Negotiation Tips: How To Get Over Your Fear And Speak Up

Reasons why people avoid negotiating their salary

  • Lack of self-confidence
  • Negotiation negligence
  • Self-doubt
  • Being too complacent
  • Dislike or discomfort
  • Fear of sounding too greedy or needy

Different Types of Fear

Fear of not being good enough

Let’s face it! We have all witnessed this feeling at least once in our lives, despite giving our best, sitting late to complete a presentation, or working on weekends to woo the client, the sense of not being good enough at our job. Yet when the time comes for evaluation, an appraisal, or asking for a raise, we start to doubt ourselves.

Fear of negotiation itself

According to a recent poll carried out by salary.com, 22 percent of the respondents didn’t ask for a raise because they lacked the negotiation skills needed, and 18 percent found the procedure “inherently disagreeable.” As hard it is to believe, not every one of us is a pro in the art of negotiation.

Fear of losing one’s job

Many employees today choose to be underpaid compared to being not paid at all. Leading HR experts explain that when a company makes a job offer, they expect some sort of negotiation from the potential employee. Yet we fail to demand a salary based on what the market is offering or what we had expected just because we fear losing the job we had worked so hard to get.

Tips for overcoming your fears

Now that we have identified the role played by fear in negotiating a salary as well as discuss the various types of fear that cripples us is asking what we are worthy of, let’s discuss some ways we can overcome our fears and avoid feeling flustered when sitting down to negotiate.

Learning to recognize your fears

If you’re afraid of anything, write it down! Leading HR experts suggest that recognizing and consciously gaining awareness of your fears and qualms at the workplace is the key to getting a grip on them.

Preparation is key!

Once you’ve recognized your stressors, the next step is to analyze the situation. Do your research and develop a plan of action to ensure that your fears don’t end up becoming a reality.

Practicing out loud

Once you have mentally prepared yourself for handling your job negotiations, you must practice it out loud. You need to rehearse in front of a mirror, not just your mind. It’s not enough to think of the words; you must speak them. We don’t express ourselves verbally in the same way we do internally.

Call in on the cavalry!

If you feel that practicing alone isn’t helping much, it’s better to ask someone to help; preferably someone within the industry or with an HR background. When you practice with a seasoned negotiator, you might get a sense of what it’s like to go through the actual negotiation process.

Choosing the correct mode of communication

When it’s time to negotiate, avoid doing it over email and always aim to meet face-to-face or over the phone rather than over email. Negotiations are most productive when done in a back-and-forth discussion. This helps you conclude on time and allows you to observe the other person and how they react.

Reminding yourself why you are negotiating

Another critical factor in getting over your fears is recalling why you are negotiating. Negotiating isn’t just limited to monetary compensation. It’s about getting a better deal. For some, it’s about getting more money, while for others, it has more to do with getting flexible working hours, incentives and perks, etc.

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Sabine Gedeon

Sabine Gedeon

Executive Coach & Leadership Consultant supporting Emerging Leaders ready to cultivate their leadership mindset and develop high performing teams