Three Steps to Take in Any Job Negotiation, with Jeff Weiss

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Transcript

Mac Prichard:

This is Find Your Dream Job, a podcast that helps you get hired, have the career you want, and make a difference in life. I’m Mac Prichard, your host and publisher of Mac’s List. I’m joined by my co-host, Ben Forstag, managing director of Mac’s List and Jenna Forstrom, our community manager. This week, we’re talking about negotiation, a vital skill especially at work. Maybe you’re considering a job offer, for example. Perhaps you’re about to ask for a raise or you’re chasing a promotion. Whatever your request, it will require negotiating. Many people treat negotiations as a win-lose situation for the parties involved. If you get what you want, it’s at somebody else’s expense. It doesn’t have to be this way. This week, I’m talking to Jeff Weiss, author of “The Harvard Business Review Guide to Negotiating.”

Jeff will share with us his tips for how you can move from a game of concessions and compromises and he’ll talk about how you could use collaboration and creativity so you get better results and good working relationships with others. Ben has a website you want to visit before you start any salary negotiation and Jenna answers a listener question about when to bring up salary during a job interview. Our show was brought to you this week by our sponsor, The Weekend Resume Makeover Online Course developed by national resume expert, Jenny Foss. To learn more about how you can develop a professional quality resume in just two days, visit macslist.org/jobjenny. Jenna, Ben, how have you two approached negotiations in the workplace?

Ben Forstag:

Well, with a lot of trepidation I’d say. I don’t mind negotiating with like vendors over prices and things like that. But when it comes to myself, I think I’m like a lot of people. I’m uncomfortable talking about salary and negotiating salary.

Mac Prichard:

What about you, Jenna?

Jenna Forstrom:

When I have to negotiate for salary, I always just ask for 24 hours and that’s mainly because my folks who I really like running things by, I live in China, so it gives me a great time staler because I have a couple of hours so that they can wake up so I can run by like my offer with them and get their feedback and then submit a followup.

Mac Prichard:

You both have … You’ve got an advisor that you check in, but do you both have a process or plan that you follow?

Ben Forstag:

I don’t, sadly. I think part of it is again, just kind of in general talking about salary even with like friends or colleagues always it’s been a taboo subject for me. I think that’s just the organizations I’ve grown up in.

Mac Prichard:

Well, how about you, Jenna?

Jenna Forstrom:

I’ve used Ben’s resource of week.

Mac Prichard:

You have, which one?

Jenna Forstrom:

The one he’s going to talk about in a minute.

Mac Prichard:

Let’s move on to that. I will say I took a class on negotiation when I was in graduate school and I’ve laid out different processes and I’m going to date myself now. That was 25 years ago and when I was reading Jeff’s book, I was impressed by how far the field has come. Well, let’s turn to you, Ben and this week’s resource of the week which I’m guessing Jenna may have used when she negotiated her salary with you.

Ben Forstag:

Jenna was gaming me evidently. I didn’t even know it.

Mac Prichard:

Six weeks ago, okay.

Ben Forstag:

This week, we’re talking about negotiations and Jeff is going to be sharing some of his tools and tricks. Wanted to share with our listeners who was another expert who has his own guide for how to negotiate salary and his name is Ramit Sethi. He’s a New York Times best-selling author of a book and a website that are both called “I Will Teach You to be Rich.” It’s a pretty good title. This is an online course and it’s based on this truism that I believe is true which is working harder isn’t enough to get most of us a raise. We really need to go out and ask for it. You can work really hard and they’ll appreciate it but that work might not translate into a raise unless you go out and really advocate for yourself and demand a raise. This online course is a set of curative videos that take you step-by-step through the different types of salary negotiation.

Ramit covers things like how to negotiate your salary even if you’re inexperienced, nervous, or in a stagnant industry. How to prepare your boss for giving you a raise. He really emphasizes somethings called the briefcase technique which is particularly helpful if you’re a freelancer or a consultant. The subtle psychological triggers that can multiply your chances for success when you’re asking for a raise. Really good interactive stuff here. What I like most about this course is the last module which shows a series of salary negotiations in action so you can actually see real people using these techniques. Ramit actually has actual scripts that you can use verbatim when you’re talking to your own boss or to a perspective boss. Again, evidently, Jenna gamed me on this and Jenna, how much of his script have you used when you were talking to me when we were talking about salary?

