Owning Space like a Stallion

Two weeks ago, I had the great privilege of attending Amy Cuddy’s presentation at Harvard’s Training Negotiation Symposium. The presentation was titled “Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges.”

It was an expanded version of her TED talk on the positive impact of power posing. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out here.

The ultimate example of a high power pose is the victory pose of athletes winning first place.

by Yohei Kamiyama (Agence SHOT) ©

by Yohei Kamiyama (Agence SHOT) ©


Back straight, head slightly titled back, arms open wide in a V — the whole body expanded and taking up space. Researcher Jessica Tracy has found that all winning athletes do this, across genders, cultures and even abilities. Congenitally blind athletes, who have never seen the pose, take the pose at the moment of victory. This proves that nonverbal expression of power (and powerlessness) is innate and universal.

In the TED talk, Cuddy whittles down the wealth of research on nonverbal expressions into one simple actionable advice: Before a high stakes interaction, such as job interview, salary negotiation or big presentation, take two minutes privately to stand in power pose.

The iconic Wonder Woman pose, with feet apart, arms wide and hands planted on hips, is a good pose for this.

The iconic Wonder Woman pose, with feet apart, arms wide and hands planted on hips, is a good pose for this.

Doing this increases testosterone, the hormone associated with higher risk tolerance, assertion and confidence, by twenty percent. It decreases the stress hormone cortisol by twenty five percent.

The net effect is that you become more confident and calm, and thereby more present. The more present you are in a conversation without fear, the more competent and believable you are perceived. Cuddy’s suggestion is a small tweak that can result in big, positive outcomes for stressful interactions like interviews and negotiations.

At the heart of Cuddy’s message is that the body shapes the mind. Not only do nonverbal expressions convey a message to the other side, they also shape how we see and feel about ourselves.

At this presentation, Cuddy shared numerous stories, pictures and testimonials from various people in all walks of life who benefitted from power posing. There was one testimonial with an unexpected twist that I found especially moving.

It was from a horse trainer with a horse named Draumur (Icelandic for dream). She made a 2 minute video dedicated to Amy Cuddy:

Now picture this: a conference room full of negotiation trainers and experts, mostly grey-haired professors and executives dressed in tweed, khaki and wool, learning from the example of Draumur the horse.

An important aspect of learning to negotiate is learning to manage ourselves and overcoming internal barriers, which even animals learn to do with consistent effort and positive action.

I found this video compelling and emotional resonant. So much so that I had to pinch myself to keep tears from welling up in my eyes. I didn’t want to lose face in the company of Larry Susskind and Mike Wheeler.

The Training Negotiation Symposium was a wonderful event chock full of great insights into the latest negotiation pedagogy. And yet the most impactful, actionable takeaway for me was that I could pay better attention to my body language and posture. If I don’t pay attention, my natural inclination is to cave into myself. (Hunched shoulders and looking down is a classic low power pose. Low power poses have the inverse effect of high power poses, resulting in lower testosterone and higher cortisol, resulting in less confidence and more anxiety.)

Draumur’s story really drove home for me that I had agency in how I hold my body, how I perceive myself and thereby how others perceive me. Taking confident strides and owning my space not only signal competence to those around me, it also helps me become more confident, calm and present.

Owning space like a stallion is a step forward towards owning our negotiation prowess.

I practice taking confident strides with upright posture and chin up when I walk to work. What I’ve noticed, aside from ornate decorations on tops of buildings, is that so many people inadvertently trap themselves in low power poses because they are addicted to smartphones. We all know we shouldn’t, but so many of us walk and text.

Smartphones are really bad for our postures. The tendency is to look down while losing ourselves in the tiny screen, tapping or swiping for some sort of digitized validation or distractions in the form of likes, retweets or emails. Bad posture can lead to low power poses that lead to being perceived as less competent and less believable.

So here’s a simple, actionable negotiation advice. Next time you have to negotiate for yourself, put your smartphone away. Take two minutes to power pose, chin up. Own your space and be present. Engage your best self in the conversation.

