Outside of hiring and review processes, negotiations between colleagues and bosses still exist, just informally. It is important to be able to advocate for yourself without being deemed as someone who is not a team player. The Harvard Business Review outlines a strategy that you can use to deal with these everyday negotiations. The structure they suggest is to:
recognize, prepare, initiate, and navigate.
- Recognize. Negotiation opportunities are not always obvious, but some situations call for it. You also must be careful to pick your battles, though. The decision to recognize when or when not to negotiate should be made with a sense of what end game is in mind.
- Prepare. Even with informal negotiations, being prepared is crucial. The more you know about what others have asked for and been granted at work, the more comfortable you’ll feel crafting your own negotiation. Position yourself in a way that highlights your interdependence, and how your work enables your colleague and others to succeed. Make sure you prepare some alternate solutions to be able to present.
- Initiate. Be able to shift a normal interaction into a collaborative negotiation without coming across as combative. Make your value visible and try to bring it up organically and be clear.
- Navigate. Go into the conversation with an open mind. Be willing to develop a plan that can work for everyone. Use ‘what if’ and circular questions, and mention if-then scenarios. These ensure that the conversation is collaborative, rather than adversarial.
Everyday negotiations tend to pull us out of our comfort zones, but are entirely worth the effort for both the individual and the organization.