When discussing a promotion or negotiating after being invited aboard at a new organization, how you handle yourself can have long-range and career-changing results. But it’s usually hard to perform under pressure, and you certainly don’t want to appear nervous. That’s why I recommend to my VIP clients that they use the LEADERSHIP negotiation acronym I created:
Listen with full attention, maintaining eye contact, but if you need to you can jot down key words, figures, or other notes. Practice writing without looking down if this is not a skill you have already developed, because it will serve you well in lots of different situations.
Dig deeper if you need to clarify what they said. Inquire about the details or have them explain it differently before responding with your answer.
Once you’ve fully assimilated what they said, respond in a clear, easy-to-understand, unambiguous way. But you don’t necessarily need to answer with a definite yes or no, especially if you feel that a commitment at this stage of the conversation might be premature.
Trust your instincts while you leave no stone unturned or doubt unanswered. You want to be as informed as possible along the way so you can understand and evaluate all your available options.
Give them a reasonable, sincere explanation of your own position to help them grasp exactly what you want from them in the negotiation, and why it’s important to you.
After you come to a meeting of minds – even if it’s only one stage of a continuing negotiation – review what you’ve both agreed to so far. The idea is to make sure you are both on the same page so you don’t have to revisit the same points later.
If it helps to persuade them you should share more insight into your own feelings, needs, goals, and aspirations. Use this as a platform for promoting your value-add, for example, or for highlighting exactly what you require and expect from them.
Hear what they have to say, too, because after all it is not a 1-way street but a 2-way dialog and exchange of ideas and compromises.
Ask for clarification of any points that haven’t been covered or for more justification for their point of view if you are not yet convinced. The goal is to wrap up negotiations without leaving any loose ends so you don’t later have “buyer’s remorse.”
Paraphrase/Put it on Paper
Before ending a negotiation, always paraphrase what you heard and understood, to ensure mutual understanding. Then commit it to paper so that everyone has a written copy of the main points you covered.
The good thing about remembering negotiation steps this way is that the LEADERSHIP acronym tool is easy to recall, even when you’re in the spotlight or feeling stressed. So practice it, commit it to memory, refine your strategy, and go out there and negotiate to win!
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Sarah Hathorn is a leadership development mentor, executive presence coach, image and branding consultant, public speaker & author. She is the founding CEO of her own successful company, Illustra Consulting, and the creator of the proprietary Predictable Promotion System™.
Blog, Ezine & Website: www.illustraconsulting.com
Copyright © 2012, Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIP, CPBS