Negotiating with an influential person may feel like fighting a losing battle. If you’re about to go toe-to-toe with someone who has more status or power than you, quash your feelings of helplessness by preparing yourself mentally beforehand, suggests Brazen Careerist writer Savannah Marie. She offers these six tips.
1. Keep a cool head. Don’t let insecurities get the best of you. Telling yourself your ideas will be dismissed builds a mindset that’s sure to negatively affect your body language and speech.
2. Do your homework. Study the numbers, practice your pitch and think of the questions you’ll be asked. The more you prepare, the more concrete your argument will become.
3. Think positive thoughts. Be optimistic and avoid negotiating yourself down from what you want before you even present your pitch. What you want is important. Be confident in its value and be honest about how much you and your project are worth.
4. Be considerate. When you’re trying to convince someone to meet your needs, you should also show consideration for theirs. Think about how getting what you want will help others to get what they want and explain it to them. For example, youwill optimize your productivity and ensure the retention of a valuable employee.
5. Use your ears. Listen to the others. What do they need? What are their concerns about your request? If they don’t offer answers to those questions, ask and listen.
6. Remember you can always walk away. It’s not the most advisable move, but know you can walk away from any negotiation. Staying and pleading will show desperation, which will add to an already unbalanced power dynamic.
— Adapted from “6 Tips for Negotiating With Someone More Powerful Than You,” Savannah Marie, Brazen Careerist.