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How to Negotiate a Salary Increase – 4 Negotiation Tips

Knowing how to negotiate a salary increase can help you achieve your career goals. These negotiation tips are crucial, and they aren’t just for negotiating a raise.

Negotiation plays a very important part in our lives. We negotiate in the workplace, at home with family members about who does the dishes, with children about curfew, or with shopkeepers for the best bargain.

The skill of negotiation is a very useful one, indeed. These tips will help you to navigate through your daily negotiations with extra confidence and finesse – and take you beyond a salary increase.

“During a negotiation, it would be wise not to take anything personally. If you leave personalities out of it, you will be able to see opportunities more objectively.” ~ Brian Koslow.

One of the most important tips for negotiating a salary is to stay objective and rational. Don’t let your emotions take over! If negotiation isn’t your strong point, you may find Getting More: How to Negotiate to Achieve Your Goals in the Real World helpful.

And here are several tips to help you negotiate a pay raise…

How to Negotiate a Salary Increase

1. Use principled rather than positional negotiation. In any negotiation, people tend immediately to take up opposing sides, vesting all their interests in that one side, and viewing the opposing side as the rival. This type of negotiation is positional and unwise to do, because things can get personal and feelings might get hurt. Instead, principled negotiation focuses on the problem that both sides are trying to solve together. It breaks down some of the issues with ego that people have with positional bargaining and lets the negotiators focus on the issue at hand rather than have it turn out to be a battle of wills.

One of the best tips for achieving career goals – and negotiating a salary increase – is to focus on an agreement that is mutually beneficial and amicable. In other words, convince your boss that a salary increase is better for both parties.

2. Do not continually argue your position. If your boss or the “opposing party” unfairly attacks or resorts to petty accusations, do not counter every attack with one of your own. Instead, try to find out what their motivation was for the attack and explore those feelings with them.

Usually, personal attacks are signs of a weak argument, so it would be smart to step back and explore the issue together, objectively, and ask them to stick to the issues. If you want to negotiate a salary increase with an unpredictable boss, you might prepare your reasons and answers to his or her oppositions in advance.

3. Ask questions – one of the most valuable negotiation tips! In an intense negotiation, you may be tempted to continually state your point and stand firm in your stance. While this may work against a weak negotiating partner, many people will take an increasingly firm stance on their own position as well, leading to a potentially hostile stand-off that will not help you achieve your career goals.

Instead, ask plenty of questions to better understand where your negotiating partner is coming from. There is always more information to be learned that might enable both parties to arrive at a mutually satisfying agreement – such as a salary increase that is a compromise.

For more salary negotiation tips, read How to Convince People to Say Yes – 5 Persuasion Techniques.

4. Get comfortable with silence. If all else fails, use silence. Silence can create an uncomfortable situation for the other party, causing them to talk more and reveal more information about their stance or eventually talk themselves into a hole.

Especially if you find yourself engaged in a heated back-and-forth, silence is great for letting the other person let out some steam. Once they have calmed down, feel free to resume the conversation in a more efficient and friendly manner.

If you don’t get the salary increase, read How to Quit Your Job When You’re Scared.

What do you think of these tips for negotiating a salary increase? Comments welcome below.


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2 thoughts on “How to Negotiate a Salary Increase – 4 Negotiation Tips”

  1. Yes, I think we can be tempted to state our positions over and over when we’re negotiating. But I don’t think that’s an effective way to negotiate a salary increase!