The best defense is a good offense. When you negotiate you can build your defensive and offensive foundations simultaneously with the right attitude. You need many items for a good result in your negotiations but all of them are strengthened and weakened by your attitude.
Think of it this way; you could own a world-class race car and even have a expert pit crew and all the best equipment necessary to race that car to the finish line and right into the winners circle. Although, if you are the driver and you lack the nerve to push that car and yourself to the limits you will not win that race. You see in negotiations you can have the best information and know your oppositions weak points but if you are unwilling to negotiate using that knowledge to your advantage you will most likely not get what you want. I want to be clear that I’m not saying that this is about having a greedy, nasty attitude where you want everything and will give up nothing. In fact, I want you to have an attitude of confidence and cooperation.
Confidence in the negotiation can start with your comfort of the material that you are going to use to support your position. This knowledge will go a long way in helping you to remove any doubt that you are wrong or that your request is inappropriate. Your confident attitude will convey on a conscious and subconscious levels to the other side that you know what you are talking about and you will not be brushed aside.
It is okay to be a little cocky but I would avoid any outward show of confidence that could be interpreted as over-confidence. In my experience the person that shows a little bit of humility with a strong disposition is the perfect mix of virtue and determination. If for any reason you are feeling that you are not capable of negotiating to a successful outcome you may need to look a little more at your self-image.
I’ll discuss self-image in another blog in greater detail and you can find an entire section in the Salary Step Up Series on it as well. For now I want you to know that if you have any doubts about you being a good person or worthy of any appreciation you can set those feelings aside and still negotiate with confidence. The way you do this is to realize that the facts support your request and you need only to look back on the good quality work that you have provided up to this point and know that you are going to do even more in the future for this company. You can look at your track record and know that compared to other people doing the same work you are worthy of the pay increase you are requesting. You see it is not about whether or not you think you are smart enough, pretty enough, funny enough, popular enough or any other aspect of who you are, just that you have done the work and your production supports the request for a pay raise. You should not doubt the facts and the fact is you are worthy of the requested raise.
One last thing I want to say about attitude is that having a cooperative attitude can go a long way in helping you get the negotiations headed in the right direction and on course. This goes back to showing a little bit of humility and it is also good manners. By demonstrating to the other party that you want to have a continuing positive business relationship they will understand that your cooperation in this negotiation demonstrates to them that you are someone who possesses good qualities all the way around.
So before you go into any negotiations make sure that you get your head screwed on right and that you are not involved in any kind of self-defeating negative thoughts that are going to diminish your ability to negotiate the pay request that you want. Your positive attitude will translate into positive results.