Ask and Embrace No.

Amanda Palmer – busker bride, rock star, rabble rouser and author of “The Art of Asking” – took the words right out of my mouth.

Watch her TED talk.
“When you connect with people, people want to help you.”

From the book:

We ask each other, daily, for little things. A quarter for the parking meter. An empty chair in a cafe. A lighter. A lift across town. And we must all, at one point or another, ask for the more difficult things: A promotion. An introduction to a friend. An introduction to a book. A loan. An STD test. A kidney.

If I learned anything from the surprising resonance of my TED talk, it was this:

Everybody struggles with asking.

From what I’ve seen, it isn’t so much the act of asking that paralyzes us – it’s what lies beneath; the fear of being vulnerable, the fear of rejection, the fear of looking needy or weak. The fear of being seen as a burdensome member of the community instead of a productive one.

It points, fundamentally, to our separation from one another.

American culture in particular has instilled in us the bizarre notion that to ask for help amounts to an admission of failure. But some of the most powerful, successful, admired people in the world seem, to me, to have something in common: they ask constantly, creatively, compassionately, and gracefully.

And to be sure: when you ask, there’s always the possibility of a no on the other side of the request. If we don’t allow for that no, we’re not actually asking, we’re either begging or demanding. But it is the fear of the no that keeps so many of our mouths sewn tightly shut.

Often it is our own sense that we are undeserving of help that has immobilized us. Whether it’s in the arts, at work, or in our relationships, we often resist asking not only because we’re afraid of rejection but also because we don’t even think we deserve what we’re asking for. We have to truly believe in the validity of what we’re asking for — which can be incredibly hard work and requires a tight-rope walk above the doom-valley of arrogance and entitlement. And even after finding that balance, how we ask, and how we receive the answer — allowing, even embracing, the no — is just as important as finding that feeling of valid-ness.

Q&A: I’ve never negotiated for myself. How do I even begin with a recruiter?

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Hi Jamie,

I’ve had a tough time negotiating my salary throughout my career and still do. In the beginning, I didn’t even know it was possible to negotiate your own salary!

I began my career as a Receptionist with a salary that I later realized was lower than it should’ve been. This then hurt my next salary within the same organization as a Specialist which I (again!) later realized was lower than it should’ve and could’ve been. Due to budgetary cuts, they had to lay off their entire Support Team which unfortunately I was on. I then focused on completing my Masters Degree, graduated with honors, and took some time off. I started to brainstorm my next career move and have recently been making more connections that will allow me to become the successful professional I always visualized.

Just recently, I got the opportunity to talk with a recruiter which considered me for a second interview in person. He asked me what my desired salary was and this time I did my research and gave him a fair number. He said it was within the company’s range which I was glad to hear as we spoke over the phone. Now the question is..how do I secure this negotiation when I’m meeting with them in person?

I’m pretty nervous about it since it’s my first “second interview”, it’s the exact job I want with the salary that I need, I’m not sure if I have enough experience, and have a very difficult time being assertive and getting what I want when negotiating, especially when I’m under pressure mentally and financially.

What are your thoughts and recommendations?

Best,

Seeking a Better Opportunity

Dear Seeking,

You’ve taken the initiative to get an advanced degree, network, and look for a better paying job — I want to commend you for that. Knowing what you want and visualizing success are crucial steps before asking with confidence. And you’ve taken two big steps forward.

Here’s my advice to you. I wouldn’t worry too much about the face-to-face conversation with your recruiter. Instead, focus on getting a better understanding of this recruiter. In other words, use the opportunity to interview the recruiter and see if he is a good fit for your needs. You are interviewing the recruiter, just as the recruiter is interviewing you.

You have more power in this relationship than you realize, because the recruiter needs qualified candidates like you for him to make a commission. Generally, the hiring company pays the recruiter a percentage of your salary once you’ve been successfully hired.

The second interview is meant for you and the recruiter to check each other out. Most likely than not, this meeting won’t be the right time or place for you to secure a specific pay level for this job opportunity.