Jenna Forstrom:

Just a few points. Like he gives scripts, like what you mentioned, so I just pulled some of the key phrases and then apply them to you this rule. I’ve also used it at another agency when I was working at another company.

Ben Forstag:

Without getting into specifics, did it work?

Jenna Forstrom:

Yes.

Ben Forstag:

There’s the strongest testimony you can have for this course. Again it called the Ultimate Guide to Asking for a Raise and Negotiating Salary. It’s on iwillteachyoutoberich.com and I will share the URL in the show notes.

Mac Prichard:

Good. I encourage people to check that out. It’s salary negotiation or any negotiation in the workplace or elsewhere is something you don’t want to wing. You want to be prepared.

Ben Forstag:

I think a lot of people when they get that job offer, they’re so relieved to get an offer that they forget the next piece which is you have some room to negotiate there.

Mac Prichard:

People would never think to get up and give the speech or make an important presentation or some other important event without some planning and preparation and salary negotiation or any workplace negotiation is the same. Thanks, Ben. If you got a suggestion for Ben, you can write him. His email address is pretty simple. It’s just ben@macslist.org and he would love to hear from you and we’d love to share your idea on the show. Now let’s turn to you, our listeners. Jenna, our community manager is here with us to answer one of your questions. Jenna, what do you have for us this week?

Jenna Forstrom:

This week’s question comes from Ben who is asking, “When should I bring up salary requirements while interviewing?” You should bring up salary as soon as possible, that way, the hiring manager and you can on the same page and no one is wasting each other’s time. Hopefully, when the job is posted or when you become aware of it, it’s already included a salary range and so you know if it’s worth investing time and energy in applying. But if you get further up in the interview process and you’re talking to someone or maybe talking to the HR team bringing it up. But doing some research, using a program like glassdoor.com helps you figure out what the salary requirements are around your geographical locations, so obviously, a program manager in San Francisco is probably going to make a different salary range than one in Topeka, Kansas versus New York City and just bouncing it off to HR director and asking them if that’s within their current scope for the job position. Mac, Ben, any other things you like to add?

Ben Forstag:

This brings up a related question I have. One of the most common complaints we get from job seekers is they say so many employers don’t list a salary in the job description or even a salary range. Why do you think that is, Mac?

Mac Prichard:

When you talk to employers, many of them will say is they want to see what kind of response to look at and they’re using it as a kind of negotiating ploy. I think in the long run, they’re better served by laying out the salary range they have in mind because most employers have a budget and they have to work within that budget and if that’s all they have to spend whatever their range maybe, they’re better served I think by putting that up front.

Ben Forstag:

I think the frustration on the job seeker side is everyone’s got their number in their head, that minimum number that they’re willing to work for and when there’s no salary listed there, you’re not sure if this is a waste of my time and the employer’s time applying for a job that ultimately you wouldn’t take even if they offered it to you.

Mac Prichard:

I agree. But I like Jenna’s advice here which is it’s okay to ask and if you do decide to apply for a job and you get an interview or a call scheduling an interview, it’s perfectly appropriate to say, “Do you have a salary range in mind for this position? What have you budgeted for this job?” You may not get a straight answer and still decide to pursue the position, but you’ve signaled that it’s an important fact for you and you won’t be the only one asking the question. It’s a very professional question to ask.

Ben Forstag:

I think most employers know that people are taking jobs expecting a salary.

Jenna Forstrom:

Right.

Mac Prichard:

Thank you, Jenna. These segments are sponsored by the Weekend Resume Makeover Course from our renowned resume coach, Jenny Foss. When you find that perfect job, you need to craft a killer application. One that gets you noticed and land you an interview. You need to do it quickly before someone else snags your dream job. You could pay for a custom resume or you can save time and money by learning the tips and tricks for resume writing yourself. Job Jenny’s weekend resume makeover course teaches you how to think like a hiring manager. Then it takes you step-by-step through a proven process to make your resume standout and get the attention your application deserves. Weekend Resume Makeover captures everything Jenny Foss does best, making things simple, getting results, and having a bit of fun along the way.

