Understanding your value

In professional settings, negotiations often have to do with hiring decisions, sharing scarce resources and issues involving wages, hours and working conditions.

To get more of what you want in a negotiation at work, and to become a better negotiator, start by recognizing that in the workplace, attributes like honesty, ethics and being a “good person” are valuable but not decisive. That’s because we assume everyone shares these qualities (until we are proven wrong).

Instead, when the negotiation is about a new job, a raise in pay, to join a new team or get a promotion, it’s much more persuasive to emphasize qualities narrowly specific to the matter being negotiated, such as:

  • Specific experience (“I worked on a very similar project.”)
  • Relevant background (“I have been working in this field for three years.”)
  • Technical knowledge
  • Immediately available
  • Organized
  • Self-starter
  • Motivated
  • Team player
  • Results-oriented
  • Accountable
  • Eager to learn

Ask yourself: what are the unique qualities you bring to this particular situation? How can you specifically contribute positively to its success?