The recruiting process usually looks like this:

– either you or recruiter makes first contact about a potential job
– you and recruiter meet to discuss your resume and fit for that job
– recruiter discusses your candidacy with the company
– the recruiter passes along your resume / credentials / cover letter to the company
– the company decides whether to meet with you or pass
– if the company wants to meet with you, then recruiter arranges for an interview between you and the company
– there may be several rounds of interviews between you and company, all the while both you and the company report back to the recruiter about how the interview(s) went
– if there is a fit, company makes an offer through the recruiter
– if and when you have an offer in writing, then you may want to negotiate the salary and ask for more

So the recruiter acts as an intermediary throughout the interview and negotiation process. I’ve met some recruiters who were supportive of my salary requirements and willing to negotiate on my behalf. A high salary is in their interest as well, since they can take home a bigger cut once you’re hired.

Then there are recruiters who won’t be as supportive — who won’t go to bat for you. They are more incentivized to get someone hired fast and cheap so they can make a quick buck.

At the upcoming interview you may want to ask questions about the recruiter’s past experience working with candidates. Ask open-ended, diagnostic questions to learn about their working style, past successes, etc. An open-ended diagnostic question starts with who / what / when / how / why / where / when.

So some sample questions you can ask could be,
“Can you tell me more about how this process works and what your role will be?”
“What are the compensation policies of this company? What other perks and benefits are on the table that can be negotiated?”
“Have you worked with candidates who were looking to make a market rate adjustment for pay? If so, how successful were they? What was your role in the salary negotiation?”

As mentioned, you have power in this relationship and you can grow your bargaining power by cultivating BATNA (or Best Alternative to Negotiated Agreements). Basically what this means is: other options, recruiters, job opportunities or offers that you can pursue. If you have other options, you can also use them as a bargaining chip to negotiate for a better compensation package.

It’s wonderful that this opportunity seems to be a great fit with great pay, but don’t settle there. This is a sign that there are an abundance of other opportunities out there for you that may be an even better fit with way better pay for you. So keep your chin up and continue tapping into your network, researching and proactively cultivating other options.

Having these options under your belt will give you the confidence you need to be able to walk away if the fit isn’t right.

I would advise that you clearly delineate how your contributions resulted in positive outcomes for the employer. And make them specific with numbers, facts, and figures, i.e. 24% lift in patient satisfaction or retention, etc.

During the job interview, you’ll likely be asked to expand on these credentials or experiences. In other words, you’ll be asked to tell the story of your work.

How did your contributions create positive impact on the organization’s bottom line? What were the challenges and barriers? How did you overcome or resolve the problems and what were the outcomes? Did your work help the company make more money or save money, time and/or resources?

People want to hear your stories. You can use those stories to your advantage by showing them how you’re a great candidate who can do amazing things for a future employer.

This email has gotten long, so here’s the TLDR; version
- you have more power in this relationship than you realize
– screen / interview the recruiter at your upcoming face-to-face meeting
– salary negotiations will come later during the process, if and when the company decides to make an offer (and get it in writing)
– cultivate other options, or BATNA to grow your bargaining power
– prepare stories to show how your contributions at work benefitted the employer

BEST OF LUCK!
Jamie

No more chicken dance. Get the guts to negotiate.

Negotiation looks like this: Let’s sit. Let’s talk and listen. Let’s see if we can figure this out together. There will be give and take. Together we can find a win for you and a win for me.

It’s not a fight or manipulation. It’s just a conversation…or a dance.

When you dance with a negotiation partner, it takes all of you — your guts, eyes and heart.

1. The guts — the conviction and confidence that you can effect change by asking for it. To ask is to be vulnerable. They can say no, and you have to be okay with it and open to diagnosing that no. So get gutsy. Take courage.

2. The eyes seeing the vision of shared success. You see it for yourself clearly before you paint it in the mind of your negotiation partner. Paint your future potential with brushstrokes (or business results, benchmark reports, testimonials or maybe a literal picture) that resonate with their dreams and desires.