To see the Weekend Resume Makeover Course for yourself, visit Macslist.org/JobJenny. Now let’s turn to this week’s guest expert, Jeff Weiss. Jeff Weiss is a founding partner of Vantage Partners, a Boston-based consulting firm that works with Fortune 500 companies on improving how they negotiate. Jeff has published extensive on negotiation. He’s the author of a Harvard Business Review Guide to negotiating. He’s also a member of the faculty of the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College and the US Military Academy at West Point. In July of 2016, Jeff will become the ninth president of Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Jeff, thanks for joining us.

Jeff Weiss:

Mac, my pleasure. Thanks for having me.

Mac Prichard:

We appreciate you making the time. Jeff, let’s talk about negotiations in the workplace. For many people, this means salary, promotion, or considering a job offer. How do people typically approach a negotiating in general? How does that process work and why do you think people should do it differently?

Jeff Weiss:

There are three sort of core mistakes we see again and again. Not as if I’ve never made these mistakes either. The first, Mac, is to sort of a wing negotiation. To think it’s an art and that if I’m just smart enough and [inaudible 00:11:00] enough, I’ll do well. The reality is the first piece of advice I always give clients whether we’re negotiating a half-billion dollar acquisition or a supply negotiation or I’m negotiating for a job for a promotion for a title enhancement for other perks, other benefits, other opportunities is to get systematically prepared and not to just systematically prepare what you want, but really systematically prepare why you want it. I want X amount of money. I want more vacation. I want a new title. I want a new opportunity. But what are the “Why’s” because the “Why’s” give you more creativity in negotiation and to think as well about the “Why’s” on their side.

Really what we call interest. What are your interests? What are their interests? What are some creative possibilities what we call options for how we might structure this somewhat. What are some good standards that I might use and really do that investigation before I go into the negotiation instead of doing what many folks do which is they prepare in direct proportion to how long it takes to get from their office to their boss’ office or their colleagues office. The second piece, Mac, is to think differently about negotiation. Often, we think about negotiation is a haggle. I’m going to come in and I’m going to ask for x% raise. They’re going to offer y% raise and we’re going to compromise over a series of interactions back and forth. That just sub-optimizes the opportunity to really get the kind of things you want, to get creative, to be able to meet some of those needs I was just talking about.

As opposed to playing that game to really play more of the game around discussing what you’ve prepared. Really, what are those underlying needs? What do you really care about? What do they care about as opposed to what the answer is and then creatively thinking together. Is this is a salary increase now? Is it over time? Can you actually help pay off a loan and give me a little less of a salary increase because what I really care about is short term debt. Maybe what I really care about is new opportunities and learning new things and there are lots of companies that may not be able to because of present reasons give you more money. But it certainly give you other opportunities. Now, how do I bring good standards in and talk about how other people with my skills what they’re getting paid, how they’re getting promoted.

Then finally, Mac, just to kind of wrap it up on at least an initial set of thoughts. The people get reactive in negotiation. Someone say, “Well, this is the most I can do,” or, “If you don’t like it, well, you can look somewhere else,” or “We’ve never done that before,” or “You know, I’m your mentor and gee, if you just respected the relationship, you drop it now.” All sort of what aren’t always meant to be dirty tricks, but kind of feel that way. As opposed to reacting in kind to really just take a step back and think about the what person is saying and ask good questions. If someone says, “We’ve never done it that way before,” I might say, “Is that true? Has no one ever gotten a raise in this instance? Why is no one ever gotten a raise in this instance? If anyone has been an exception, what’s the exception been? What’s the reason for that?” Asking questions that explore interest, that explore different standards. They try to get to different criteria that can allow you to actively change the game.

Mac Prichard:

As you talked, Jeff, I think most people, their preparation during that trip from home to the office is really two things. They think about what they want and then I think many people think they have to be at some sort of starting point so that they can get to that halfway point. You’re outlining a much more complex model, but I think probably a more effective one. When people want to use the idea as you’ve outlined, how do you recommend they prepare?

