Asking for what you want – and often deserve – at your job can be a tricky prospect. The hierarchies in place at work can often make it difficult to have open and frank conversations. Depending on what your relationship is like with your manager, it can be really easy for them to shut you down with a “we don’t have time for this conversation now, but we can revisit in six months”, leaving you fuming and wondering where you went wrong.
Asking for what you want, of course, is about more than just salary requests, though this is probably one of the most fraught. Depending on your gender, you are more or less likely to be successful too.
A Glassdoor survey found that 59% of people accepted the salary they were first offered at their current or most recent job, and didn’t negotiate, with women being far less likely to ask for more: 68% of women accepted the salary they were offered and didn’t negotiate, compared to 52% of men.
In the workplace, there are lots more things we need to sharpen our negotiating skills for: promotions, training and development opportunities, secondments onto teams where we can progress our skill sets – as well as getting the best out of external relationships.
But how do you learn how to negotiate effectively? At the recent Women in Business and Tech conference in London, Dell Technologies’ Education Services Director Lorna Watson shared some expert tips.
“Negotiation is one of the most invaluable skills that I’ve learned within business. It’s a two-way exchange where the two people involved in that situation get a win-win, you both walk away from it feeling good about the outcome,” she said.
“And there’s usually a compromise,” she warns. Watson says one of the key things you need to remember is to keep a dialogue open, understand you may not always get everything you want, but to make sure the conversation doesn’t stall.
This is what’s known as an “answer first” communication method, and it is an effective way to persuade the person you’re talking to, drive action, and become a better communicator.
“One way that you do that is by listening very carefully. You’ve got to understand the person’s point of view. Are you examining what their motivation is? Then the next thing is to empathise, to say, ‘Yes, thanks very much. I really appreciate that. So do you mind if I ask a few questions?’.”
Watson explains that when you do this, you’ll have more information about proposing an alternative. “So for example, if somebody says ‘I want a new job’ and they’re told no, they’re not ready, they’ll need to get a more of an understanding as to why that person doesn’t think they’re ready for the moment,” she explained.
This then allows you to open up a conversation with your manager about the next steps you – and they – can take to help you to get there.
“If you can keep the dialogue repeating, and as long as that dialogue is open there is a chance that you’re going to a positive outcome at the other end,” she says.
If you’ve exhausted all avenues of communication with your current employer, then we have three roles below worth a look, as well as plenty more on the City AM Job Board.
The Senior Data Science Manager, Personal Banking will work closely with product managers, engineers, designers and researchers in an agile product environment. You’ll champion the use of data, and bring ideas to life through rigorous experimentation and A/B testing. You’ll help Monzo get the most out of its volumes of data, spotting opportunities to make each area of our product work even better for users. Your team will drive product innovation and you’ll get to see the impact of all your work in the product changes made. Apply now.
Dyson is seeking a Digital Analytics Implementation Manager to guide and build upon its prior success in supporting Dyson’s strategic aims through the provision of web and app analytics and marketing tracking tools. Your new role will have lots of variety; you’ll be directing and leading tactical solutions whilst building, communicating and delivering a broader strategy for the team, and handling the performance management of your team of dedicated and talented digital analysts. Find out more.
This is an exciting opportunity for a Private Cloud Oracle Engineer to help shape and manage the Oracle platforms. You will support the design and implementation of technical products, services, strategies and policies to ensure business requirements and user needs are being met. You’ll take a leading role in project assurance and delivery, guiding teams in the assessment and redesign of systems and services and ensuring they are fit for purpose. Get all the details.