shown that someone who has received a favor is more likely to feel a need to return that favor. Time your favor accordingly, and your boss will be more open to your salary requests.
4.) Get yourself psyched up
Striding into the meeting with confidence can get you off to a great start. If you’re feeling nervous or scared of not getting what you want, your boss will likely pick up on those vibes. To get yourself into the right mindset, put on your favorite power poses (like the Wonder Woman pose!) in the morning before you leave for work. Do them in the elevator on the way up to the office and in front of the bathroom mirror right before your meeting.
5.) Use the right body language
Did you know that about 60 percent of our everyday communication is non-verbal? During the meeting, you want to convey that you are trustworthy, highly capable and professional. Edwards, who is an expert in body language, recommends keeping your hands over the table instead of underneath, which can make you look less trustworthy. Lean in when you are making strong points—this helps to emphasize what you are saying. But after you’ve presented your points and are attentively listening to your boss’s response, don’t lean back. Leaning away from the table and your boss makes it appear that you are disengaged or even nervous. Don’t forget that you should also be reading your boss’s body language to anticipate your next move. For example, if you see crossed arms (a negative sign) while you’re going over your talking points, it’s time to shift gears. And if possible, seat yourself at an angle to your boss, not right across from him or her. It’s a discussion—not a confrontation.
Negotiation is really just a game that anyone can learn to play. But be sure take your preparation seriously so you can finally stand up for what you deserve. RSVP today for Vanessa’s upcoming class on The Power of Negotiation on April 20th at 9 AM PST.