Jeff Weiss:

I do want to push back a little bit, Mac. I don’t know that it’s a more complex model. It certainly takes a little bit more time and it takes more discipline. But I think it gets people to a better place and I’m happy to share an illustration. But before an illustration, in terms of preparation as I was talking a little bit about before, I would sit down and think very, very clearly as opposed to the two things that you said which is, “What do I want and where am I going to start?” Those are actually not the questions I would ask and if you have a “What do I want” in your head, I’d ask myself why. What’s driving it? I want x amount of money. Why do I want x amount of money? Is it because I’m trying to pay short term debt? Is it because of long term security? Is it because I need extra money because I want to travel?

Is it because I need extra money because I want to advance my career by getting a master’s certificate somewhere? Is it because I’m trying to deal with moving expenses? Is it because or if I can get up to various “Why’s” then I got more creativity in the negotiation about how I might actually structure what we come up with? If I can think about their “Why’s.” Are they saying potentially saying no to something or proposing something else for what reason? Is it a precedent? Is it a short term cash flow issues? Is it they’re trying to leave an opportunity for me to be able to be incented to do better and better to work. I can think about each of those different things, Mac, and I can get to that second question which are what some different possible things I might bring to the negotiation? Not I want 10% increase or another week of vacation, but let me talk a little bit about what I’m trying to achieve.

Let me explore a little bit about what they’re trying to achieve, put our heads together and say, “What are the few different ways could we brainstorm some different possibilities?” If I’ve done that in preparation first and I conceive the conversation. I can imagine taking x amount of an increase but also getting some loan forgiveness or if I could imagine maybe taking y amount of an increase and try to get some of my education paid for. I can imagine z amount of increase which might be more with some sort of other structure for how to incent me. If I can begin to think about both my interest, their interest, what are some different options and most significantly, can I bring some standards, some objective standards to the table rather than arbitrary numbers? What are other people of my skill is getting paid? What are other people in this region getting paid? What are other people in this industry at my level getting paid? All of those things will help in the negotiation on top of understanding what’s my walkaway and what might a person I’m negotiating with. What might their walkaway be?

Mac Prichard:

What advice do you have for listeners who want to follow this process but have to sit down with an employer who maybe unfamiliar with these steps or just get stuck in the old model of thinking about trying to find that halfway point?

Jeff Weiss:

Having done this for 30 years at this point on thousands of negotiations and having started, my colleagues and I working on large scale governmental negotiations and working in corporations and then working on inter-personal negotiations, there are a lot of people out there who are stuck in the, “I start high,” you are really in this case. I guess, “You start high, start low. We split somewhere in the middle.” First, acknowledge that you are likely much of the time to find that to occur and I’ll come back to that in a second. But let me before I go there just share something that might be helpful to the listeners which is that we’ve done lots of research over time beyond many, many, many, many consulting projects and lots of negotiations. We found that actually over half the people wait for the other party to go first.

You’ve got a chance to lead the way to say, “Hey, I want to talk about this in a different way.” As opposed to me throwing in a number and making a request or you asking me what I want. Let’s just talk about what each kind of achieve. Let’s say we can put out heads together and think about this in different ways. Let’s look at external standards. That’s the first piece. But if they start that way and they’re stuck, that’s fine. As I said before, don’t react in kind just because they throw in a number doesn’t mean you need to throw in a number. Just because they asked for a number, it doesn’t mean you need to give them a number. If they throw in a number, you might say, “Gee, I understand. I’d like to understand where does that number come from?” That would actually move you over to the element of criterion.

You could talk about if there are other criteria for defining a number or why that particular number is the issue? Then you might do some testing from your preparation. Is the number coming from the fact that we’re running a little short on cash right now. Is it because we have stepped up scale and you worry about precedent. Is it because you’re looking to invest dollars over time. Is it because you’re trying to incent me? We can either lead the way, that works some of the time. We can take what they’re doing and try to ask good questions to move them as we talk about in this book, “The HBR Guide to Negotiating.” How do we get in this thing we called the circle. In the circle, we talk about interest, options, legitimacy. Out of the circle, we talk about our walkaways and what we commit to.

Stay away from walkaways and what we commit or offers till late in the game. If they’re on those, take them and move in to the circle. Someone says, “Hey, it’s my way to the high way. Let me understand why your way and let me understand what do you achieve by going in the high way? Those are interest, I can use those then to get creative with the other party.

