Highlights of SLA 2009: Painless Negotiation
Bates described how she was one ultra-averse to negotiating, but told us to remember that "negotiation is a moment of discomfort to get a larger payoff". Here's a quick summary of her tips:
- Keep an internal locus of control - do not allow the external world to control you
- First ID your best outcome (not how you will get there)
- ID the other person's best outcome
- Look at all the alternatives.
- Negotiate from a place of interest, not position
- Shift from worst-case to best-case thinking
- Always make a high first offer. If you offer what you'll settle for, you've got nowhere to go but down
- You don't have to be dissatisfied to ask for more
- It's business, not personal
A final, but very important, point: language is important. As with all communication, "I" statements are key. And when you're negotiating, say "I want". Don't say things like "I deserve" (because "we all deserve more than we get") or even "I would like". These are conversation stoppers and won't get you very far.
For anyone in the library field, there are many instances where good negotiating skills come in handy. Salary and benefits discussions and vendor contract negotiations come to mind immediately, but if Bates is right when she says "everything is negotiable", then those are just the tip of the iceberg. Virtually every aspect of life can be improved with solid and confident negotiation skills.
Slides for Painless (no really!) Negotiation along with Bates' other two presentations are available at her website.