3. The heart, container of human emotions, plays a part too. A calm and confident negotiator puts the other side at ease. She makes them feel respected and heard. She allays fears that sit at the root of their objections. Yet, all the same, she’s ready to walk away if the deal isn’t right.

She’s fully present and aware of her own agency in this negotiation. This makes her a formidable negotiator.
Ready to own your negotiation prowess?

Build your asking muscle. Learn to negotiate.

If in-person training is your style, there are two events I’d love to share with you:
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Get the Guts to Negotiate with Lady Boss on the evening of Tuesday, April 21 at Etsy HQ in Brooklyn

The Art of the Ask with Vital Voice Training, a special half-day workshop on speaking up with authority, connecting authentically and asking fearlessly.

If work is ubiquitous, then what is a workspace?

bullish-blog-network
What is a workspace and what makes it ideal?

For the self-motivated, the workspace is an environment where you find yourself with access to a smart device and high speed internet while you have the drive, focus and creativity to make sh!t happen. Think airports, coffee shops, bathroom stalls and couches. Home and away. Wherever you go, there you are in your portable workspace, planning your work and working your plan.

If workspace can be just about anywhere, then perhaps it is more a headspace than physical location bound by four walls and a door dedicated for work. Work occupies a chunk of mind space. If you’re in your head a bit, as I am, you may find yourself thinking through an email reply or a solution for a project while in transit, in the shower, and even in bed. This can be stressful.

For the sake of sanity and productivity, you may need to clear room for restful headspace through planned social recreation, vacation and/or meditation. The ideal workspace is an uncluttered headspace, aware and present.

During the workday I work as director of operations at a mobile marketing startup in Midtown. In my free time, I pitch, plan and produce Negotiation Prowess workshops. My work travels with me.

The only criteria for a workshop venue is that people can mock negotiate, or talk to each other. I’ve held workshops at a poolside cabana in Miami for Bullish Conference, classrooms on Barnard campus, corporate offices and most recently at the Mission of Malta to the UN.

NWNYworkshopatMaltaMission

Mutual win negotiation principles for ambitious women, under the auspices of mustachioed European royalty.

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Mock negotiation pairs well with white wine. Negotiating style denotes class, refinement, and leadership potential.

That said, I really enjoy writing proposals and articles from home, where I work either sitting at the dining table or standing by the kitchen island. There’s ample sunlight, endless refills of tea and pretty things of my choice.

flowersandmba

Have MacBook Air, will work. Have flowers, will smile.

booksandowl

The wise owl safeguards my books on personal development, feminism, and money.

windowdressingandflowers

Natural sunlight energizes the mind and stimulates optimism and confidence.

When I have my own office for Negotiation Prowess, I will work at a big wooden desk large enough to hold dinner settings for six. The space will be decorated in bold, vibrant colors. There will be fresh cut flowers. I will rely on outsourced cleaning and organization service to keep the space uncluttered and welcoming. There will, of course, be a door with a lock that delineates workspace from non-workspace. That would be ideal.

So in conclusion, work is ubiquitous. At least for now, home space doubles as workspace, and the perk of working everywhere and at anytime carries with it the responsibility to safeguard headspace. With that, I’m off to sit in silence basking in the sunlight.

What being “Fresh Off the Boat” taught me about Negotiation Prowess

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This coming Tuesday, I’ll be facilitating a negotiation workshop to benefit New Women New York, a new nonprofit based out of NYC whose mission is to propel young women immigrants to greater heights in work and life.

There are only a handful of tickets available. So if you can make it, please RSVP today. If not, please forward the event link to friends and family who might find this workshop useful. Thank you in advance!

When: Tuesday, 2/17/15
Time: 7:00PM – 8:30PM
Venue: The Sovereign Military Order of Malta’s Mission to the UN
216 E. 47th St, 8th Floor (between 2nd and 3rd Avenues)

All proceeds from this workshop will go toward funding New Women New York programs for young women immigrants from underprivileged backgrounds.

