How to Psych Yourself Up for a Salary Negotiation

Negotiating salaries or pay rates can be a painful process, especially for women who aren't used to speaking up. In her new book, Pushback: How Smart Women Ask--and Stand Up--for What They Want, Selena Rezvani argues that negotiating is necessary and details how to do so with confidence. A frequent speaker on women and leadership, Rezvani also founded the Women's Roadmap, a consulting firm that specializes in building corporate women's initiatives. Excerpts from U.S. News's interview with Rezvani:

[See the 6 Best Business Jobs of 2012.]

Why do you think people, especially women, struggle so much with negotiating?

I think it's unique for women, and one of the chief reasons is this belief that relationships should trump agenda. I think many of us are conditioned and raised to be accommodating, to be kind, to be gentle, not to advocate for what we want, and not to push for the unpopular position.

Another reason is a difference in the way men and women take risks. It's been noted in research that women tend to round down in terms of their candidacy for something--how ready they are for a promotion, lets say, and men continually tend to round up in terms of what they're able to do. I see that play out with negotiation because sometimes there's this desire for a guaranteed outcome or perfection. Perfectionist thinking doesn't even get us to the negotiation table or makes us ask for way too little.

What do you potentially lose by not negotiating?

Well, it can be devastating financially. Most people tend to think about what they're losing right now, and how that might be hurting their lifestyle or how they can provide for their family right now. Yes, that's important, but most people don't project into the future and think about retirement. That makes a big difference.

It also matters for women, because more than half of all marriages end in divorce, and there is still some reliance among some of us to let men take care of the bills or the savings. With that kind of divorce rate, combined with the fact that women live longer than men, we're the ones left holding the bag. It really behooves us to be empowered and take control of our finances. Negotiating is one way we can do that.

[See Pew: Young Women Want Money and Motherhood.]

Your book covers how to psychologically prepare for negotiations. Could you give us some insight into that process?

There are some different ways we can psychologically prepare. One of them is sitting down and purposefully taking inventory of your successes. Not just to help with the ask you're about to make, and prove your case in that way, but literally to psych yourself up. A lot of women can benefit from this, just from staying in a place of, "oh, I have a lot to contribute" or "I did bring in 5 percent new revenue last year." I encourage women who have trouble with self-promotion to keep in mind [that] if it's true, it's not bragging. Keep it fact-based, and it won't be quite so difficult.

One of the other things that can be huge is role-playing the Q and A with somebody and asking them to maybe be kind of neutral the first time with you and to become increasingly more difficult, to really push back and poke at your argument. And it's amazing what that can do to prepare you. I find it can really help you be unflappable on game day because you're used to that feeling of being pushed back, you have some comebacks, and you are ready to preempt objections you think you might hear.

There's one other thing that can be huge for women, and I don't see a lot of people do this. When you have an important negotiation coming up, it's so important to confer with your network. If it's someone who negotiated with that person before or just a former colleague of that person that knows them well, they can give you insight into their style or approach. I actually interviewed one woman for my book and she said, "I did this before a really critical negotiation, and my friend said to me, 'Linda, interrupt the guy in the first five minutes, and he'll take it as a sign of power on your part.'" And, of course, she did it, and it worked.

What would you say to someone who's concerned that she might seem demanding or that the economy is still uncertain?

There is some validity to it, so I don't dismiss it offhandedly. Besides knowing if you are over-delivering, you would want to know, "how is my company doing financially?" If your company is kind of sick and hurting, then no, I am not going to encourage you to go and ask for a raise even if you're doing everything right. I do think there are some realities to the job market.

However, there is a lot of brand new research in 2012 showing us that more employees than ever have confidence that they'll be getting raises this year and that more employers plan to hand them out. People are getting more comfortable, they are more willing to pay based on merit, and I think if anything, there's less of a trend toward treating every employee and rewarding every employee the same exact way.

[See How to Master the Art of Negotiation.]

You interviewed several successful female executives for you book. Was there anything that surprised you?

Those interviews were great because they included people's mistakes, and that always makes for a better interview than just your most shining moments. But there was a data point that I found pretty compelling. When I asked the women that quantitative question: "Assuming a woman's career success equals 100 percent, what percentage of that is made up by her effectiveness at pushing back?" I was happily surprised to hear such an affirmative answer, but on average, the women said that 60 percent of a woman's success hinges on being a good self advocate. Yes, technical skills and your academic pedigree manner, and so do people skills. But if a woman doesn't have command of her own voice, she's not going to go very far.

I think that is going to be especially important for the youngest women who aren't necessarily that happy with the American workplace and find it too rigid, that you can't work from anywhere at most companies today. I think for those young women, if they want to see change, they're going to have to be very good at negotiating and showing why it should be done another way.

Anything else you'd like to add?

I'm amazed how many people tell me about something that they don't like, like let's say a policy at work, and if I ask them, "Well why don't you negotiate that?" They'll often say, "Because that's the way it's done."

I think there's something that might be cultural for Americans that we might not like about asking for special treatment. It makes a request suddenly about deservedness, whereas in other cultures, it's more common to negotiate. But I think that we shouldn't be too married to "is there a precedent or not?" Challenge it! Who cares if no one's done it before?