Mac Prichard:

One of the things that was striking me about the process that you outlined is that people should not only do the preparation and have a process in mind, but they should be prepared to invest time. I think a lot of workers go into these meetings thinking this is a conversation that’s going to be about 15 minutes long. What’s been your experience about effective negotiations? What kind of time should people expect to invest?

Jeff Weiss:

Yes. I think it depends a little bit, Mac, on whether I’m negotiating with the actual decision maker or with a third party. Often, these negotiations occur with an HR partner who might be an intermediary between me and actually whoever the person, the organization is making the decision. Other times, it might be a direct conversation and it can cut either way as to whether that’s going to prolong the negotiation or not. I’m all for having a sit down negotiation over a period of time. Even if I have 15 minutes, I can still be disciplined about I am well-prepared coming in, being able to share a set of ideas, a set of standards, and thinking through with the other party. Worst case or actually often best case because I often don’t like to do it in just one sitting. I can leave them to think about it.

I don’t need to push someone at the end of 15 minutes to an answer. I can put forward some ideas. We can explore some ideas. I can even say, “Hey, I’m going to sleep on it overnight and send you a few more ideas. Let’s meet again next week. Let’s meet again when you’re in town. Let’s get on the phone a couple of weeks from now.” I like to separate the inventing stage from the actual evaluation or deciding stage. If you can split it up into a couple or few different meetings, terrific with lots of senior people can do. If you only have 15 or so minutes, be well prepared and just work through the same process in the 15 minutes. Use 12 of the minutes to try to get creative. Work with the other party. Use the last couple of minutes to get to commitment. But they’re all over the place, the more you can control splitting it up a little bit, the better off you’ll be.

Mac Prichard:

You talk about the importance of preparation, Jeff, and having clear understanding of your interest and asking people about their “Why” and the positions they take. What are some common mistakes you see people make that we haven’t discussed that people should avoid in these kinds of negotiations?

Jeff Weiss:

Let me, Mac, focus on very quick half dozen. I’ll just sort of bang through them. If we want to go into detail in any we can. But let me sort of illustrate the first by way of a story. Stories are always more fun and just listening to someone babble on about a particular topic. I had a student some years ago and I think this illustrates a whole variety of the six that I would put forward, who was a representative on campus for a large juice company. He really enjoyed doing that and he came to me and he said, “Look, I really want to get paid to do this. I’ve been doing this as a volunteer and I’ve been trying to negotiate with the institution I’m at because of the way my scholarships and funding is set up. They keep saying to me I can’t get paid to do this although the juice company is perfectly happy to pay me.”

I’ve engaged in a negotiation and I’ve asked for x number of dollars a week and the school said, “No.” He went back and forth for a little while. He was actually in my class and a few weeks into the class, he said, “Jeff, I think I understand it what you’re telling me is to compromise, so I’ve come back and I’ve proposed to the senior administration of the school that I get paid half that amount.” I thought to myself, “Gee, I don’t think that’s what all what I’ve been saying.” In fact, I’ve actually tried to say in class good negotiators don’t compromise, they are creative. I said, “Let’s step back for a second. Why do you want to get paid?” He said, “Well, because I want to travel. I’ve never seen Europe. I’ve got some time this summer. I’d love to make enough money to get to any part of Europe and spend a week or two.” I said, “That’s a useful interest. Tell me a little bit what you [inaudible 00:22:55] the institution’s interests are. Why do they keep saying no?”

“Because they’re the nasty.” “Why do you think they’re saying no?” He said, “Well, probably precedent. They’ve got all these, they don’t want to let other students do this. Oh, by the way, there are actually federal funding regulations here and so, a whole bunch of interest.” I said, “Interesting, can you think of any possible other thing that you might want to try to do? What about the juice company’s interest?” “Well, their interest is getting as much publicity and I’m going to a very reputable school and they sort of like me out there proposing to other people that this is great drink.” I said, “Why don’t you think a little bit more about this.” Lo and behold, he came back a week later. He said, “I talked to the juice company. I talked to the administration. I’ve got a solution, Jeff. Not only that, I have a solution better than my opening position where I wanted to get paid x.”

