Why We Often Overlook the Opportunity to Negotiate with Your Boss

Alexander Richardson
Posted by in Career Advice

It can be scary to negotiate the things that we want for ourselves. Asking for a raise or a day off from your boss can be intimidating, but you won’t know what you could’ve achieved if you don’t try.

1. Assumptions

One reason people don’t negotiate is that they assume how the conversation is going to go, assuming they’re going to be denied what they’re asking for. To put it plainly, you don’t know what’s going to happen if you don’t ask. Better to try and fail then to never try at all.

2. Anxiety

When people have to ask for something specific from someone, anxiety can start getting the best of them. It’s not easy asking for things for yourself, but sometimes you have to understand your needs and start aiming to meet them.            

3. Know what you want

What will help you negotiate is knowing what you want. If you know exactly what you’re asking for, it’ll be easier for your boss or supervisor to understand where you’re coming from. Don’t ask to speak on a whim and have no solid argument for yourself.

4. Prep your argument

If you know you’re bad at speaking off the cuff then prepare your argument beforehand. The more you work on your argument, the better, but like anything you want the conversation to happen organically and not come off as too rehearsed

5. Confidence is key

Even if you don’t believe that your argument will be heard, present to the best of your ability. If you start giving up in the middle of you point, you’ll only be lowering your chances to get what you want.

6. Understand your position

Understanding your place in a situation will help a lot when it comes to negotiating. For example, don’t negotiate your salary when you haven’t even received a job offer yet. It can be the difference between getting hired and being rejected.

7. Know what you’re worth

Understanding what you’re worth will help you build the argument. Don’t try and ask for more than what you’re eligible for. That will reflect poorly on you.

8. Schedule a time to talk

Setting a time to speak will show your higher up how serious you are. If you work with them, they’ll work with you and will set up a time to speak. This way you’ll know you’ll have their full attention.

9. Persistence not aggression

If you’re having trouble getting a hold of your higher up, be persistent about speaking to them. Send out the occasional e-mail about setting up a time until you get a solid response, if you see them, remind them face to face. Don’t be aggressive with your approach. They might take it as you being rude or entitled.

10. Understand that rejection is possible

The number one reason people fear negotiating is being rejected. Don’t let the thought of it stop you from trying your best to get what you want. Accepting the possibility of rejection is the first step to getting over it.


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