Negotiating During a Pandemic

What are you negotiating for at work? Is it a promotion? A raise? Working from home full time? A new position? Working less? Changing teams? Retirement?

Whatever aspect of your work life you are currently negotiating, the pandemic makes an already unpredictable task more stressful then usual. Negotiating is not everyone’s favorite thing to do. It can be a sweat-provoking activity that causes many people to freeze and take what they are offered. Many of us don’t negotiate often enough to feel competent at it. So here is a crash course on how to negotiate – even in a pandemic. 

1 –Prepare and Plan. 

Know what you want. Know what you want in a perfect world and what you can live with in a pandemic world. Be realistic. This may require doing research.

2 – Clarify and Justify

Be direct and clear in your ask. Practice (on friends) asking for what you want. Get comfortable saying it. More importantly, come up with solid reasons for your ask. Is your request justifiable because of your market value? Does your promotion or raise make sense based on your accomplishments? Be ready with documents (sales reports, list of accomplishments, industry standards) that clarify and justify your position. 

3 – Ask for more than you want

This can be challenging for those of you who are uncomfortable advocating for yourself. It’s important to ask for more than you want, as you will most likely not get what you initially ask for.

4 – Waiting and silence are important.

Do not speak or write again until you get a response to your initial ask. Quickly speaking or writing to fill in the blank space will show the other person that you are uncomfortable. This is when we inadvertently lower the bar for what we could get. Waiting is where the sweating comes in. If you come off too eager or desperate, you will not get what you want.  

5 – Look for a Win/Win solution.

Both sides will want to win, so it’s okay to compromise. By being accommodating, you will be seen as a collaborator. Your negotiating partner will see you in a better light and will be more likely to strike a deal. 

6 – Get closure in writing

Make sure to close the negotiation with some kind of written agreement. Whatever you are able to negotiate, get it in writing. Verbal agreements are nice but they don’t protect you from possible backsliding or misinterpretation over time.

DO NOT…

  • Avoid. Do not use the strategy of avoidance, hoping the situation will resolve itself.  Avoiding never works to your benefit.  It may take the pain of negotiating away, but the result will be less than what you could have received if you’d stepped up and stated what you wanted.
  • Play innocent. Put on your big adult pants and ask for what you want.  No one else will do it for you.

Kathi Elster – Executive Coach and co-owner of K Squared Enterprises.

Contact us at info@mycrazyoffice.co for any further help around this topic.

Moving Forward – Into the Unknown

This past Sunday (4/26/2020) Governor Cuomo of New York said, “We are not going back to the way things were, we are going forward.” I have to say I agree with the Governor.  Many of my clients are telling me that they see this as an opportunity to do things differently.

Some small business owners want to take their businesses smaller not bigger.  Other clients want to continue working from home and no longer want to commute. Several of my clients are saying they want to incorporate real work-life balance — not just pay lip service to it. And some clients are realizing that they need to find a better job/career.

Everyone is thinking about what “moving forward” means.  If you aren’t, it’s time to start.  We are in a reset.  Go inside and listen. Do not disregard your deepest thoughts and feelings; they are telling you something.  You are at a point of choice at this time. You can let go of the way you thought work had to be and decide on what is right for you.

What parts of your job/career do you want to move forward? What parts are you unwilling to continue?  Consider the following:

Commuting – Maybe you want to work closer to home, or work virtually.

Change industry – If your industry is on hold, you may want to investigate a completely different industry. Maybe you want to go back to school.

Micromanaging boss – This could be a good time to see if you can transfer to another department or find another job.

Doing the work of others – Perhaps you no longer want to compensate for others’ lack of initiative.

Compromising my private life – You may want to establish a hard start and stop time to your workday, creating boundaries around work that protect your private life.

Working with a mean girl/guy – Instead of working with awful people, you may be ready to look for a new position within or outside of your current company

Not getting paid fairly – It may be time to find a position that pays you what you deserve.

Getting rid of troubling employees – Downturns have always been a good time to lay off difficult staff. Perhaps you have some people who could go.

Needing less office space – Going to a more virtual workforce may mean you don’t need as much office space.

Going back to a standard schedule – Instead of returning to your previously regimented work schedule, you may want more flexibility.

Stop eating overpriced unhealthy food – Does your company serve unhealthy, overpriced food at meetings?  You may want to bring your own food to work more often.

 It’s time for me to not have a boss – You may be ready to start your own business.

 Doing work that has no meaning – You may feel that now is the time to make a difference.

Most of us fear change and the unknown.  We tend to stay in difficult situations longer then we should for fear of not knowing what better options are available to us.  Instead of being scared, embrace change and possibilities. (I know this is easier to say than it is to do.)

During this unusual time, I challenge each of you to examine and come to terms with what you really want to do professionally.  Consider your happiness, your purpose, your health, and your legacy.

Kathi Elster – Executive Coach and co-owner of K Squared Enterprises.

Contact us at info@mycrazyoffice.co for any further help around this topic.

#2: Negotiating Techniques – My Crazy Office, Season 5

Kathi and Katherine talk about negotiating techniques on this week’s episode of the My Crazy Office podcast.

First we give advice to an employee negotiating a job offer.

Then we discuss interviewing techniques.

#10: Best Time To Ask For A Raise? – My Crazy Office, Season 4

Kathi and Katherine talk about raises on this week’s episode of the My Crazy Office podcast.

First we give advice about when it is the best time to ask for a raise.

Then we discuss what to do when your boss says no to your raise request.

#16 – Workplace Reputation: My Crazy Office, Season 3

Kathi and Katherine talk about reputation on this week’s episode of the My Crazy Office podcast.

First we give advice about how to fix your professional reputation after it’s been tainted.

Then discuss whether or not to take a higher position with a company that has a bad reputation.

#42: Asking For A Raise & Money vs Mission, My Crazy Office, Season 2

My Crazy Office podcast Season 2 RECAP episode!

On this week’s episode Kathi and Katherine discuss when to ask for a raise and how to ask for a raise from your employer. Also, if choosing between two jobs, should you choose the higher paying job or the job with the better company culture?

#36: Negotiating Your Worth & Diplomacy: My Crazy Office, Season 2

Kathi and Katherine discuss two common workplace issues – negotiation and diplomacy – on this episode of the My Crazy Office podcast.

First we give advice about how to negotiate a higher salary.

Then we give guidance to an employee who is told to ‘practice diplomacy’ in order to move their career forward.

#1 – Asking For A Raise & Money vs Purpose: My Crazy Office, Season 2

Kathi and Katherine introduce a new season of the My Crazy Office podcast!

On this week’s episode we discuss when to ask for a raise and how to ask for a raise from your employer.

Also, if choosing between two jobs, do you choose the higher paying job or the job with the better company culture?