I said, “Really, what’s that solution?” He said, “I went to the juice company. I said, ‘Hey, do you need someone to work for you this summer?’ They said, ‘Absolutely.’ I said, ‘Would you potentially send me to Europe?’ They said, ‘Sure. In fact, we’ll send you to Europe for the entire eight weeks of your summer. We’ll get you to six different cities. We’re not going to pay you, but we’ll pay your room and board and your expense and all the good things.’ I went to the administration. I said, ‘Is that fine?’ They said, ‘Not only is that fine. That’s great. We’re going to write you up in the bulletin to say what the great things were students are doing. Is it fine for you?’” He said, “Absolutely. Now, I’m not just going to one city, I’m going to six cities.” Kind of cool. Why do I think that’s cool because it gets up mistakes than sort of rectifying of the mistakes.

Don’t start with an anchor, start with the reasons why both as you prepare and then in negotiation. You’re apt to from the reasons why. You look at the story. Get to a more creative solution. Be open to persuasion, second piece. Lots of us think, “If I’m not open to persuasion, if I take a strong stance, I’ll persuade them.” Well, listeners, think for a second about the last person with whom you negotiated who was completely don’t open to persuasion. Now, consider how likely they were to persuade you. Probably not very likely. There’s actually power in being open to persuasion, listening to the other side. You don’t have to agree but listen it and bringing good standards to the table. There’s power in being able to understand what your walkaway is and the other side’s. Too many folks make the mistakes.

I don’t want to think about that. I never would want to walk away and they must not really have a good walkaway. Well of course, they have a walkaway. Good or bad, I want to assess it and I want to know mine. I want to improve mine. I want to make sure that I don’t focus on comprise as the core of what negotiation is all about. Obviously, I want to be open to persuasion, but simply splitting the difference or you could send two parrots to negotiate to do that. I want to get creative like this young man was. I want to make sure that I don’t let substance and relationship get mixed which often happens were people, sometimes bosses will say, “Well, if you love me or if you really love being at the company or if you appreciate our relationship, just drop it for now.” That’s not reasonable and I’d separate the substance and relationship.

What should I get paid is different than the strength of our relationship and finally and again in the story, is moving too quickly, right? He wanted a quick close. I’ll go from … I want x to half x to quarter x to one eighth x. First of all, he was never going to get anything above zero because of the interest in the university. Secondly, with a little bit of creativity, a little bit more work, a little bit of preparation, et cetera, you got to a pretty good solution. Beware of the anchor, move to needs, aims, fears, concerns, be open to persuasion, bring good standards to the table, understand your walkaway and their walkaway. Make sure you negotiate in two tracks. Be respectful of the relationship while working strong on creative solutions and make sure you slow the negotiation down whether you have 15 minutes or three weeks. Be able to have that opportunity to get creative with the other party.

Mac Prichard:

That’s a great story and a great summary, Jeff. Anything you’d like to add as we bring the interview to a close?

Jeff Weiss:

Simply would say there’s little more powerful in negotiation than good preparation. Much of the book focuses on preparation. Much of our practice over 30 years is focused on systematic preparation. That’s one thing. Second thing is, having a good terrain map, knowing where I am in the negotiation where I want to go. We explore various aspects of that in the book. What we don’t, Mac, which I would leave you with explaining the book which goes more than just a salary negotiation and promotion which are critical is also the concept that we so much of our careers on which is how do you build organizational capabilities. Folks who are listening and also saying, “What are the lessons from negotiating with suppliers, customers, partners? Well, all of the same kind of lessons, but there’s also a whole dimension of how to think about this of how do I equip those out negotiating with various people with the right data, the right strategies, the right place, the right changing the game, elements, the right tools, et cetera.

Lots of fun stuff in the arena of negotiation and I think with some good preparation, a good terrain map, and that ability to actively change the game, one can really do pretty well for themselves and for the other party at the same time.

Mac Prichard:

Good. Well, thank you, Jeff. How can people learn more about you and about your book?

Jeff Weiss:

The book is actually Harvard Business Review’s book, so if you go to the Harvard Business Review’s site, you can learn more about it. I think it’s also available in most major distributors. In terms of me, you can find me at www.vantagepartners with a “V”, Vantagepartners.com. Lots about the firm, lots about me and the work that we do and we’ve done over the last three decades.