** Click here to register **

Hey, did you by any chance see the new ABC comedy show Fresh Off the Boat? In case you haven’t, here’s the youtube link to the trailer, which includes the most hilarious and essential bits from the pilot. (n.b., Have to admit the pilot’s been the best episode so far, but I’ll leave more nuanced reviews to the experienced pundits.)

I am an immigrant, or more precisely, a child of immigrants. My parents brought me to America from South Korea when I was eight.

Like in the show, mom once packed me a brown bag of Korean food for lunch. I envied Lunchables other kids unpacked in the cafeteria.

A bully called me a ch!n% in the school hallway. I reported this and he was later called into the principal’s office. I reacted with anger when teachers asked racist questions, and then I’d get called out for bad attitude. In fifth grade, I was the four-eyed Asian girl with the impossible-to-pronounce name (Ji Eun) and a bad attitude.

Suffice to say, this episode hit home for me big time. It hit a nerve still raw.

A line in a pivotal scene got me nearly teary-eyed. I might add that Eddie (the eleven year old, hiphop loving hero) gets into trouble a lot. And that right before this, his parents defended him in the principal’s office.

Mom says to Eddie, “I will never be mad at you for standing up for yourself.”

Reminded me of my mom.

Yours truly in the middle

Yours truly in the middle

Throughout my childhood, mother demonstrated her negotiation prowess with courage, grit, and moxie, while speaking broken English, raising three daughters as a single mom, and running a nail salon as a business owner.

She was also my Monday morning quarterback when it came to negotiations, both big and small. She always found ways I could have stood up better for myself, with a sassy comeback, to bullies, teachers, anyone giving me hassle.

Until recently, I considered her notes criticism. I wasn’t clever enough to think of snappy comebacks on the spot.

It wasn’t until later that I realized her true intention was to impress upon me the importance of speaking up with confidence so that I can advocate for myself.

She gave me the most valuable lesson in negotiation prowess. Believe in myself. Act accordingly. Do it fearlessly.

Being both a first generation immigrant and a daughter of an incredibly strong immigrant woman, I’m excited to have this privilege to contribute to the awesome cause of propelling immigrant women. I hope you’ll join me next week at the workshop.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Salary Negotiation

Credit Getty Images/iStockphoto

Credit Getty Images/iStockphoto

By now you know you need to make bolder asks for bigger opportunities and better compensation packages. You’re ready to work hard and negotiate for the resources, support, and money you need to achieve your ambitious dreams.

Which is all well and good, but perhaps you’re wondering: Exactly how do I do that? What are the appropriate strategies and words to use in a negotiation?

To help you get a jump start on preparing for your big ask, below is a sample script that demonstrates key strategies for mutual-win negotiation at work.

[n.b.] A word of caveat here, obviously this script is not a blanket solution for every situation and everyone. The intention was to demonstrate key strategies:

  • advocating for the value you bring to the table in specific, concrete and quantified ways
  • making an ask based on market value
  • responding to pushback with open-ended questions.
  • Using a similar script, I’ve secured a 25% increase in salary. One of my negotiation trainees used it to secure a job that paid 4x more than her initial consulting rate (yes, she was getting paid very very little initially).

    Negotiation doesn’t stop after making the ask. It’s a conversation, after all, with give and take. There has to be an agreement, and especially in the case of workplace negotiation, a written agreement (email counts) and follow through.

    READ MORE HERE

    On Asking and Believing

    The fortune teller gave my mother hope. She said, “I see your second daughter behind a podium, speaking to a large audience.”

    This was right before she moved to America twenty-six years ago, so for her, when the future seemed to be a terrifying and foreign blank.

    Mother told me this story ten years ago, right after college when I was between jobs and feeling like a loser. I couldn’t afford rent so I was sleeping on her couch. When I commuted to a temp job in the city, she would stare at me — while I was getting dressed for work — all doe-eyed, proud and enchanted by the idea of her adult child going to work. Frustrated, I would grumble my way to the bus stop.

