How many of you have found yourself arguing back and forth with your toddler at some point? Seriously, you all better be raising your hand right now. If not, you are a saint of a woman and I bow down to you. But, for the rest of us lowly mortals, this totally happens more often than we’d like to admit.
Did you know that all that time you spent arguing actually wasn’t time wasted? In fact, it was time spent pretty darn well. The hours that you’ve accumulated in knock-down-drag-out negotiations with your kids have actually been preparing you for the world of business. You heard that right my friend. Those arguments taught you some very valuable lessons about negotiating.
So, the next time you go into a business meeting I want you to stroll in with confidence. After all, the years of experience you have in parenting have been preparing you for this very moment. You’ve learned some very important lessons while raising your kids. Finally, during your business negotiations, you’ll be able to put them to good use. Here are just a few of my favorites.
Confidence is Key
If you approach your child without confidence, then you will get eaten alive. There’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Seriously, I swear when a child enters a room they scan it looking for the weakest link and then attack. Listen, sister, you do not want to be the weakest link. Instead, you want to have unbelievable confidence. Confidence puts you in the right position for success.
The same is true when you approach your supervisor for any type of business negotiation. You must have confidence. If you don’t, then you better be good at faking it. The reality is if you don’t believe you deserve whatever it is you are asking for, then they never will.
I don’t know about you sis, but confidence is something I majorly struggle with somedays. So, here’s a little trick I learned when I asked for my last raise. Practice, Practice, Practice. Seriously! I had my husband sit down with me and. hit me with every possible reason why I might not deserve a raise. I answered those objections repeatedly until I finally believed I deserved that raise.
No Doesn’t Mean No
How many times has your child told you no today? 10, 20, 100, 1,000? I’m sure it feels like a million. Here’s the cool thing about the word no. In our house, no is a great word. It means that my child has actually registered the sound of my voice (finally) and is somewhat listening. Can I get a hallelujah!
Having someone respond back to you, even if it’s not in the way you anticipated, is great. It means you aren’t just talking to a brick wall. Now that they are focused on the conversation, negotiations can begin.
When you approach your boss for a raise or a promotion you will probably be met with a no – or some version of that scenario. That no is okay. Whatever you do, do not get discouraged. That no is the jumping-off point for the negotiation process. You are going to be looking out for your best interest and your boss is going to be looking out for the best interest of the business. Use that no as motivation to meet somewhere in the middle.
Know Your Audience
If I had to take a guess, then I’d say that the way you parent each one of your kids is a little different. Am I right? After all, each of your children has a different personality. So, it’s important to adjust your parenting style to match those personality types.
Here’s a quick example. My little brother is an angel of a human being. Seriously. He is a people pleaser to the core. His biggest motivation is making the people around him happy and he will often adjust his behavior to do so. He also feels major guilt when he hurts someone or lets them down. Now, let’s talk about me. Well, I am a wild child. Fiercely independent. I hate when people try to make me feel guilty. I rebel when I feel too much pressure. Pretty much the polar opposite of my brother. The way we were punished and rewarded was very different because our motivators were very different.
Sis, you have to know your audience when you are in the middle of any business negotiation. Know what their motivators are. This way you can adjust your pitch to get the best result. If they are results-driven, then focus on what you have done for the company and how that has resulted in growth and profit. Do they value loyalty? Focus on the amount of time you have been with the company and what you plan to do during the upcoming years. Tailoring your pitch my friend is key to success.
Have a Backup Plan
I never approach my toddler without having a plan of what to do if she refuses my request. That would be insanity. I always have an idea in my head of how far I’m willing to bend my initial request, how long I’m going to let her argue, and what her punishment will be if she flat out refuses. Remember the confidence we talked about having earlier? It plays a big part here.
The same type of mental preparation goes into business negotiations. Before you even walk into that room you should have a clear idea of your boundaries. What’s the lowest amount of a raise you can/will take? Are you planning on leaving if they aren’t willing to negotiate? Are there areas that you are willing to compromise in?
You should also have a game plan on how to defend your worth. I can almost guarantee there will be a few objections to try to negotiate you down. Your boss wouldn’t be doing their job if they didn’t. So, are you prepared to answer those objections? You should already know your weaknesses when you walk in, so you don’t have to sit and think about an answer. Prepare for these questions and you’ll be able to answer with ease.
Oh, gratitude. Something we always expect from others but often forget to embody ourselves. Who’s been there? It’s all about respect sister.
Whether my child does what I ask her on the first time or the fourteenth time, I still tell her thank you when she is done. Why? Because I appreciate that she listened to me. Even if it did take five minutes to get to that point. We got there. If I have to negotiate her down from six bags of fruit snacks to one, then I still thank her for being willing to compromise.
It’s important to do the same with your boss. Never leave the room without expressing your gratitude. If you only got part of the raise you asked for, then be thankful. If you didn’t get a raise at all and decided to walk away, then be thankful for the time you did have there. Heck if you got every single penny you asked for, then you better be hella thankful! The point is, being gracious leaves the door open for great communication in the future. You never want to burn a bridge.