Mac Prichard:

We’ll be sure to include links to both the book and the website in the show notes. Well, thanks again, jeff and thank you for being on the show.

Jeff Weiss:

Mac, truly my pleasure. Thank you back.

Mac Prichard:

We’re back in the studio with Ben and Jenna. What were the most important points you heard Jeff make?

Ben Forstag:

I think the key to it was the getting at the “Why” for what you’re looking for. He talked about anchors versus why. The anchor would be like the hard number I need to make x amount and I really like the point about what’s driving that demand? What do you need that money for? That time off for? Because that opens up the possibilities for creative solutions. Whereas, when you’re stuck on just a number, there’s only one solution that works there.

Mac Prichard:

If it’s just about the number, something’s going to have to give and someone is going to feel like a loser unless you as Jeff said broaden the circle and make it about other interest and understand what the other person’s “Why’s” are.

Ben Forstag:

Actually, I have an interesting story I’d like to throw out there. I have a friend who went to her boss and asked for a raise because she had really expensive child care for her child and it was costing her like a huge amount of money to have her child on child care and she went to the boss and the boss said, “I don’t have any more money to give you, but what’s really driving this?” When she told the boss, “My kid is costing me $800 a week in child care whatever it was.” The boss’ solution is, “Well, what if you could work from home a couple of days a week?” That took some of the burden of the child care off the plate and my friend got a win there even though she didn’t get what she was originally looking for which was that number, that higher salary.

Mac Prichard:

That’s a great example. Jenna, what are your thoughts?

Jenna Forstrom:

I really like his point about that there’s power in being open to persuasion because I feel like the career situations that I’ve been in, it’s always like someone has power and someone’s negotiating to get a little piece of that power. But I feel like I haven’t experienced very many opportunities to witness someone being open to persuasion because it seems like there could be like the way he was talking about all the creativity and thought process and open opportunities that you limit yourself by not being open to that conversation and so, just thinking about that more was really interesting and then just how he like the idea of creating space for negotiation. Like usually, I feel like especially these days and age where we have like internet and email and people are available 24/7 like the time frame gets crammed. But if you keep it open until like, “Hey, I’m not really committed to making a decision right now. Let’s talk tomorrow,” or like create that space and that thought process was really interesting.

Mac Prichard:

I think having that process is just key because if you think it’s just going to be a short term discussion and you’re going to discuss just a number or one or two benefits, you’re closing the door to so many opportunities.

Jenna Forstrom:

Exactly.

Mac Prichard:

Thank you, both, and thank you, our listeners, for joining us. If you like what you hear on the show, you can help us by leaving a review and rating at iTunes. This helps others discover our show and helps us serve you all better. One of the reviews we received recently is from someone who uses the iTunes handle KTEPenny who write, “As a recent college graduate, I thought I knew what to do to find a job that fits me. Well, I was wrong. This engaging podcast enlightened and clarified exactly what steps I should take to be successful in the job hunt. Thank you.” Well, thank you KTEPenny and thanks to the scores of other listeners who’d left a review. Please take a moment to leave your own comments and ratings. Just go to www.macslist.org/itunes. Thanks for listening and we’ll be back next Wednesday with more tools and tips you can use to find your dream job.

This week on Find Your Dream Job, we’re talking about negotiation–a vital skill, especially at work.

Maybe you’re considering a job offer. Perhaps  you’re about to ask for a raise. Or you’re chasing a  promotion. Whatever your ask, it will require negotiating.

Many people treat negotiations as a win-or-lose situation for the parties involved. If you get what what you want, it’s at someone else’s expense.

It doesn’t have to be this way says this week’s guest, Jeff Weiss. Jeff shares his tips for how you can negotiate without devolving into a game of concessions and compromises.  He emphasizes the importance of collaboration and creativity so that you get better results and good working relationships with others.

This Week’s Guest

Jeff Weiss is a founding partner of Vantage Partners, a Boston-based consulting firm that works with Fortune 500 companies on improving how they negotiate. He’s the author of a Harvard Business Review Guide to Negotiating.  In 2016, Jeff became the ninth president of Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Resources from this Episode