More From US News & World Report

--

Get stories like this on the Yahoo app and discover more every day.
Download it now.
Loading...

Explore Related Contents

  • Stamps.com beats Street 4Q forecasts Associated Press - 50 minutes ago

    The El Segundo, California-based company said it had net income of $1.61 per share. Earnings, adjusted for pretax expenses and stock option expense, were $2.73 per share. The results surpassed Wall Street ... … More »

  • Baidu's quarterly revenue falls 2.6 percent
    Baidu's quarterly revenue falls 2.6 percent Reuters - 53 minutes ago

    Analysts on average had expected revenue of 18.23 billion yuan, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The revenue slowdown comes as Baidu rides out a public and regulatory backlash triggered by the death of a 21-year-old student who underwent an … More »

  • Baidu's quarterly revenue falls 2.6 percent
    Baidu's quarterly revenue falls 2.6 percent Reuters - 53 minutes ago

    (Reuters) - Baidu Inc (BIDU.O) reported a second straight drop in quarterly revenue as regulatory scrutiny into healthcare and related advertisements continued to take a toll on the Chinese internet search ... … More »

  • Tesla may wait until July before revealing the final version of the Model 3
    Tesla may wait until July before revealing the final version of the Model 3 Business Insider - 59 minutes ago

    AP Photo/Justin Pritchard Tesla Motors unveils the new … Continued The post Tesla may wait until July before revealing the final version of the Model 3 appeared first on Business Insider. … More »

  • Asian Stocks Signal Cautious Start as Yen Gains: Markets Wrap Bloomberg - 1 hour 1 minute ago

    The dollar held losses after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Fox Business that fiscal stimulus effects on the economy this year may be limited. Australian stock futures pointed lower and the Aussie climbed as traders tuned in to RBA … More »

  • Homeland Security chief: No use of military for deportations
    Homeland Security chief: No use of military for deportations Associated Press - 1 hour 3 minutes ago

    Seeking to tamp down growing unease in Latin America, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly pledged Thursday that the United States won't enlist its military to enforce immigration laws and that ... … More »

  • Exclusive - Trump calls Chinese 'grand champions' of currency manipulation Reuters - 1 hour 3 minutes ago

    President Donald Trump declared China the "grand champions" of currency manipulation on Thursday, just hours after his new Treasury secretary pledged a more methodical approach to analysing Beijing's foreign exchange practices. In an exclusive … More »

  • Assured Guaranty posts 4Q profit Associated Press - 1 hour 6 minutes ago

    On a per-share basis, the Hamilton, Bermuda-based company said it had profit of $1.49. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring gains, were $1.05 per share. The insurance holding company posted revenue of ... … More »

  • AIA Group FY new businesses rise 28 percent Reuters - 1 hour 14 minutes ago

    Life insurer AIA Group Ltd reported a 28 percent jump in new business in 2016, as it benefited from strong customer demand in its main markets of China and Hong Kong. The Hong Kong-based insurer's value of new business, which measures expected … More »

  • 7 Data-Driven Ways Of Saving On Your Monthly Recurring Bills
    7 Data-Driven Ways Of Saving On Your Monthly Recurring Bills ValuePenguin - 1 hour 14 minutes ago

    Every month, we get bills from various services like telcos and Singapore Power that we need to take care of just to be able to continue getting vital services we need to function normally. According to ValuePenguin's study, the average cost of … More »

  • Business Highlights Associated Press - 1 hour 20 minutes ago

    ___ US factory CEOs to Trump: Jobs exist; skills don't President Donald Trump brought two dozen manufacturing CEOs to the White House on Thursday and declared their collective commitment to restoring factory ... … More »

  • Baidu's Quarterly Revenue Tops Estimates on New Business Push Bloomberg - 1 hour 21 minutes ago

    Revenue for the fourth quarter was 18.21 billion yuan ($2.62 billion), compared with estimates for 18.17 billion yuan, Baidu said in a statement. Net income, adjusted for certain items, was 4.61 billion yuan, compared with the 2.52 billion yuan … More »

  • Dow stands out as global stocks tread water
    Dow stands out as global stocks tread water AFP News - 1 hour 29 minutes ago

    The blue-chip Dow was the lone riser among major stock indices on Thursday as global markets largely ran in place. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average broke a 30-year record by closing at a tenth consecutive all-time high, ending the … More »

  • Spectranetics reports 4Q loss Associated Press - 1 hour 34 minutes ago

    The Colorado Springs, Colorado-based company said it had a loss of 29 cents per share. Losses, adjusted for costs related to mergers and acquisitions and non-recurring costs, were 21 cents per share. The ... … More »

  • RE/MAX beats 4Q profit forecasts Associated Press - 1 hour 36 minutes ago

    On a per-share basis, the Denver-based company said it had profit of 22 cents. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, were 41 cents per share. The results exceeded Wall Street expectations. The average ... … More »

  • Pegasystems posts 4Q profit Associated Press - 1 hour 44 minutes ago

    On a per-share basis, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company said it had net income of 11 cents. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, came to 20 cents per share. The business software company ... … More »

