The ONE Thing You Must Do To Be a Better Negotiator


A recently published research has generated a lot of discussions on the internet in the past weeks.

It’s a study that says that the conversation that makes people most uncomfortable is negotiation for a raise.  Fifty-eight percent of respondents feel discomfort in having this discussion.  That’s  more than in other not-so-pleasant situations like discussing your difficult personality (anyone else relates to that?) or apologizing for a mistake.

But the most interesting part is that women reported much more discomfort around negotiating a raise than men did.  More than 66% of female respondents feeling very or somewhat uncomfortable while just over half of men shared that same feeling.


So if this is true, what can we do to feel more comfortable in negotiations like this?

Since I’ve long identified myself with those 66% of women.   I’ve read many articles about the topic. I even took a negotiation class in my MBA. However one of the most practical and easy-to-implement pieces of advice I ever got on the subject was an insight from a book called “Give and Take” by Adam Grant.   I wrote another article inspired by his work that you can read here.

Negotiation Perspective

It works like this: when you are in a negotiation, pretend you are in a different role. Instead of arguing as yourself, pretend you are your mentor or agent.   Imagine that you will be advocating for someone else,  in this case, you.  Another way of doing it is to think that you are representing your family’s interests in the negotiation.  If you have a husband, kids or other family members that you support, imagine they are your client.

This works because when you change the focus from yourself to someone you care about, you feel less guilty about pushing harder for what you want. Because  you are doing what is best for them, not for you. Ironically, most women tend to fight harder for those we care about than for ourselves, and this technique allows you to take advantage of that.

In addition to this, putting yourself in someone else’s shoes helps you better identify and “sell” your strengths and accomplishments, which is definitively crucial in any negotiation.

Ask, Negotiate, Win!

So next time you decide to ask for a raise, make sure you prepare the conversation in advance by thinking through your mentor’s lenses or about those who count on you. Hopefully by doing this you will be part of the inspiring group of 34% of women who can ask for a raise without feeling guilty about it.


Negotiating Pulpolux !!!

Main Negotiation changeorder

Tatiane Delamuta

Tatiane is a Brazilian marketer with an MBA from IESE Business School in Barcelona and currently living in London. With over ten years of experience, she has managed brands and products in the consumer goods, retail and pharmaceutical sectors. Passionate about travelling, she is always planning her next trip – and driving her husband crazy with her intense sightseeing plans. You can follow her on twitter @tati_delamuta

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