    My mother always had big ambitions for me — take for example, that one day I would make enough money to buy her a house (I’ve yet to realize that dream). Her American dreams projected onto me felt like a yoke, heavy and ill-fitting. So when she relayed the vision of her Korean fortuneteller to me one day, I said, “That’s nice,” but winced a bit from the inside.

    So, let’s fast forward ten somewhat years, and I am presenting a speech at Toastmasters International in New York City. This was my first, or CC1 speech, presented to a full room of about 30 people.

    I spoke about my three core principles of mutual win negotiation:

    1. Inviting no
    2. Aiming for bigger fulfillment
    3. And deeper connection

    I must now concede that the fortuneteller was right. That mother was right. In fact, I now want to speak in front of more than a thousand people. I would like to be a keynote speaker at a major conference. I’m starting small, practicing at Toastmasters, and presenting at conferences.

    This makes me wonder: Is my destiny something I inherit or make?

    To which I’d answer that the truth lies somewhere in the middle. It’s up to you to choose for yourself what to do with the gifts you’re given — whether it be Asian genes, low nose bridge or grit.

    Growing up, mother always urged me to speak up — not only because I worked (for free) as a translator, going back and forth between utility companies, schools, and vendors on her behalf, but also because she knew that the key to realizing an ambitious vision is to own my negotiation prowess.

    Own it and run with it.

    Q&A: How does getting a raise benefit my employer?

    May you be a rising star in 2015

    May you be a rising star in 2015!

    Photo by the talented Melissa Maples

    Hi Jamie,

    Thanks for publishing Negotiating at Work webinar on The Muse. I’m not sure if it’s appropriate for me to say that a raise would make me happier and want to work even harder. How can my getting a raise make the company tangibly better, given it takes money from the company?

    Happy new year! And thank you for watching the webinar and reaching out to me. 

    So here’s my A to your Q: Motivation, as you mention in your email. I think it’s totally appropriate for you to say that a raise would make you more motivated to work harder. 

    Increased motivation, drive and engagement on your part result in the company benefitting from your increased productivity. This could mean bigger sales and revenue or bigger cost savings and efficiencies. Whatever the results are, when monetized, they are likely to be a fraction of the raise you are asking for. 

    Very early in my career when I was negotiating starting salary, I asked for more and got a $2K increase. “I’m awesome at this negotiating thing!” I naively gave myself a pat on the back, not realizing I could have done so much better (i.e. make a more ambitious and specific ask rather than allowing the other side to decide what to give you, which in my case was a tiny bump). Later on in that job, I devised a plan that would save the company $100K in annualized expenses. That’s 50X of the tiny bump that initially got me excited to start the job.

    I didn’t learn my lesson then and it showed when I later negotiated for another job. When the hiring manager made an offer that was close to what I was making at the previous job, I thought, sure, that sounds fair. But later that night, while I was talking it over with my life partner, he asked me, “How motivated would you feel if you were offered the same job for $20K more?” 

    Just the idea of it really got me excited. In fact, I could hardly sleep that night! With twenty thousand extra bucks you can take vacations abroad, buy a car, or even put a downpayment on a home. It can be life-changing. 

    Then I felt disappointed, because I realized I had missed the opportunity to negotiate for the kind of money that would get me bolting out of bed every morning excited to be earning big bucks. I realized for that kind of money, yes, I would work extra hard. So ten months later, after I demonstrated my value and became an integral member of the team, I asked for and got a $15K raise. 

    The point I really want to drive home is that the raise you ask for is a small investment for bigger and better outcomes generated by you, which can have significant, positive impact on the business’ bottom line. It’s an investment, not only in your future potential but also in the company’s future growth. 

    If you’re still unsure, put yourself in your boss’ shoes for a moment — would you want a motivated and engaged employee working for you? (Not to belabor the point, but really who wants to have unmotivated employees who begrudgingly drag their feet to the office and treat work as if they were serving a prison sentence?)

    If you could get your employee motivated with a bit more money, why wouldn’t you do it? 