  • How major US stock market indexes fared on Thursday Associated Press - 1 hour 45 minutes ago

    Stocks wobbled Thursday as investors changed course and tempered their expectations for faster economic growth. Industrial companies, which have surged over the last few months, finished lower as Wall ... … More »

  • Stocks end mixed as investors seek safety; industrials slide
    Stocks end mixed as investors seek safety; industrials slide Associated Press - 1 hour 48 minutes ago

    Stocks wobbled Thursday as investors changed course and tempered their expectations for faster economic growth. Industrial companies, which have surged over the last few months, finished lower as Wall ... … More »

  • Oil prices up but gains pared after 7th straight stock build
    Oil prices up but gains pared after 7th straight stock build Reuters - 1 hour 48 minutes ago

    By Catherine Ngai NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices rose on Thursday but gains were pared after U.S. government data showed a seventh straight build in crude stocks, suggesting high inventories could undermine ... … More »

  • BJ's Restaurants beats Street 4Q forecasts Associated Press - 1 hour 49 minutes ago

    The Huntington Beach, California-based company said it had profit of 55 cents per share. The results surpassed Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of eight analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment ... … More »

  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise Cuts Forecast on Costs, Cloud (1) Bloomberg - 1 hour 49 minutes ago

    Analysts projected 47 cents, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Chief Executive Officer Meg Whitman -- who has been slimming down the company -- is battling rising competition from cloud-based technology providers that let customers access … More »

  • HP Enterprise misses revenue estimates, cuts FY profit forecast
    HP Enterprise misses revenue estimates, cuts FY profit forecast Reuters - 1 hour 50 minutes ago

    HPE said it expected full-year adjusted profit of between $1.88-$1.98 per share, down from $2-$2.10 it forecast earlier. Analysts on average were expecting a profit of $2.05 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. … More »

  • Applied Optoelectronics posts 4Q profit Associated Press - 1 hour 50 minutes ago

    On a per-share basis, the Sugar Land, Texas-based company said it had profit of 77 cents. Earnings, adjusted for stock option expense and non-recurring costs, were 84 cents per share. The results surpassed ... … More »

  • HP Enterprise misses revenue estimates, cuts full-year profit forecast
    HP Enterprise misses revenue estimates, cuts full-year profit forecast Reuters - 1 hour 51 minutes ago

    (Reuters) - Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co (HPE.N), the corporate hardware and enterprise software business of Hewlett-Packard Co, reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue and cut its full-year profit ... … More »

  • Imax tops Street 4Q forecasts Associated Press - 1 hour 54 minutes ago

    On a per-share basis, the Ontario Canada, Ontario-based company said it had profit of 13 cents. Earnings, adjusted for stock option expense, came to 22 cents per share. The results exceeded Wall Street ... … More »

 
Recent Quotes
Symbol Price Change % Chg 
Your most recently viewed tickers will automatically show up here if you type a ticker in the "Enter symbol/company" at the bottom of this module.
You need to enable your browser cookies to view your most recent quotes.
 
Sign-in to view quotes in your portfolios.

MARKET MOVERS

  • Most Actives
    Most Actives
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.27+0.02+5.88%
    N21.SI
    0.198+0.022+12.50%
    40F.SI
    1.03+0.05+5.10%
    G13.SI
    0.131+0.017+14.91%
    41F.SI
    0.395+0.035+9.72%
    5ME.SI
  • % Gainers
    % Gainers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.325+0.075+30.00%
    PA3.SI
    1.815+0.280+18.24%
    S51.SI
    0.128+0.017+15.32%
    UV1.SI
    0.53+0.07+15.22%
    BLR.SI
    0.131+0.017+14.91%
    41F.SI
  • % Losers
    % Losers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.10-0.03-21.26%
    A7S.SI
    0.145-0.034-18.99%
    AZR.SI
    0.094-0.014-12.96%
    5DL.SI
    0.295-0.040-11.94%
    BPF.SI
    0.20-0.02-9.09%
    SK3.SI

Market Data

  • Currencies
    Currencies
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    1.4076+0.00010.00%
    USDSGD=X
    1.4898+0.0009+0.06%
    EURSGD=X
    1.7673+0.0008+0.05%
    GBPSGD=X
    80.0590-0.0030.00%
    SGDJPY=X
    5.5110+0.00020.00%
    SGDHKD=X
    3.1606-0.002-0.06%
    SGDMYR=X
    9,518.5498-5.7852-0.06%
    SGDIDR=X
    4.8750-0.0028-0.06%
    SGDCNY=X
    1.0858+0.0003+0.03%
    AUDSGD=X
  • Commodities
    Commodities
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    1,250.30-1.10-0.09%
    GCJ17.CMX
    18.16+0.04+0.24%
    SIH17.CMX
    89.61-0.30-0.34%
    ^XAU
    2.640.00-0.17%
    HGH17.CMX
    54.36-0.09-0.17%
    CLJ17.NYM
  • Bonds
    Bonds
    TreasuryYield (%)Yield Change
    1.88-0.03
    ^FVX
    2.39-0.03
    ^TNX
    3.02-0.01
    ^TYX