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    9 Negotiating Tips Millennials Need To Be Reminded About Over And Over Again

    It's all about psychology.

    Negotiating for a raise, promotion, or even a job is one of the most uncomfortable parts of being a working professional.

    Kwame Christian / Via

    It's uncomfortable, awkward, and one of the most ambiguous processes you'll go through at any company. Like, where's the guidebook?! So, we talked to Kwame Christian, Esq., Director of the American Negotiation Institute, for his advice on how to be a dang adult, stand up for yourself, and get what you worked for. As you read through them, you might realize the tips are pretty much self-care tips in disguise.

    1. The first rule of negotiation: Actually do it!


    Or at least try it.

    For millennials who graduated into a tough job market, it's common for people to be happy to get any job. When they get the offer they'll simply think, "Oh, thank you. I can eat again," and not even think twice about the salary. Additionally, according to Women Don't Ask, men are four times more like to initiate a negotiation. All to say, there's a lot you're passing when you don't negotiate simply because of your economical or gender context.

    2. Second of all, do a pre-negotiation by figuring out what a "win" looks like for your manager.


    Patience and planning is key here. If, for instance, you're at a tech company that's operating off of investments, you probably don't have revenue-based goals just yet. And you're not clear on what's a win for the company.

    In this scenario, what you want to do is figure out what a "win" would look like for your manager and company. This can be as simple as asking, "Based on my position, what do you need to see from me to make our investors happy?"

    At this point of the negotiation, says Christian, "You might not want money, but you do want information."

    3. Don't assume your manager is negotiating in your favor, and be your own strongest advocate.


    Be proactive and "control the narrative," says Christian. Even if you have the perfect relationship with your manager, it's possible that they don't have the time or energy to do the negotiating work on your behalf. They might be relying on you to bring up the topic.

    4. Be comfortable with awkwardness — because your manager probably is.

    20th Century Fox

    When people talk about negotiating, they always mention the importance of silence. And while it's true, it might be hard to lean into. According to Christian, "Your manager will always have more experience negotiating than you do. They might have done this a hundred times already, so they'll be more comfortable in the awkwardness than you'll be. It's important to recognize that."

    5. If you’re an introvert, or have a hard time standing up for yourself, imagine you’re a lawyer advocating for yourself.


    It's easier to be aggressive and temporarily adopt behaviors that feel outside of your normal self if you're imagining yourself as a traditionally outspoken authority figure.

    6. ...And if you have family, just pretend you're advocating for them.


    These little shifts in perspective and visualizations might be especially helpful for minorities. As Christian said, the exercise is "helpful for getting away from the the years of prescriptive norms and pressures that women and minorities have silently normalized."

    7. Try to stray from the word "negotiation."

    Shalita Grant / Giphy / Via

    As soon as you label something as a negotiation, people are more likely to put their guards up and feel pressure, and you "don't want to give any signal to other people that they should interpret this in a competitive fashion," says Christian.

    What you can say for their sake and yours is, "Hey, I'd like to chat with you at some point about XYZ." or "Hey, do you have a second for a quick conversation? I have a few questions about XYZ."

    In my personal opinion, it's nice, for the sake of the manager, to not be TOO ambiguous with "XYZ," since that might bring up unnecessary anxiety on their end (as they might presume you want to speak about something even more serious).

    8. Keep your impostor syndrome — and your negative self-talk — in check.


    A majority of people look at themselves way more critically than the world actually does, and will come up with all sorts of reasons not to negotiate their salaries.

    If you empathize, then you might want to start the conversation earlier, asking your manager two or three months ahead of your negotiations, "What are some things that I do well and what are some things that I need to work on?" This way, you can come up with legitimate, objective verifications of what you've done that not even your anxious brain can object to when it comes time to ask for more.

    9. And finally, if your manager says "No," just see it as part of the overall conversation.

    Twitch / hyperrpg / Via

    Answer this question for yourself before you go into your negotiation, "What happens if my negotiation doesn't go well? What are my alternatives?" And once you think it through and realize that even if things go poorly, you'll still have your job and your life, you can start seeing even a "No" as part of a flow chart, says Christian.

    "Use that 'No' as your opening move for the next negotiation. Because whenever someone says 'No,' it's really on them to explain why they're saying that, and explain what you could do to build yourself a stronger case in the future."

    You can check out Kwame Christian's FREE negotiation guides here.

    You'll just need to input your email address to get access.

    You can also listen to his negotiation podcast, Negotiate Anything, here, and find more information about his negotiation and conflict resolution workshops for companies here.

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