    There may be some legitimate reasons. In fact, I would take some time to brainstorm some of the reasons or excuses you’d likely hear from your boss on why not, so you can be prepared for the actual negotiation. What can you offer or suggest to overcome those objections?

    And when you hear these reasons, or excuses, during the negotiation conversation, patiently and calmly respond with open-ended, diagnostic questions that start with what / how / when / where / why / who. 

    Hi Jamie,

    Thank you for the thorough response and inspiring story! It’s so great to hear that you asked for and got what you wanted. It makes a lot of sense.

    While I now know it’s important to negotiate, I have this fear that my boss will respond by thinking that I have a bad attitude if I tell him that I’ll work harder if I get a raise. My internal dialogue is telling me that my boss will think that I’m not trying my best on purpose.

    When you asked for your raise after 10 months, did you also use increased motivation as the reason why a promotion will benefit the company?

    I’m sincerely happy it worked out for you. Hearing stories like this is really motivational.

    Thank you!

    Motivation is always the undercurrent of any conversation around compensation.

    At the end of the day, if you are a valuable employee, your boss’ concern is to keep you sufficiently incentivized and motivated so you don’t look for another job. Let’s face it — it’s an open secret that everyone is eligible and most likely looking for greener pastures.

    My suggestion for you is to reframe the conversation to be about the benefit you can deliver. What more can you do to deliver bigger value to your employer? This will require some research and preparation to better understand your employer’s preference, needs, and values. You’ll also want to brainstorm on ways you can add bigger value. Frame the conversation around the benefits to your employer, then back up your ask with market data.

    As for the story I shared with you — I was prompted to renegotiate my salary when I found out that a new hire at my same level was earning $15K more than me.

    I mean, to know that I’m putting in similar work for that much less money was going to put a serious damper on my motivation.

    I approached my boss, was very transparent with him and told him I knew she is making $15K more. But I didn’t make the ask on the basis of “It’s not fair” or “I deserve this.” In other words, I tried not to be a greedy child.

    Instead, I made a thorough list of everything I did for the company, quantified and monetized my efforts, and provided two print-outs of salary reports showing that the market rate for my salary is much higher than what I was earning then. I asked for $20K more and got $15K, which I was happy with.

    Thank you for reading and please keep me posted! 

    Wishing you an abundant and joyful 2015. 

    Jamie

    Best of Negotiation Advice 2014

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    Space to breathe, by the talented Melissa Maples.

    As the year draws to a close, things are getting more hectic. Deadlines loom. The pressure grows. Shopping lists and to-do lists grow, the days shorter.

    Earlier this evening, I walked behind a petite woman holding four shopping bags, clomping down on NYC street as she talked on the phone. She said, “yeah, so now I just need to go pick up another gift, go home, shower, change, write a few emails, then head out again.”

    Busy.
    Overwhelmed.
    Stressed out.
    Sound familiar?

    A friend wrote me today she’s doing all she can to stay calm and productive so she doesn’t have a meltdown.

    I hit reply: DITTO!!

    During times like these, it’s easy to lose focus of the big picture, hard to find space to breathe and NOT lose patience (okay, so I’m mainly talking about myself here).

    This requires your negotiation jiujitsu.

    Say no to that party invite, the one you’re mostly meh about, but hesitant to turn down because you don’t want to upset anyone or afraid of what they’ll think of you. Say no to a needlessly materialistic and equally onerous holiday chore. Everyone will survive without one more ugly Christmas sweater, one more silly trinket on the tree, one more sugar-laden treat in the god-forsaken name of the holidays.

    Sometimes the best thing is for you to be selfish. Be selfish about your time and space, so you can stay healthy. Your physical, mental, emotional health comes first before obliging to things that don’t give you joy and peace.

    When you have joy and peace, the world will have joy and peace. Have faith in this.

    Tonight I’m home instead of eating steak at a restaurant to do something I’ve been wanting to do all year: a compilation of some of the best negotiation advice I’ve read online in 2014.

    The Power of Ask by James Altucher

    When the Hare Krishnas asked for money, they would get nothing but NOs.

    But when they gave a little flower first, they got billions.

