Tips to Help Negotiate Effectively at Work

Negotiation Tips(downloadable pdf) by Madelyn Mahon for MPR News. Simple tips (geared toward women, but applicable for all) to consider when entering into compensation negotiations.


1. When you go in to a boss to negotiate, it can be helpful to ask for more than money. Make sure that your ask includes something about how this will benefit not only you, but the company and its goals. This also benefits you to move up in the company long term.

2. Frame your ask for a promotion or raise as a possible solution to a problem. What will this benefit fix?

3. Highlight your unique strengths, show how you stand out in the company.

4. Don’t be afraid of appearing “not nice.” Men tend to be better at realizing it is just business, and take the negotiation process less personally. This doesn’t mean be rude, just be confident.

5. Do your research and find out if your company is paying competitive wages to other similar businesses in town. If they’re paying lower rates, you can argue that it will be bad for business if they don’t pay you – and other employees – more money to keep strong talent in house.

6. Assert your loyalty to the company. Even if you’re coming in with a counteroffer, make sure your boss knows you want to stay with the company.

7. Learn to spin that “likability” trap that keeps some women from negotiating. Be friendly and approachable in your meetings to keep them from becoming adversarial.

8. Ask men in your company how they have handled negotiations, and double check that the responses you get are similar to what they’re receiving.

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