    Once you give something in advance, the brain naturally wants to give back and show that it is a good member of the herd.

    But here’s the trick: if you ask immediately, then I personally think it’s a little too slimy. Like the Hare Krishna trick.

    The key is to do a “Give” and then forget about it. And then a month, a year, a decade later, come back with the “Ask”.

    A Give creates potential energy in the future. An Ask turns the Potential energy into Kinetic energy.

    I hope I’m getting that physics analogy right.

    Create as much potential energy as possible every day with many Gives. Store up your Asks for when you need them. Read more here

    Dealing with Difficult People? Get Your Foot in the Door (or How Amy Poehler got her way with George Clooney) by Program on Negotiation at Harvard

    “I knew from my years of working both sides of being on camera and behind the camera that it was better to ask George Clooney’s people, ‘Would you mind if Amy sat next to George when her name was announced?’ And of course”—because the request was innocuous—“they would say ‘No,’” that they didn’t mind. “It’s just too much to be like, ‘Can she sit on his lap?’” Poehler said.

    Having secured permission from Clooney’s people to pull up a chair, Poehler said she approached his table at the appointed time and asked him point-blank if she could sit on his lap. “And he was like, sure,” she said, laughing. Though Poehler didn’t win the award (or a kiss), the moment got a big laugh.

    Poehler’s anecdotes demonstrate not only the role of chutzpah in comedy, but also the value of preceding large requests with small ones in negotiation. Why is the foot-in-the-door technique so successful? Because human beings have an innate motivation to appear consistent, according to Cialdini. The desire to behave consistently—rather than erratically—is so powerful that, research shows, it even drives us to do things that fall outside our comfort zone. Read more here

    You’ll Never Get Paid What You’re Worth (And That’s OK) by Terri Trespicio

    “My clients always ask me, ‘Why can’t I convince people to pay me what I’m worth?’” says Benun. “This is the wrong question, because it sets this up as a pricing problem, which it isn’t. It’s a marketing problem, and it has a marketing solution.”

    The key, says Benun is to separate what you do for other people from what it means about you. In other words, take your ego out of it. This blew my mind, and the doors off everything I used to think about rates and salary.

    It was also a huge relief because I’ve spent too much time worrying that either I wasn’t worth much, or I was so good no one could afford me. “The conflation of personal worth with professional acumen is also very childish,” adds Benun. The “love me daddy” approach to winning business infantilizes you — it treats the proposal (or salary or raise) like an allowance, one that you “deserve” because you were a good girl. Ick. Read more here

    What if the Gender Studies are Wrong? by Victoria Pynchon of She Negotiates

    The proposition that men negotiate far more than women do has also been challenged by research that controls for differences in goals or status in addition to gender. One study using law students as social science lab rats found no negotiation performance differences based on gender. Being a law student, it seems, eliminates a woman’s purported hesitancy to negotiate. Could it be that other studies also failed to control for status? That fewer women negotiated because fewer than 20% of all leadership positions in the U.S. are filled by women? Because women, by and large, have lower status jobs than most men do?

    … these academic “findings” about the differences in the genders are destined to become self-fulfilling prophesies just as “girls are bad at math” once did.
    Read more here

    So there you have it:
    – Negotiation insights from Hare Krishnas and Amy Poehler,
    – on the pitfalls of “good girl” / “love me daddy” mindset for negotiation, and
    – thinking twice about oft-quoted gender studies that depress us women and not really help us achieve negotiation prowess.

    My wish is that these insights serve and help you achieve negotiation prowess in 2015.

    One more before I go — I’m an agnostic who selectively believes in superstition only when it pleases me. (Are you rolling your eyes yet? Bear with me for a hot second here.) Numerology, for instance. The individual numbers in 2015 adds up to 8 (2 + 0 + 1 + 5).

    According to affinitynumerology.com, year number 8 signifies “achievement, your year to make great strides in business, employment, promotions, monetary compensation, and/or the accumulation of possessions. It is your harvest time.”

    I wish you great harvest in 2015.